Posts Tagged ‘asylum’
Posted by clandestina on 29 March 2010
This is a translation of this filoxenoi.wordpress post. More posts on Petrou Ralli str. Directorate for Foreigners here, here and here.
Many thanks to Olga for her help with this.
The transformations of Petrou Ralli Street, or the search for asylum in Greece
26/03/2010 by filoxenoi
The “department of foreigners” at Petrou Ralli is a reference point of the “glorious” policies of the Greek state in terms of asylum granting, as all those that follow the developments in the field know. It consists of humiliating bureaucracy, indecent treatment, endless waiting hours in queues, no sense of rationality, poor or non-existent medical care, assaults, torture and even murders.
This situation has caused some reactions and resistance. When three refugees were murdered while waiting outside the directorate, refugees and sympathizers gathered and blocked the streets, demonstrated and made the events public. After all this, the ever- efficient people in charge there came up with the solution: to transfer the entrance from Petrou Ralli street to Salamina street - “to better serve” the thousands of people that were gathering to make their applications . With regard to the process and the realities that these people were facing, absolutely nothing changed, apart from the crucial fact that they were now less visible. The Greek police – which, due to another Greek peculiarity, was responsible for the asylum granting – would be able to experiment as much as it wanted on the bodies and souls of the hundreds of refugees that had already started making the now infamous “queue of Salaminias”, hidden from the indiscreet eyes of various “curious” and “unwanted” passers-by.
In any case, one should not forget that those who managed to get to the end of the Salaminias queue all they were granted was a small paper, by which they could claim having an appointment, usually after several months, occasion at which they could file the application and then have their cases examined and decided upon. One should also not forget that “out of 15.928 asylum applications presented to Greece in 2009, only 0,04% were accepted and the refugee status was only granted to 0,06% of the cases”.
Over the last months, the immigration policy of the Greek state including the policies on asylum have being going through a process of restructuring and remodeling. One part of the restructuring, at least at an institutional level, seems to be the the law regarding the granting of Greek citizenship to second generation immigrants and the further sealing of the country’s borders.
Regarding the asylum policies, there have been up to now –always socialist- proclamations for the improvement of the process of asylum granting by assigning it to an independent commission, staffed with experts on immigration and asylum issues, interpreters etc., and with the role of the police regulated to be less important.
In the meantime, the queue has disappeared. Not because there are no people in Greece that need protection from their own countries’ regimes, but because the responsible body refuses to take more applications. In other words, whoever goes to the directorate of foreigners at Petrou Ralli, will leave empty handed, in an absurd story of Kafkaesque inspiration. As easily as that, the modern “hospitable” Greek democracy, the one springing directly out of the basic principles of the ancient Greek civilisation of Xenios Zeus, refuses to accept and register the applications for asylum (the access to which, according to the 1951 Geneva Convention on the legal status of refugees, should be undisturbed and the mere expression of seeking asylum by the refugee should be enough for its registration).
As easily as that, the hospitable Greek democracy condemns hundreds of people to live in fear and to be helpless in the hands of the cops that they will encounter. They even face torture and death with their obligatory return to their countries, from which they fought so hard to escape, since the controls and the expulsions from the country are still going on -despite the fact that the asylum procedures have stopped…
Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Short Reports, Undeclared War news | Tagged: asylum, Athens, legislation & policies, PASOK, Petrou Ralli, police, sans papiers | Leave a Comment »
Posted by clandestina on 22 January 2010
UPDATE JAN 22
After a week of illegal detention at the old detention space of the Elliniko Airport premises, and much pressure at media and the parliament and legal struggle the Iranian refugees were released.
source: athens indymedia
6 Iranian political refugees were transported illegally from the refugee detention center of Samos island to Athens Airport(El Venizelos) where they were in custody until yesterdaypending their illegal deportation.
On Thursday, January 14, 24 people (among them 6 Iranians, 10 Afghans, 1 Palestinian) were transferred from the Samos refugee detention center by boat to Piraeus and then to El. Venizelos airport where they were until yesterday (Friday 15), pending their eventual deportation. They had no information on where they were being transferred.
The 6 Iranians had requested to file asylum applications at the Samos center but their request was rejected by the Samos police. Refugees are entitled to appeal on an appeals committee and must be given a margin of one month to do so. Expulsion in a period less than that is illegal.
The Iranian refugees spent at least one month under imprisonment and incommunicado conditions at the detention center on Samos and they were not informed about their rights.
Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Short Reports, Undeclared War news | Tagged: Afghan Refugees, asylum, Athens Airport, deportations, detention, Iranian refugees, Palestinian immigrants, police, political refugees, refugee camps, Samos | Leave a Comment »
Posted by clandestina on 21 January 2010
These are only fragments of the way Greek government tries to divide and control immigrants through integration carrots for long-residing and zero-tolerance-for-illegals stick.
Franco-Greek immigrant plan
Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis and France’s Minister of Immigration and Integration Eric Besson yesterday sent a joint letter to the Spanish government, which currently holds the European Union’s rotating presidency, proposing an upgrade in the powers of the EU’s border-monitoring agency Frontex to crack down on illegal immigration.
The proposals listed in the letter, sent to Spanish authorities ahead of an informal summit of EU interior ministers due to start in Toledo today, include “closer operational cooperation between Frontex and migrants’ countries of origin and transit countries.” The Franco-Greek initiative also proposes “the examination of the possibility of regular chartered return flights at the expense of Frontex.” [...].
Premier heralds new asylum agency
Prime Minister George Papandreou yesterday heralded the creation of a new independent agency for the processing of thousands of immigrants’ asylum claims during talks with visiting United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.
Papandreou reassured Guterres that the new agency would offer protection to those who need it but stressed that Greek authorities would intensify their crackdown on migrants entering the country illegally for the good of the country and the European Union. “It is certain that the potential of Europe and Greece to receive and integrate [migrants] is limited,” Papandreou said. The prime minister also stressed the importance of the “cooperation of countries bordering the EU… to ensure that those who are really in need are protected while reducing the burden faced by EU member states.” The two men reportedly discussed the role of Turkey in this regard. In a related development yesterday, Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis said that he and his French counterpart Brice Hortefeux would tomorrow unveil a joint initiative aimed at “urging Turkey into respecting the agreements that it has signed.” The premier also briefed Guterres on a government bill, to be submitted in Parliament by next week, that aims to grant citizenship to tens of thousands of migrants living and working legally in Greece and to their children.
Guterres welcomed the news about the bill and the establishment of a new asylum-processing agency, noting that these measures would “secure human rights and social cohesion in Greece.” He added that he understood the need for Greece to conduct tighter border checks but remarked that “migration is a matter of human rights as well as national security protection.”
A working committee – comprising experts from the Citizens’ Protection, Interior and Health ministries, the UNHCR and a string of nongovernmental organizations – yesterday proposed that the separation of migrants meriting refugee status from economic migrants be carried out in special reception centers. These “first stop” centers are to be set up in due course though it is unclear where they will be located.
Apart from the claims for asylum being lodged by new migrants arriving in Greece daily, the new agency has some 44,500 applications that are pending.
Posted in uncategorized | Tagged: asylum, border war, charter flights, EU, FRONTEX, Greece, legislation & control, legislation & policies, ministry of public order (citizen protection), Muslims, refugee camps, Turkey, UN, UNHCR | Leave a Comment »
Posted by clandestina on 23 December 2009
source: human rights watch website
(New York) – Many governments’ policies toward migrants worldwide expose them to human rights abuses including labor exploitation, inadequate access to health care, and prolonged detention in poor, overcrowded conditions, Human Rights Watch said today in advance of International Migrants Day, on December 18, 2009. A 25-page roundup of Human Rights Watch reporting on violations of migrants’ rights this year, “Slow Movement: Protection of Migrants’ Rights in 2009,” includes coverage of China, Cuba, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Calls to Action, Campaigns, Appeals & Petitions, Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research | Tagged: asylum, China, Cuba, detention, Egypt, France, Greece, human rights, Human Rights Watch, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, unaccompanied minors, USA | Leave a Comment »
Posted by clandestina on 21 December 2009
Greece violates EU asylum right
Complaint submitted to the European Commission
On November 11, 2009, PRO ASYL, along with fellow refugee organizations Dutch Council for Refugees, Finnish Refugee Advice Center, and British Refugee and Migrant Justice, filed a complaint with the European Commission against Greece. Twenty other European refugee organizations support the complaint.
PRO ASYL demands that the European Commission immediately initiates an infringement procedure in the European Court of Justice based on Greece’s failure to abide by fundamental European asylum policy. Greece provides for asylum protection within its laws, however it falls short of its legal obligations in practice.
COMPLAINT & REPORT available at NGO complaint against Greece. The report includes many testimonies.
Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research, Calls to Action, Campaigns, Appeals & Petitions, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases | Tagged: asylum, unaccompanied minors, legislation & policies, Dublin Regulation, deportations, immigrant abuse, detention, system of (in)justice, pushbacks, NGO, refoulements | Leave a Comment »
Posted by clandestina on 13 November 2009
Greek asylum procedures are violating EU law, say organisations from across Europe
13 November 2009
Refugee groups from across the EU, including the Refugee Council, have today filed a complaint with the European Commission stating that the Greek asylum system is failing and, as it currently stands, violates EU legislation on the treatment of asylum seekers.
The complaint states that asylum seekers in Greece are detained in overcrowded, dirty prisons or forced to live on the streets where many of them face harassment and violence. Asylum application can only be made on Saturdays at the police station in Athens. Every week thousands of asylum seekers queue up outside the station, yet only a small number are able to make a claim. There is a severe lack of information available about the asylum process, no interpreters and little access to legal aid. A serious shortage of accommodation means men, women and children are being left street homeless. And there is a serious risk that many refugees will end up being sent back either over the border to Turkey or to their home country to face the persecution from which they were fleeing, violating the terms of the 1951 Refugee Convention.
Because of its geographical position, Greece receives a high number of asylum seekers. Each year tens of thousands of asylum seekers arrive in Greece. On top of this, the UK returns refugees who arrive in the UK to Greece without considering their asylum application if it can be shown that they have passed through the country.
Jonathan Ellis, Director of Policy and Development said:
“The situation is untenable. We can no longer stand by while the Greek authorities continue to violate EU law and treat asylum seekers in this way. Until the asylum process is accessible and fair we should halt all returns to Greece immediately. It is unacceptable that anyone should be sent back to Greece while we have such serious concerns for their safety and how they might be treated.
“This is yet another example of why we need a pan-European approach towards those who seek refuge in Europe. European countries need to work together to ensure that each country does its fair share to relieve the pressure on countries close to the borders and ensure that all asylum seekers to the EU are treated fairly and humanely.”
Posted in Calls to Action, Campaigns, Appeals & Petitions, Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases | Tagged: asylum, European Union Commision, Fortress European Union, Greece, legislation & policies, NGOs, pushbacks, sans papiers, Turkey, UK | Leave a Comment »
Posted by clandestina on 12 November 2009
Threats from the University’s administration towards the hunger strikers
On Wednesday morning, Panagiotis Kontos, a high member of the council of the University of Athens, told to the Iranian political refugees who are on hunger strike in Propilaia, that they have decided to give them a week’s deadline to take their stuff and leave from that place. He threatened them that if they don’t leave in one week, they will take measures to kick them out of from the university premises, where it is ASYLUM.
It seems the dean and the other council members use diplomacy when they have to deal with massive occupations, like the recent occupation of the University but when it comes to some common refugees, they show their real face. Obviously, the ultimate struggle of these people for their rights spoils the image of the University.
From their side, the hunger strikers ask for true support from everyone who feels solidarity to them in this fight that they have decided to take to the end, especially now that the continuous hunger strike has wore them down.
HANDS OFF OF THE IRANIAN POLITICAL REFUGEES!
Posted in Action & Struggle Reports, Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Calls to Action, Campaigns, Appeals & Petitions, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Short Reports | Tagged: Athens, asylum, hunger strike, political refugees, Iranian refugees, Athens University, university asylum | Leave a Comment »
Posted by clandestina on 10 November 2009
>>> SOURCE/READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE AT
10 November 2009
RMJ asks UK to stop removing asylum-seekers to Greece, following international complaint to European Commission against Greece
Refugee and Migrant Justice (RMJ) today calls on the UK Government to stop removing asylum-seekers to Greece until conditions there improve.
Fifteen European refugee NGOs, led by Refugee and Migrant Justice and the Dutch Refugee Council, are calling for the Greek Government’s treatment of asylum-seekers to be referred to the European Court of Justice. The complaint will be presented to the European Commission today, 10 November, and will be heard at the end of November 2009.
Many asylum-seekers travel by sea to Greece. The Greek authorities often try to prevent them from entering Greek territory by turning boats back at sea or sometimes puncturing inflatable rafts. Life threatening situations have occurred in the process. When asylum-seekers do make it to Greek territory, many of them are detained upon arrival. Conditions in some of the detention centres are appalling – most of them are warehouses that are severely overcrowded and lack adequate sanitation and cooking facilities.
There is a severe shortage of reception facilities and no specialist social care for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. Many migrants end up sleeping rough where they often experience ill-health.
The Greek authorities make it very difficult for asylum seekers to gain access to the Greek asylum procedures, a clear violation of EC law, as well as international human rights instruments. In 2008 22,100 asylum applications were lodged in Greece, yet less than one per cent of asylum applicants were granted refugee status or other forms of protection, compared with 31 per cent in the UK.
The Greek authorities regularly deport asylum-seekers back to Turkey from where they may be removed to their countries of origin.
Caroline Slocock, Chief Executive of Refugee and Migrant Justice, says
“The inhumane conditions facing asylum-seekers in Greece are a scandal. Greece’s system is not just unfair to asylum seekers, it places unreasonable burdens on other European countries, like the UK, that have more respect for European and international obligations to identify and protect those who fear persecution.. . Many asylum-seekers end up travelling across Europe to France and the UK because they cannot get a fair hearing in Greece. We are appealing to the European Commission to put this right but in the meantime the UK Government should stop returning asylum-seekers to Greece under EU laws, as their safety cannot be guaranteed.”
RMJ has collated witness statements of asylum-seekers who have come to the UK via Greece…
>>> SOURCE/READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE AT
Posted in Calls to Action, Campaigns, Appeals & Petitions, Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Interviews and Testimonies, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research | Tagged: asylum, Greece, NGO, pushbacks, Refugee and Migrant Justice, refugees, sans papiers, system of (in)justice, Turkey, UK, unaccompanied minors | 1 Comment »
Posted by clandestina on 5 November 2009
source: earth times
UN chief hopes Greece’s will address its poor migrant asylum record
Athens – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed hope on Wednesday that Greece will address its poor migrant asylum record in accordance with human rights laws. “I know that all states, including Greece have the right to determine the stay of migrants but I sincerely hope that this will be addressed with the settlement of human rights and laws,” Ban said during 3rd Global Forum on Migration and Development.
“As the host organizer, Greece may have the moral and political responsibility in seeking a settlement of the issues,” Ban told journalists.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research | Tagged: asylum, deportations, legislation & policies, PASOK, sans papiers, UN, unaccompanied minors | Leave a Comment »
Posted by clandestina on 28 October 2009
PUBLIC EVENT, OPEN DISCUSSION IN THESSALONIKI
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 18.30
LAW SCHOOL, 2nd floor, room 211/212 ARISTOTLE UNIVERSITY.
- Karl Kopp, PRO-ASYL, Germany
- Oktay Durukan, HELSINKI CITIZENS’ ASSEMBLY, Turkey
- Vassilis Ladas, lawyer, author, journalist, Patras, Greece
Posted in Events, Group of Immigrants and Refugees / Clandestina Network Texts & Announcements, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases | Tagged: asylum, deportation, detention, legislation & policies, sans papiers, solidarity | 3 Comments »