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shocking but not surprising report about refugees in Greece,

issued by Pro Asyl – on 12 April 2012

WALLS OF SHAME

the CONTENT :

1. MAIN FINDINGS 3
1.1. Methodologie and scope 4
2. EVROS IN THE CONTEXT OF GREEK & EUROPEAN MIGRATION (2010-2011) .. 5
2.1. The Greek asylum reform: Where are the improvements? 5
2.2 The humanitarian crisis in Evros and the military response 6
2.3 Evros today 8

2.4 The European Hypocrisy 10
2.5 Conclusion 10
3. EVROS ……………………………………………………………. 11
4. REFOULEMENT, RE ADMISSIONS AND DEPORTATIONS  14
4.1. The Readmission Agreement between Greece and Turkey 15
4.2.1. Readmission of vulnerable persons 17
4.2.2. Readmission of asylum seekers 18
5. REGISTRATION AND SCREENING: A WHEEL OF MISFORTUNE  21
6. DETENTION AND DETENTION CENTRES ……………. 26
6.1. Detention 26
6.2. Detention of asylum seekers 28
6.3. Detention conditions 29
6.3.1. Tychero borderguard station 30
6.3.2. Feres borderguard station 31
6.3.3. Soufli borderguard station 32
6.3.4. Fylakio detention centre 35
6.4. Recent changes in detention practice 37
6.5. Other detention centres: the example of Venna 39
7. HEALTH ………………………………………………………….. 40
7.1. Detention causes sickness 41
7.2. Ineffective screening at arrival 41
7.3. Insufficient number of specialized medical staff, inadequate medical infrastructure, inefficient medication and lack of co-ordination on the part of the authorities 42
7.4. Access and communication with doctors 42
7.5. Inadequate response to health emergencies 44
7.6. Lack of psychlogical care and support 45
7.7. Treatment of vulnerable groups 46
7.8. Lack of medical information and access to medical
attestation 47
8. LACK OF LEGAL SAFEGUARDS …………………………. 48
8.1. Lack of information 48

In Evros, as well as in Rhodopi region, detainees are not provided with any information regarding the reason and duration of their detention, the possibility of their readmission or deportation, or about the legal remedies against detention and deportation. They are neither informed about their legal status, nor about their right to seek international protection, the details of the asylum procedure.
They do not know if they are pending readmission to Turkey, nor which nationality they have been assigned. When a detainee is taken out of the cell, he/she is not
informed whether he/she will be brought to another detention centre, readmitted or deported, or taken to the asylum registration. »Actually, detention here is a form of torture. I will tell you some examples: First of all, we have no access to the outside world, meaning we do not have any newspapers, radio or TV. We don’t know what is going on outside. We are deprived of our right to information.
For example, some inmates from Syria need to know what is going on in their country, because there is conflict and they left their families back there. In order to know if they are alive, they have to call home which they are often not
allowed to do. This is inhumane! Another form of deprivation of the right to information concerns ourselves. We need to know what is going to happen to us and what our legal status is. All the papers here are in Greek language. I have
once signed a paper that I could not understand. When I wanted to resist and not sign it, the officers in Tychero threatened to beat us. I still don’t know what I signed. Some Syrians had also signed a paper they could not understand, and then they were deported. Besides, the police never inform us where they are bringing us and what for – only in the very last second when pulling us out of the cell. When they wanted to bring me to Alexandroupolis for the registration of my asylum claim, they just came without any announcement early in the morning at 6 o’clock and pulled me out of the cell. They woke me up, insulted me and put handcuffs on my hands. I thought they are going to deport me. I repeatedly asked where they were bringing me, but nobody replied. I was brought to Feres where I had to wait for three hours outside in the cold for the transfer to Alexandroupolis – only then an officer told me where they were bringing me. The second time, when I was going to be transferred from Tychero to Feres again, I was not informed in advance, so I was not able to collect all my personal belongings. When they came for me, I was playing chess with other inmates. The police shouted my name and ›baggage, baggage‹. Outside, they told me that they were bringing me to Feres.«
 

8.2. Access to the outside world 49
8.3. Interpreters
8.4. The right to have a lawyer and obstacles to legal aid 49
8.4.1. Ineffective access to lawyers 49
8.4.2. Lack of legal aid 50
8.4.3. Legal aid provided by NGOs 50
8.4.4. Access to the files 51
8.4.5. Lack of a proper place to meet with the lawyers 51
8.4.6. Arbitrary denial of registration of documents 51
8.5. Lack of safeguards against deportation 52
8.6. Lack of legal remedies against detention 52
8.6.1. Case law of Administrative Court of Alexandroupolis
– ineffective judical review 53
9. ASYLUM AND THE ASYLUM PROCEDURE IN DETENTION  56
9.1. Access to asylum and risk of refoulement 56
9.2 Lack of guarantees in the asylum procedure
in detention 60
9.2.1. First interview 60
9.2.2. Lost documents or other personal items, denial to accept submitted documents
in foreign language and no translation mechanism for documents 61
9.3 Decicions and appeals 61
9.4 Withdrawal from asylum procedure 62
9.5 Upon release: Lack of reception facilities – effects on the asylum procedure 63
10. MINORS ………………………………………………………….. 66
10.1 Detention conditions 66
10.2 Duration of detention 69
10.3 Inappropriate guardianship 69
10.4 Wrong registration and screening 69
10.5 After release 74
11. VIOLENCE .………………………………………………………. 75
11.1 Ill-treatment by the police 75
11.2 Sexuell harassment 79
11.3 Lack of safeguards against violence 80
12. HUNGER STRIKES ……………………………………………. 81
13. LOST AND DEAD AT THE BORDERS …………………… 87
13.1. Survivors in detention 87
13.2. Death at the border 88
14. ATTACHMENTS ……………………………………………….. 93

read the full report here