Tag Archive for '“voluntary return”'

Detention conditions in Greece inhuman and life-threatening – IOM enforces “voluntary return”

In Lesvos island dozens of refugees are detained in the port being exposed to the burning sun while lacking water and food supply. Among them are children and even a 2-month-old baby. +++ In Amigdaleza detention conditions have even worsened since November 2012, said Rebecca Harms from the Green Party after a second visit in June 2013. +++ Meanwhile a young migrant (20-year-old) from Cote d’Ivoire committed suicide in Grevena police station because he didn’t want to be deported to his country.

Meanwhile, KEERFA (ΚΕΕΡΦΑ), the Movement “United against racism and the fascist threat” denounces that Greek authorities and IOM use “Gestapo like torture methods” to force refugees and migrants detained in Amigdaleza to “voluntarily” return.

First they are detained for many months without knowing when they might be released, then they are being pulled by force to the airport. A woman employee from IOM escorts them who threatens that if they don’t accept to sign the voluntary return they will wear them head covering masks and bring them by force to the airport. IOM employees enter detention centers to collect signatures for voluntary return in co-operation with some embassies such as the one from Pakistan.
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864 returns of migrants in April 2013 / 9.553 since August 2012

Another 864 migrants were returned to their home countries in April 2013. Since August 2012 a total of 9.553 were returned either forced or “voluntarily”.

I April 410 were deported (Albanian 97, Pakistani 92, Algerian 51, Iraqi 23, Egyptian 20, Georgian 18, Chinese 12, Moroccan 9 and 8 from Bangladesh) and 454 returned “voluntarily” with the support of IOM.

May 2nd 2013 / press release by the greek police (in greek)

815 Returns (deportations and “voluntary”) in March

From August 2012 until beginning of April 2013 a total of 8.689 migrants from different countries returned to their home countries. Only in March the number reached 815 persons among which 379 were deported (Albanian 99, Pakistani 81, Iraqi 40, Algerian 34, Rumanian 16 and 13 from Bangladesh) and 436 returned “voluntarily” with the support of IOM. These returns are funded by the European Return Fund and the Greek government.

April 2nd, 2013 / press release greek police (in greek)

New Detention centres to arrive before elections, says Citizen Protection Minister

Civil Protection Minister Michalis Chrysohoidis said detention centres for undocumented immigrants will begin to operate before the general election.

Chrysohoidis, who met on Monday, with the heads of immigrant organizations in Greece and IOM, said the first of some 30 centres would open in greater Athens, scrapping earlier plans to start the campaign near the northern city Kozani. The meeting with some representatives of migrant communities, government officials and IOM was organised in order to motivate the migrant communities representatives to spread the idea of voluntary return among their co-nationals and to talk about the governments plans of the new detention centres.

“We have a commitment to start operating these closed-hospitality centres, and we will keep to that commitment,” the minister said. “The first centre will operate before the general election in greater Athens, and it will act as a model to show Greek citizens that these facilities are safe for the public and will operate to high standards of health and hygiene.”

The government has met strong resistance from regional authorities around the country to scrap or delay plans to open detention centres, and switch plans to concentrate on sites near Athens as a priority.

Residents at Menidi, north of the capital, however, are also protesting against a proposed site at nearby Amygdaleza and set up roadblocks in the area last week to try and stop construction work.

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