A Greek court has sparked an “unprecedented racist scandal” after it cleared farmers who shot and wounded 28 Bangladeshi strawberry pickers when they asked to be paid.
In a verdict described as “an outrage and a disgrace” and which led to protests outside the court in the southern city of Patras, the owner of the farm and head foreman were cleared of all charges – which included human trafficking.
The incident in April last year saw farmers turn their shotguns on migrant workers in Manolada who had asked to be recompensed for six months of unpaid labour. Dozens were injured, four of them severely.
Continue reading ‘Greek farmers who shot 28 workers for demanding pay walk free from court in ‘scandalous, racist’ verdict’
Greece needs more EU funds for immigration, minister says
Greece needs more funding from the European Union to deal with the increased flow of undocumented immigrants in the eastern Aegean, Public Order Minister Vassilis Kikilias said in an interview with Sunday’s Kathimerini.
According to the minister, there has been an 800 percent increase in the number of irregular migrants reaching Greece via boat from Turkey over the last two years.
He said that Greece was finding it increasingly difficult to deal with this influx and that it would require further funding from the EU, which has recently reduced the budget for its Frontex border agency.
Kikilias said Greece has asked for emergency funding to cover the cost of hosting migrants in reception centers and to create a mobile unit to process asylum applications.
“On the one hand it is our duty to protect our borders, on the other it is also our duty to provide humane holding conditions to migrants, who are, after all, human souls in absolute misery,” he said.
source: ekathimerini (in English)
How “real” asylum recognition rates are in Greece in reality… About the temporariness of being a recognised refugee in Greece:
by D. Angelidis
The General Secretary of the Ministry of Citizen Protection and Public Order, Mr Ath. Andreoulakos is destroying consciously and illegally the work of the Asylum Committees while he is rejecting arbitrarily the renewal of the two-year protection status (subsidiary and humanitarian) of many refugees who then end up without papers.
NGOs speak of an industry of rejections when it comes to the renewal of humanitarian or subsidiary protection in Greece. The refugees who understood they had to renew their papers and who applied for that depend on the decision of the General Secretary of the Ministry. It is highly questionable if he has the expertise to take such a decision, but he doesn’t even examine case by case if the grounds of persecution in each case are still valid, instead he actually just rejects the applications and turns upside down the decisions which were taken two years ago by the Asylum Committees.
Continue reading ‘Mass rejection of renewal of 2-year refugee status’
by Apostolis Fotiadis
ips news (in english)
ATHENS, May 28 2014 (IPS) – The evolution of immigration and border control policy in Greece and its interdependence with European funding suggests an agenda which has been decided above national legislatures with strong coordination between European political actors and economic interests, while ignoring the human suffering it produces.
Since February, the Greek authorities have taken another step towards harsher treatment of irregular immigrants by announcing a policy of indefinite detention until repatriation. Indefinite detention has been based on an opinion of the Legal Council of the Greek State and will be implemented even in cases where repatriation is not feasible.
Earlier this week, a Greek court considered the premises of this decision to be against national and European legislation and asked for it to be revoked. Authorities have yet to react to this decision.
Continue reading ‘IPS News: Immigrants Face Indefinite Detention in Greece’
Three refugees reported lost in Evros at the land border to Turkey. A group of refugees upon arrival reported them lost.
tvxs (in greek)
Efymerida ton Sindakton published today a witness account of one of the Syrians who had disappeared on November 12th in Evros.
Read also respective announcement of UNHCR
We implored them for help, they threw us in the river
by Dimitris Angelidis
International report – catapults
The systematic and extended application of the illegal practice of readmissions has been registered in a series of reports by international organisms and organizations in the last years. Nevertheless the Greek authorities ostentatiously ignore the allegations, creating a regime of impunity which closes their eyes when it comes to massive violations of fundamental rights of migrants and refugees.
According to the report of Amnesty International “Frontier Europe” which was published in July, the Commissioner Malmstrom expressed her big concern for the allegations and stated that if they are proved or continue “it is possible to lead to a suspension or termination of a part of or of all Frontex operations in the Greek-Turkish borders”.
The commissioner could have been more strict in her statements, if they wouldn’t reflect Europe’s shift into a more conservative migration and refugees’ policy. “Migrants who manage to cross the European borders, are often victims of push-backs” reported on Monday three international organizations on a common press release with the Hellenic League for Human Rights, that accuses the EU for promoting practices that penalize migrants and invest in border control, instead of creating reception structures. Continue reading ‘Push-back of 150 Syrians in Evros: An eye-witness speaks out’
Syrians are currently the second-largest refugee group to cross illegally into the European Union. Most of them arrive in Greece.
DW’s Marine Olivesi accompanied one Syrian-Palestinian family on their arduous adventure.
Sixteen Syrians minus a baby girl are putting their shoe laces back on. The extended family has just been released from the police station of Mitilini, on the Greek island of Lesbos.
“Did you eat in the prison?,” asks local activist Efi Latsoudi. “Did they give you food regularly?”
“Bad food,” answers one of the teenagers.
“And how many days did you stay inside?”
“With the kids?”
“Yes, with the kids.”
Continue reading ‘DW: Syrian Families Greek Odyssee’
By MATINA STEVIS
LESVOS, Greece—On this Aegean island’s shores, Syria’s refugee crisis is crashing up against Greece’s migrant-policy mess.
Mohamed Simo, a 28-year-old Web designer from Aleppo, Syria, wanted to avoid the limbo of refugee camps of Turkey and Jordan, so he paid smugglers to bring him to Europe. After what he said was a harrowing journey from Turkey in a sinking plastic boat on a cold February night, he washed up in this tourist haven and was detained by local police.
Continue reading ‘Wall Street Journal: Syrians Find No Refuge in Greece.’
Doctors Without Borders and Amnesty International lashed out on Thursday at Greece’s treatment of Syrian refugees fleeing their war-ravaged homeland, with many locked up as illegal immigrants or reportedly facing police brutality.
“There is a total lack of a humanitarian response and solidarity” in Greece towards Syrian asylum-seekers, Willem de Jonge, general director of Doctors Without Borders in Greece, told AFP on the sidelines of a press conference.
Continue reading ‘AI & MSF: Syria refugees in Greece face lack of ‘humanitarian’ help’
When it comes to seeking asylum, Greece is the gateway to Europe. But the Greek asylum system is a mess. Paul Mason spoke to one man who has spent more than a year on the road – in squats, living rough and for a time in detention – about the experience of trying to claim asylum on Europe’s frontier.
It was hard to forget Mohamed Lamhoud. I met him in a shattered factory in Patras, Greece, squatting there alongside hundreds of other young, male migrants. Their clothes were filthy; many had wounds consistent with being beaten up, or fleeing being beaten up. They were drinking and washing from a standpipe.
Mohamed was different in one way only: in his pocket he had a book by Jean Paul Sartre. And while I tried to engage him about the conditions in the squatted factory, he tried to engage me in a discussion about Nietzsche.
That was in February 2012. The 26-year-old Moroccan had been living there for months. As I left that factory, I never thought I would see any of the men living there again.
But three weeks ago, on Facebook, somebody friended me and immediately sent me a pop-up message: “C’est moi, Mohamed, sociologique.” Through Facebook and Franglais he was speaking to me from inside a migrant detention centre in Corinth. And he had big news. He would soon be released.
Continue reading ‘BBC: Greece asylum: Journey through a broken system’