Greece, keep refugees inside concentration camps, European Union says

Posted on 5 Ἀπριλίου 2015

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Greece, keep refugees inside concentration camps, European Union says

 
This 2013 video is called “Hellas Hell: Refugees’ hell in Greece“.
Greece plan to release 3,500 illegal immigrants from asylum centres sets it on a collision course with Europe
About 3,500 detainees who will be released from the camps if Greece’s new anti-austerity rulers make good on their promises – to the consternation of both Greeks and the EU
Nsathalie Savaricas
Athens, Sunday 05 April 2015
Inside the barbed wire and fences at the Amygdaleza camp, undocumented migrants of all ages wander around the yard, tending to clothes hanging to dry outside shipping containers.
The Athens detention centre, at the foot of Mount Parnitha’s lush fir forest and a few minutes’ drive from the country’s oldest casino, is among seven migrant centres across Greece. Its occupants are among about 3,500 detainees who will be released from the camps if Greece’s new anti-austerity rulers make good on their promises.
For people like Bilal Hussein, it cannot come too soon. He was held in various detention centres in Greece, including the now notorious Amygdaleza. “It was horrible,” he recalls.
When the 34-year-old was released at the end of last month in the northern town of Xanthi, he was still wearing his summer clothes from the time he was arrested last year. “It was cold but we had nothing to wear, only a T-shirt and trousers – not even socks.”
Mr Hussein fled his home town of Sialkot in Pakistan nine years ago. He had begun a relationship with a woman whose family were outraged that they were not married. His girlfriend was murdered by her own family. He fled and sought sanctuary in Europe. But life in Greece, he said, has been “worse”. He says he watched many inmates die from illnesses because of neglect and the lack of any healthcare at Amygdaleza.
“The [camp] was very dirty. If anyone got sick, no one cared – we’d get beaten up when we asked for a doctor,” he tells The Independent. Other migrants also talk of widespread physical abuse in Greece’s detention centres. For years, Athens has repeatedly been condemned for the treatment of migrants by the European Court of Human Rights.
In its recently published report after visiting Amygdaleza in February, the NGO Médecins du Monde (MDM) lamented the poor living conditions but noted there was no evidence of violence. “It was really the image of a concentration camp,” the head of Greece’s branch of MDM, Nikitas Kanakis, said.
Mr Kanakis, who has been working for MDM for more than 20 years covering all major crises and wars around the world, said the residents at the camp were “neglected, malnourished and living in isolation without even knowing what the future held for them”. He cites as an example the day his NGO visited; it was snowing, yet some immigrants were still wearing the clothes they were wearing when they were arrested last summer – just like Mr Hussein.
Left-wing Syriza swept to power vowing to break with the policies of the past, and wants to free about 20 migrants every day, while ensuring the safe housing of 210 unaccompanied minors who are spread around the country’s camps. The government wants to shut down the camps gradually or transform them into open reception centres. “There is a huge change in our government policy,” Tasia Christodoulopoulou, the Immigration Minister, tells The Independent. “We want to bridge the chasm between safety and freedom.” …
She says her ministry will start freeing foreigners whose only crime is “to have illegally crossed into Greece”.
via:

https://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/2015/04/05/greece-keep-refugees-inside-concentration-camps-european-union-says/

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