Tag Archive for 'sans-papiers'

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Migrants injured in protest against detention conditions in Igoumenitsa

Eleven of the migrants who were being detained at holding cells in the port of Igoumenitsa have been taken to the hospital to have injuries treated following a protest against the conditions they were being held in.
Authorities said the 11 were injured when they started banging their heads and bodies against the bars of their cells.
Skai TV and radio reported that there is only capacity to detain 30 people but there are currently about 90 being held at the port.

detention centre of the coast guard in igoumenitsa


The detention centre is known for overcrowding under miserable conditions. Minors, families and children are held as well as men. Some minors in earlier days had reported having been closed up there for up to a month.

ekathimerini

“New” detention centre in Parenesti, Drama

One month ago the village Parenesti near Drama was chosen to become the location of one of the “new type” detention centres of Greece where the masses of arrested during the permanent sweeps are being transferred to. Today a number of 150 sans-papiers is detained in the former army camp. There are about 40 persons crowded in each cell while capacities have been largely ignored as usually.

The former army camp has been turned into a detention centre of the new kind.


There is not enough food, basic hygiene is not secured while there is no access to leisure time outside for the detainees until today. Since their mobile phones have been taken away by the police detainees have no access at all to the outside world, i.e. to family, friends or lawyers. Most of the detainees have no money to buy telephone cards instead.

alterthess (in Greek)

Protest at the detention centre in Corinth reveals inhuman and degrading detention conditions

The provisory detention centre for sans-papiers was opened about four months ago in an overnight action by the Ministry of Citizen Protection and Public Order. It is one of three mass detention centres – the others are located in Xanthi and in Komotini – which were set up by the new government in the summer to fit the thousand arrested sans-papiers captured during the Xenios Dias sweep operation. There have been repeated protests by the mayor of Corinth against the creation of this detention centre. He even reached the point to cut off the water supply.

Corinth provisory detention center in a former army camp

The building was originally an army camp at the outskirts of Corinth city. Sans-papiers were arrested in massive sweeps and were brought from various places, such as Corinth and Patras, to this detention centre. A couple of NGOs have tried ever since to enter the prison in order to monitor the situation, screen the detainees and offer legal aid, but access has been denied. They could only see a hand full of detainees of whom they had their names in advance.

Yesterday, solidarity groups from Patras and Corinth but also from other places hold a protest in front of the detention centre. A delegation of seven persons entered the detention centre (with 2 parliamentarians of Syriza, a doctor, a lawyer, interpreters and members of the Movement for the Support of the Rights of Refugees and Migrant of Patras as well as the Antirascist Initiative of Corinth) More than 650 persons were detained in the overcrowded detention centre for the reason of “illegal entry”, “illegal stay” or “illegal exit” to/in/from Greece.

Detainees reported to the delegation that they were lacking warm water, they have insufficient food, no access to information and lawyers and seldom visits of doctors always without any interpreters, many lack medicine they need to take and thus remain sick in their cells.
Among the detainees were many minors, there were family fathers whose families upon their arrest were left behind without anyone to take care, there were persons who wanted to apply for asylum but could not manage and others who had applied 4 months earlier but were not released within the legal maximum period of detention for asylum seekers (3 months). Others had managed to apply for asylum but received during detention the rejection and lacked any information and legal aid to appeal within the given period of 15 days, therefore, falling out of the asylum system.
Reportedly, there are also many cases of ill-treatment by the authorities.

No concentration camps!
Never and nowhere!

best news (in greek)

see also older articles:
zougla tv (in greek)
letter by the syndicate of the police concerning hygiene in the detention centre of Corinth, October 17, 2012 (in greek)

read also the press release of the NGO AITIMA, September 13, 2012 (in greek)

Press Release of the United African Women Organisation

Press release of the United African Women Organisation, Greece

We women, involved in United African Women Organization, Greece, express our deep concern, protest and anger for any type of clean – up actions that are in progress in the centre of Athens and other Greek regions.

Manny of us, years ago, have taken the road of exile, had in mind a distant country, Greece, where people honoured and respected the “stranger” as a holy person. Than, we became this “stranger” and during our evening classes, after work, we learned that there is an old god, to assist us in the difficult struggle for survival: the “Xenios Zeus.”

Today we hear that the old god he changed his mind and doesn’t want to protect us anymore.

We have always tried to build bridges between immigrant communities and the Greek society.
To seek what unites us, rather than what divides us and to highlight it.

To struggle with the Greeks, both men and women against poverty, absurdity as a single, dynamic community that claims their lawful rights.

In spite of those who cut the bridges, we want to continue to fight for the natural right of every person to safety, dignity and peaceful coexistence.

Each “sweep” that was preceded, allegedly as a clean-up, (like people are garbage and need to be swept). we women of Africa who live in Greece, want to turn it into a sweep against hate speech, pogroms, violence and fascist beliefs.

We do not want to be defeated by racism.
We do not want to loose all hope.
We do not want to start again from scratch a fight that should have been finished.

http://www.africanwomen.gr/
africanwοmen@yahoo.com

“Xenios Dias” police sweep now in Patras

In the early morning hours of Monday Okctober 1, 2012 the authorities of Patras together with police from other areas started one of the biggest police raids that the town has seen. As the media wrote, the arrested might get transferred into the detention centre of Korinthos, in Patras and other cities/ villages around.

busses wait to transfer the arrested into detention centres

The currently 320 provisory arrested are closed up until now in one building of the Patraiki Peiraiki Factory in Patras were the police register them. As reported among them 208 have no legal residence in Greece- The ones who have no valid papers will be transferred with busses into detention.

The police sweep is still not completed and might be continued also tomorrow.

the arrested persons were transferred and registered inside the factory of Patraiki Peiraiki


read (in greek):
patras times (in greek)
the best news (in greek)
press release by the greek police

Read the Press Release of the Solidarity group of Patras from 03.10.12 (in english)

Four new detention centres for Lesvos, Samos, Chios and Rhodos planned

Authorities are planning to set up four new reception centers for immigrants on islands of the Aegean (Chios, Lesvos, Samos and Rhodos) to cope with the rising influx of migrants and refugees into Greece by sea that has been prompted by more effective policing along the Turkish land border. The Greek police announced that in the period between August 1st and September 17, 2012, 44 arrivals of refugee boats were registered with a total of 831 refugees being arrested on the Aegean islands.

The decision to set up the centres was taken during a meeting on Monday between Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Defense Minister Panos Panayiotopoulos, Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias and Merchant Marine Minister Costas Mousouroulis. The aim is as they say to prevent the incoming migrants from traveling to the mainland until they are deported. Government officials also reportedly decided to intensify inspections by coast guard vessels and members of the European Union border monitoring agency, Frontex, along the sea borders.

Minister of Citizen Protection Dendias also presented to Samaras a plan code-named “Ioni” aimed at dealing with an anticipated influx of refugees from Syria ad deterring them form entering Greece. According to sources, the plan outlines three scenarios, foreseeing the refugees’ arrival in Greece, Cyprus and Turkey. In either of the latter two cases, Greek authorities would help the neighboring countries. In the event that the refugees arrive in Greece, the plan is to temporarily detain them on Crete. Turkey is believed to be accommodating 83,000 Syrian refugees though authorities have indicated they cannot host more than 130,000. Reports suggest that around 250,000 Syrians have fled their homeland.

The old detention centres of Chios and Samos are already in the hands of the police and a planned amount of 95.000 was decided to be invested for their renovation following complaints of local police officers concerning the devastating state of the buildings. On Lesvos island the police officers also filed complaints about the detention conditions in the overcrowded police stations. As they said in the main police station of Mytilini there were 60 persons detained instead of the possible maximum of 28.

Meanwhile during one of the most recent arrivals on September 13, 2012, of sans-papiers on Agathonisi island half of the 58 passengers who had not managed to disembark when a Frontex patrol boat arrived together with a boat of the greek coast guard almost drowned when they were afraid to be pushed back into the Turkish sea and jumped into the sea.
On September 9, 2012 another 16 sans-papiers had arrived on Symi island.
At the same time the police reported on September 5, that arrivals in Evros have been reduced by 84%.

See:
enikos.gr (in greek)
ekathimerini (in english)
samos times (in greek)
embros newspaper of Mytilini (in greek)
embros newspaper of Mytilini (in greek)
rodiaki (in greek)
greek police statistics of reduced arrival in evros (see table in greek)

73 sans-papiers are trapped on Farmakonisi island

73 refugees have been left alone to survive upon their arrival on the island of Farmakonisi, which is a military zone and bleongs typically to Leros island. Among the sans-papiers are also 20 children. Another 53 are detained in the police station of Leros. The local solidarity movement of Leros criticised the government for leaving the refugees on the uninhabited island without proper food, housing and medical aid.

news in greek
tv xs in greek

Tragic death of more than 61 sans-papiers in the sea between Turkey and Greece

At least 61 sans-papiers died when their ship sank near by the coast of Izmir, Turkey. More than 100 persons were trying to reach the Greek coast on that ship but they came into distress at sea in only 50 metres distance from the turkish coast. The fishing boat they were in struck some rocks and began taking on water, sinking soon afterwards. Among the passengers there were reportedly mainly refugees from Syria, Iraq and Kurdistan while the majority were women and children. 43 of them could be saved until now and 61 were found dead (among the dead are at least 20 children).

tv xs (in greek)
hurriyet (in english)

read the press release of Multeci Der

Continue reading ‘Tragic death of more than 61 sans-papiers in the sea between Turkey and Greece’

New border crossings into Greece: A revival of the old routes in the Aegean?

Recently the greek news are talking of a revival of the old routes into Greece through the Aegean islands. Since two years Evros has been the main entrance for sans-papiers into Greece with steadily increasing numbers of arrivals. Since the beginning of the governments massive pogrom against sans-papiers in Athens but also in Evros and the further periphery in the beginning of this August, numbers of arrivals have been shrinking in Evros and increasing again slightly on the islands of the Aegean (mainly: Mytilini, Samos, Patmos, Leros, Symi etc.). In August 397 sans-papiers were arrested on the Aegean islands compared to 168 in 2011. The greek government following this increase and the medial hype around the “revival of the island routes” asked Frontex for more support in controlling their sea borders. The request concerns 4 additional aircrafts, 4 coast guard ships and specialised extra staff.
Concerning the fate of the arriving sans-papiers, as it seems, the authorities on the islands have the order to keep new arriving sans-papiers as long as possible in detention on the islands and not transfer them to Athens. In some cases solidarity group denounced the lack of access to the asylum procedure for the detained. In a long-term perspective if arrivals will continue and grow this could result in the creation of new detention places on the islands (or the re-opening of old ones). It is yet unclear if the slightly increasing arrivals on the islands can be interpreted as another change of routes or if it is more of a short term phenomenon. Clearly, the medial referral to a “revival” of the old routes and de facto arrivals of the last days anyway also lead to an increased use of a fascist discourse by some people within the local societies (i.e. in Symi but also elsewhere).

read also the press release of the Doctors Without Borders on the situation on the islands (in english)

In Samos the local solidarity group published a number of press releases concerning the very poor detention conditions of newly arrived Syrian and Afghan refugees (among them also children, women and UN-recognized refugees from other countries) and the lack of access to the asylum procedure for the about 50-60 refugees. Since a few days the Syrian refugees are on hunger strike protesting their inhuman situation.

see also earlier post with the press releases

In Mytilini the last month there have been also repeated arrivals (50 and more in the last period). Sans-papiers seem to be detained in the police stations of the island.

In Symi a boat carrying 38 sans-papiers was seemingly shot by the authorities and thereafter sank (on September 4th). The passengers were saved and are in detention now. In total there were about 100 (or more) arrivals in this period. The police station does not fit any more detainees so that the new arriving have to stay in the yard and next to it in outside spaces. The Doctors without borders are offering some medical first aid, while the police is responsible for the catering. At the same time during a recent municipal council on the island one of the speakers proposed to call members of the fascist party GD (golden dawn) to “solve the problem” and “so that the guys don’t allow the boats of the coast guard to disembark the sans-papiers on the island”. The mayor of the island at some point said: “if nothing happens (from the side of the government?) then we have to tak the weapens and protect our island!”.

In Leros a few days ago 60 sans-papiers arrived – originally having arrived on Farmakonisi. Amog them were also small children. They were all detained in the yard of the coast guard and the police station.

see: indymedia 4.9.12

In Rhodos 20-30 people were reported to have arrived in the last days. At the same time their are rumours about the construction of a new detention centre on Kos island.

Samos – detained Syrian refugees on hunger strike since yesterday

35 Syrians who are detained since 9 days on the roof of Samos Port authorities began yesterday a hunger strike including the 6 children among them. until today they were not given any access to the asylum procedure in Greece although some of them are even are already recognized as Palestinian refugees in Syria.
At the same time two Afghan families with 4 children where discovered by chance at the police station of Karlovasi.

Read the Press Release of the Solidarity Group of Samos (in Greek)
press release 1
press release 2

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