clandestina

Migration and Struggle in Greece

Posts Tagged ‘torture’

Solidarity with immigrant street vendors in Athens!

Posted by clandestina on 3 February 2010

FINANCIAL SUPPORT FEAST FRIDAY, February 5, 2010, ASOEE (Economic Univ., Patision str.), 9 pm SOLIDARITY GATHERING, Monday, 8 February 2010, EVELPIDON STREET COURTS, ATHENS 10 a.m.

Immigrants text:

Immigrants,

we invite you to support en masse our action and show your solidarity.

We call all those who feel that this is of their interest,

Every day we immigrants vendors, we get arrested and beaten and imprisoned for doing “illegal trade”

We’re on the road and we need to sell things.

We want a better life.

We want to work and make a living free and out of the sweat of our hands,

Let us unite for the common goal: solidarity and mutual aid among immigrants.

Immigrants

:::::::

The text of people in solidarity

In the center of Athens and Piraeus, the political and municipal authority, all kinds of cops, media and “indignant” shopkeepers engage everyone diffuse manhunts against immigrants.

On December 30, 2009, ca. fifty cops persecuted immigrants in the streets around Ermou street. They pushed around and beat savagely four of them.  One was taken to hospital and after his return to the infamous Acropolis police station he was beaten up again. Yet, it was the immigrants who were accused of “resistance to authority, disobedience and property damage”. The trial was postponed for February 8, 2010. One of them is still detained for not having “papers”.

The fury of racist cops, the beatings, the tortures and even the murders of immigrants are not “single / isolated incidents”.

It is an integral part of the daily and extensive structural violence against immigrants from the ones in power, cops and judges.

Solidarity, dignity and resistance pave the road for common struggles.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT FEAST  FRIDAY, February 5, 2010, ASOEE (Economic Univ., Patision str.), 9 pm

SOLIDARITY GATHERING, Monday, 8 February 2010, EVELPIDON STREET COURTS, ATHENS 10 a.m.

::::

{for background see these posts:

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New case of severe immigrant abuse by cops of the Acropolis Police Station

Posted by clandestina on 2 January 2010

sources: athens indymedia, tvxs.gr

A Chillean immigrant detained was severely beaten on New Year’s Eve by personnel of various police forces at the infamous Acropolis police station.   His injuries were so serious that he was transferred to hospital – he is stille there in critical condtiion.  The immigrant had been arrested a week ago allegedly for having attacked someone with an iron bar.  Since he had no documents, he was detained and to be deported.

5 cops have been arrested for the case – which is a very very rare if not unprecedented thing.   Apart from torturing the detainee, in order to cover up their own action they prepared a file of proceedings with the false accusation that the 30-year-old had attempted to escape.

The minister of citizen protection released a sensational pledge that he is not going to put up with this kind of violence.

see also: http://libcom.org/news/torture-under-acropolis-03012010

updates (from comments on the article linked above): Two out of the five policemen charged for not stopping their colleagues torturing the immigrant were set free on January 5.
The rest appeared to the prosecutor on Thursday.

According to the testimony of the two officers they did not intervene when they “saw the arrested man handcuffed and two policemen kicking him punching him and beating him with a plastic glob in various parts of his body” as they “found nothing reprehensible in all these”. The three men directly accused of the torture testified to the interrogator today, without the script of their testimony been made public to this moment.   One policeman finally was imprisoned pending trial after giving testimony.

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Νew allegations of abuse against detained immigrant at the Omonoia Police Station

Posted by clandestina on 23 November 2009

source/adopted from: Athens Indymedia, a communique by the Network of Support to Immigrants and Refugees

Νew allegations of torture against detained immigrant at the Omonoia police station

[...] On Friday 20 November, immigrant detainee Bin Taher Mohammed collapsed at the Athens courts.  His condition was such that he was immidiately driven by ambulance to the hospital. As reported by his fellow detainees (and later confirmed by himself), Mohammed Bin Taher had been savagely beaten by police personnel at the  Omonoia Police Station. These complaints were forwrded to lawyer Gianna Kurtovik who visited the detainee on Saturday, November 21 at the  same Police Station, where he had been tranferred again.

This new complaint of torture against immigrants adds to a long series of abuse incidents at the Omonoia Police Station.  We all recall the famous video that showed police officers  tormenting detained immigrants.  But apart from physical violence, the very conditions of detention there constitute torture.  About 70 people are crammed for up to 4 months into detention cells which at best could accomodate 1 / 3 of them, with no yard to go outdoors. [...]

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Both the Pagani 17-year-old refugee abuse case AND Mohammad Kamran’s death case considered “cold cases”.

Posted by clandestina on 13 November 2009

This a translation of this Nov 11, Avgi article, about this recent case of immigrant abuse in Pagani and the legal developments on Kamran Atif’s death .  Thanks to Efi for her work.

stapsa for clandestinenglish

The assault on the 17-year- old refugee is a “cold case”.

The assault on the 17-year-old refugee Mr. Mohamed Hussein Khantar by police guards in the Pagani refugee camp last October is considered a “cold case”. The same applies for the case of the death of the Pakistani immigrant Mohamed Kamran- who had been allegedly tortured in the police department of Nikea in Athens

According to newspaper Avgi’s sources, during the preliminary investigations conducted with regards to the assault case, Mytilene’s state attorney could not find sufficient evidence leading to possible prosecutions of police guards in the Pagani refugee camp. Thus, the case is considered cold, and all preliminary investigations regarding police officials are going to be archived.

The manner in which the case is concluded, confirms the fears of various bodies and organizations that an abuse case would be covered- up by the police forces. It is claimed that witnesses in the Pagani camp were offered “pink cards” in return for their silence, and were sent to Athens, where it is impossible to be traced.

Moreover, questions arise with regards to the contradictory conclusions after Mr. Khantar’s examination. According to his attending physician’s statement, injuries and traumatic lesions were found on his head, back area and hands; however, the medical examiner concluded that his injuries were older than the day of the alleged police assault.

The police assault has allegedly taken place in the afternoon of October 22nd, in the Pagani refugee camp, just a few hours after Mr. Spyros Vougias, who is the undersecretary of the Ministry of Citizen Protection, visited the camp. After the event was made public, the Ministry of Citizen Protection ordered a preliminary investigation of the case, which was conducted by Mytilene’s state attorney.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has made an announcement, pleading for an in-depth investigation of the case and a subsequent prosecution of the people involved. The Greek political party SYRIZA is planning to bring the topic in parliamentary discussion.

Kamran’s case

With regards to Mohamed Kamran’s case, leaked information from the Ministry of Citizen Protection reveal that toxicology tests show Kamran intoxicated; according to the same leak, the post mortem toxicology investigation found Kamran using alcohol and other substances before his death.

However, Mr. Fragiskos Ragoussis, Kamran family’s attorney stated that there are no official toxicology test results yet, and that in any case his clients are going to ask for a test re-run, since according to the Greek law the family has the right to appoint an external medical examiner during the autopsy.

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Palestinian minors and other refugees tortured in Greece

Posted by clandestina on 28 October 2009

A long report on the situation by The Palestine Telegraph

SOS Palestinian minors and other refugees tortured in Greece – 5 women 3 children drowned in Aegean

Greece, October 27, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) -

49-2-thumb-small

The photo is from the 17 year old Palestinian victim (from "Eleytherotypia" newspaper)

A 17 year old Palestinian has accused his guards of brutally beating him, in the Pagani “detention center” for immigrants without papers, in the island of Lesvos, close to Turkey. The incident happened just a few hours after the vice minister of the newly named “Ministry of Protection of the citizens” has visited the place and expressed his indignation over the living conditions of hundreds of immigrants stuffed in an old depot transformed to a nasty prison. The vice-minister left, the newspapers wrote articles about how much the new “socialist” government cares about human rights, and the policemen punished the immigrants and refugees that dared to denounce their ill treatment to the vice-minister by torturing them even more!

Read the rest of this entry »

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Events is Nikaia, Athens, following the demonstration in memory ofMohamed Karman Atif and against state murders

Posted by clandestina on 19 October 2009

All texts copied below from libcom.org, submitted by taxiki pali.

More updates and photos at http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/

Athens anti-torture demo leads to clashes and occupation of city hall

The city hall of Nikea, an industrial and prominently communist suburb of Athens, is under occupation since Saturday 17/10 afternoon by anarchists demanding the release of people arrested during clashes with riot police outside the police department where a Pakistani immigrant, Mohamed Karman Atif, was tortured by beating and electric shocks ileading to his death last week

The demo, organised by several anarchist collectives, marched to the police station, where it was confronted by strong riot police forces. The protesters tried to break through the blockade by throwing stones to the police. In the clashes that ensued several people were detained, out of which some are being reported as arrested and charged.

The protesters then regathered and occupied the city hall in a surprise move. The mayor of the suburb, a Communist Party (KKE) cadre, has visited the occupied city hall and has declared that the police should by no means attempt to evacuate the 300 protesters who remain in it, nor arrest anyone leaving the premises.

What follows is the first communique of the occupied city hall:

Communique of the Occupied City Hall of Nikea
400 protesters gathered today October 17 in the streets of Nikea in a march of rage against the recent assassination of the 25 year old pakistani immigrant Mohamed Karman Atif by torture in the police station of Nikea, a march called by anarchist collectives and a local assembly of the area. We crossed the main streets of the area, from the house of the murdered man and moved towards the police station. Strong riot police forces (MAT) and motorised police forces (Z-team) that “accompanied the demo have proved the official stance of the now Socialist Ministry of Public Order (Ministry of Citizens Protection): whitewashing and protecting torturers murderers, the police occupation of the area. All that was happening will continue as normal: beatings, torture, humiliations in all the police stations of the country. During the protest march there was strong rain. But what rained near the police station of Nikea was not just water drops. The riot police brigade blocking the way to the police station received a rain of stones. The organised continuation of the march and the retreat from the hot-spot was hampered by a combined force of riot policemen at the back and on the sides of the march. Our defenses held, while locals from the sidewalks swore and verbally attacked the police army of occupation. Yet, in a cloud of tear gas and glob attacks some got cut off from the march and as a result they were detained. The march was completed in the location perivolaki, as planned and given the detentions a great number of the protesters moved to occupy the city hall demanding the immediate release of the hostage comrades. Some people who decided to leave were stopped by motorised police forces and were also detained. The exact number of detentions is yet not known, but is certainly double-digit. The process of arrest has already started for some. This is the apex of the new state dogma of “democracy and strength” as announced by the new minster of Public Order Michalis Chrisochoidis against the world of the insurgency and anyone potentially resisting. It is like two days ago during the demo of the Perama shipyard workers and unemployed at the Ministry of Labour. It is like the now police-occupied Exarcheia. It is like the recent persecutions of high-school occupations. It will be the same with the dockworkers of Peiraeus who are against the sell-out to COSCO, or the 1,400 workers of the Skaramangas shipyards threatened to be sacked.Police barbarity is only the repressive side of state-capitalist barbarity: oppression, exploitation, subjugation, death. The new political management’s main role is to manage the social dimension of the crisis of our times: the all-expanding disobedience to and clash with the demands of political and economic power. There is no place for illusions. No change will come from no new government. This has always been the case.State terrorism continues and with it continues the struggle for social and individual liberation, for a free world without power.

Immediate release of detained protesters!
Removal of all accusations against them!
Immediate retreat of all police forces from the neighborhoods of Nikea and from around the city hall!
The assembly of the occupied city hall of Nikea.

An update:

5 out of the 8 arrested protesters who were led to the courts today are being charged under the “anti-hood” law of the previous government which transforms any breach of the law into a criminal offence if the court accepts that the protesters were wearing hoods or covering their faces. This means that any breach of the law “under a hood” can be punished by maximum 10 years imprisonment. Given that many anarchists in greece wear hoods as a symbol of their ideology this is considered to be a re-activation of the 1930s “idionimo” which imprisoned and exiled people of communist convictions. The parody of justice is even more apparent by the fact that in the day of the march it was raining, so penalising wearing a hood is more or less a conviction to illness or a prohibition of protest in winter conditions.

It is the first time that the onerous anti-hood law is being applied.

As a result, the occupation of the Nikea city hall holds strong.
It must be noted that bourgeois media have imposed a total black-out on the events, pointing out that the Minister of Public Order, who was decorated by the CIA in 2003 for his anti-guerrilla operations, has activated his old methods of “media guidelines”, i.e. censorship on issues of human rights and civil order that might be harmful to the government.

Workers support city hall occupation in Nikea

The municipal workers association of Nikea stand in solidarity with anarchists occupying the city hall since Saturday.

As the occupation of the city hall of Nikea enters its third day, the support of locals so visual during the protest march regarding the police torture and death of Mohamed Karman Atif, which led to serious clashes with the police and 8 arrests last Saturday 17/10, has been expressed in a communique by the municipal worker’s association of Nikea.

Communique of Workers Association of the municipality of Nikea about murder–detentions-occupation

Nikea City Hall is occupied by anarchist groups from the afternoon of Saturday after a protest, for the death of the unfortunate Pakistani immigrant that took place in the Police Station of Nikea.

The Workers Association demands that the forces of repression leave from within the boundaries of the historic City of Nikea. The occupation of the City Hall by the protesters is a political act, and the attempt to criminalise it is unacceptable and undemocratic.

The workers of Kokkinia [red neighborhood] disapprove strongly the attack of the forces of repression against the demonstrators and the mindless use of chemical gasses in a densely populated area. The police rule imposed cannot intimidate protesters and workers.

We demand the immediate clarification of the case of the death of our fellow human being, the immigrant. We call the Minister of Protection of Citizens [Minister of Public Order] to deal himself with this dark case and not attempt to conceal or whitewash this tragic case.

The Association of Workers protests strongly against xenophobia and racism that extreme-right centers and para-centers are trying to impose on Greek society.

WE DEMAND

-THE REPRESSION FORCES NOT TO RAID THE NIKEA CITY HALL.

-THE IMMEDIATE WITHDRAWAL OF THE POLICE FORCES FROM WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THE CITY OF NIKEA.

-THE CLARIFICATION OF THE CASE OF THE DEATH OF THE PAKISTANI IMMIGRANT.

-THE DEMOCRATIZATION OF GREEK POLICE AND THE FIRING OF EXTREME-RIGHT ELEMENTS IN ITS RANKS.

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Tied and beaten: “humanitarian treatment” of refugees by police in Pharmakonisi

Posted by clandestina on 14 October 2009

Photos taken this summer at Pharmakonisi, Aegean, published at Athens Indymedia by Syspeirosi Anarchikon.

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Human Rights Watch on Greece: Unsafe and Unwelcoming Shores

Posted by clandestina on 14 October 2009

http://www.hrw.org,

http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/10/09/greece-unsafe-and-unwelcoming-shores,

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

Greece: Unsafe and Unwelcoming Shores

October 12, 2009

Between August and September 2009, Human Rights Watch interviewed 16 migrants who had been arrested on Samos, Symi, and Chios Islands, and the port towns of Patras and Igoumenitsa. The Greek authorities transferred them to detention centers close to the land border with Turkey and held them in the border police stations of Soufli, Tichero, and Feres, as well as in the Venna and Fylakio-Kyprinou (Fylakio) detention facilities. Two detained migrants described to us how Greek police forcibly pushed them across the river into Turkey from where Turkish authorities sent them back to Afghanistan.

One of them is a 17-year-old unaccompanied Afghan boy who told us over the phone that he was arrested on Symi Island, transferred to Fylakio detention center, and expelled with 11 other persons to Turkey:

We were one group of 12 persons they took out [from the detention center]. They drove us in a car…. for maybe one and a half hours. We arrived in the forest around 9 p.m.; they kept us there until midnight…. They told us not to move, otherwise the Turkish police would find us. It was [next to] a small river…. This side was Greece, the other side was Turkey.

The boat was a metal boat, a long metal boat. Inside the boat there was one policeman; he started the engine and after we arrived to the other side he told us to get out quickly and the boat went straight back. When the [Turkish] police arrived two of us explained what happened. The Turkish police came back to that place with us and said we should sit and that more persons might be coming. But the Greek police didn’t send more people.

We were for 12 days in [Turkish] detention. They beat me too much….  When the Turkish police beat me they said I should call my family to send me money to return to Afghanistan. I asked them not to send me back to Afghanistan, because I had problems. I asked them to keep me. But they didn’t care.

Near our house are Taliban; they are close…. I’m scared all the time. I’m a tenth grade student but I can’t go to school.[1]

The other person pushed back told us he was arrested on Samos Island, transferred to Fylakio detention center, expelled in a group of 45 or 50 persons, arrested by Turkish police, and taken to a detention center in Edirne: “I stayed for one week in Edirne. There were a lot of persons who had been deported from Greece. There were Afghans, Pakistanis, and Sri Lankans.”[2] Human Rights Watch visited that detention center in 2008 and found conditions there to be inhuman and degrading.[3]

Another eight people said they witnessed Greek police taking migrants out of detention centers at nightfall in trucks or vans. Four of them told us that those taken from the detention centers later got in touch with detainees who stayed behind and told them that the Greek police had expelled them. One Afghan boy who was arrested on Symi Island described the scene he witnessed from his cell at Fylakio detention center:

Forty three persons were taken away from my group [of 91 persons]. One Iraqi had a friend among those [taken away]. He called Iraq from the detention center, and that friend said he had been deported. That Iraqi was part of our group. We were all in the same cell.

First [Greek police] asked them to sign something. … it was around the evening time, around 6 p.m. maybe. Then they searched them… the police took away everything they had: toothpaste, papers written in Greek, they took it from their pockets… After that they were taken into a truck without windows. It was completely closed, an army-colored truck. People entered from the back. I saw the truck with my own eyes and I saw how people entered.

Each time a new group [of detainees] arrived the truck came…. 67 persons arrived in one group and they took away 57 persons from that group….  Six or seven times new groups arrived…. For a small group the white van came, for a big group the truck came.[4]

Another person told us he had been arrested in Patras ahead of the authorities’ destruction of a large makeshift camp and then transferred with a group of 120 persons to Fylakio detention center. He told us that four of his friends had been deported from there: “They asked us, ‘Do you have relatives or friends?’ I said I had an uncle. Four friends of mine said they didn’t have family and they were deported. One of them called my friend and told him he was in Afghanistan…. They deported them after about two weeks. They were taken away in a small white car.”[5]

Greece’s Dysfunctional Asylum System

Greece effectively has no asylum system. It recognizes as few as 0.05 percent of asylum seekers as refugees at their first interview. A law adopted in July abolished ameaningful appeals procedure. The effect of the new law is that a person who is in need of international protection as a refugee in Greece is almost certain to be refused asylum at the first instance, and having been refused has little chance of obtaining it on appeal. The new law leaves asylum seekers with no remedy against risk of removal to inhuman or degrading treatment, as required by article 39 of the EU’s procedures directive and articles 13 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. As a result of this legislative change, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) withdrew from any formal role in Greece’s asylum procedure.

Many of those we interviewed said they did not want to apply for asylum in Greece because they had heard that Greece rejects everyone. Some believed mistakenly that they could apply for asylum in other European countries. Access to legal counsel or interpreters is virtually impossible in detention centers in the north and those in need of protection may be unable to access asylum procedures. An Afghan detainee held in Soufli border police station, for example, was informed about her rights in English, a language she does not understand.

Apart from sporadic visits by a lawyer from the Greek Council for Refugees operating under a government agreement, no lawyers or organizations offer pro-bono legal aid in Greece’s northern region. Athens-based lawyers who offer pro-bono legal aid told us they are not able to access and speak to detainees in the north unless they present to authorities the names of persons detained. Even when they have the names of detainees, police in the Evros border region might ask them to obtain an additional permit from central police authorities to see persons detained; or police may not respond to their query whether a certain detainee is still held there. Conversations between lawyers and detainees furthermore are rarely confidential and lawyers said that police interrupted their talks and asked them to finish their conversations with detainees.[6]

Even those with access to legal aid and wanting to apply for asylum are not necessarily able to access the minimal procedures that do exist. According to the Greek Council for Refugees, on July 30, Greek police handed over 40 Turkish citizens, among them 18 asylum seekers, including four unaccompanied children, to their Turkish counterparts under a bilateral readmission agreement. Police on Crete, where the group initially arrived, refused to receive their asylum applications despite interventions by local lawyers. The asylum seekers were deported even though the Greek Council for Refugees intervened with the responsible Ministry.[7] In addition, on July 17, Human Rights Watch saw more than 1,000 asylum seekers lined up all night at Athens’ main police station trying to file asylum claims, largely in vain.

Greece is bound by the international legal principle of non-refoulement not to expel or return a person to a place where he or she would face persecution, torture, or inhuman or degrading treatment. This obligation applies not only to direct returns into the hands of persecutors or torturers, but also to indirect returns to countries from which persons are subsequently sent to a state where they face such threats. The circumstances of what constitutes inhuman or degrading treatment for an unaccompanied child may differ significantly from that of adults and Greece is obliged to take “measures and precautions” against such treatment when returning a child.[8]

Inhuman and Degrading Detention Conditions

Greece is also bound under European and international law to protect migrants from inhuman and degrading treatment while in Greece.  Persons held in detention centers in the north described to us conditions that would violate these obligations. Furthermore, unaccompanied children were detained jointly with adults across detention centers in the north, itself a violation of binding international standards.

People detained at the Soufli border police station, for example, told us that two detainees have to share one dirty mattress and that they are never allowed to go outside. One detainee, a 16-year-old girl in the company of her husband, told us that she felt constantly intimidated in a cell with more than 20 adult men.[9] People detained at Tichero border police station told us they slept on dirty mattresses or on the floor without blankets, and that the bathroom was filthy, with an unbearable smell.[10] Those held in the Venna detention facility said the place was infested with cockroaches and mice, and they complained about a lack of enough warm clothing. Those detained included a disabled man who had lost one arm and could not fully use his other arm but was subjected to the same regime. With the exception of Fylakio detention center, the conditions were compounded by a lack of access to medical care. Except for those held at Venna, those interviewed said they received only two meals per day, which they said was insufficient.

Detainees held at Fylakio detention facility spoke of comparatively better, albeit overcrowded, detention conditions. All persons who had been held there, however, said they experienced or witnessed violence and ill-treatment by guards. Two described an incident in which guards allegedly beat up an Arabic-speaking detainee after he tried to escape.

I saw an Arab who tried to escape. Police caught him and beat him up badly. They took him to the telephone room and covered the window with black plastic. Afterward I went to make a phone call and saw that guy with blood on his head and in handcuffs.[11]

Police also allegedly used violence when intervening in fights among detainees or to punish those who did not stay quiet at night:

I saw once with my own eyes that three policemen beat one person. They beat him in the corridor because he quarreled [with others]. They beat him for a short time with batons, with their hands, and they also kicked him.[12]

We received additional allegations of police violence from persons detained at Tichero and Feres border police stations, and from a person held at an unknown location near Komotini.[13]

Several persons interviewed said it was forbidden to make phone calls from Soufli and Tichero border police stations. One detainee at Soufli told us: “One detainee said if you have a lawyer you might get released but we don’t have a telephone so how can we contact our family to get us a lawyer?”[14] Another person said that although detainees held at Fylakio detention centers were permitted to make phone calls on Mondays and Thursdays, no calls were allowed during the first ten days.[15]

Asked whether they tried to file a complaint, one detainee told us: “I never complained to anybody. We didn’t complain. It wouldn’t have helped if we’d said anything. The captain would have told us to stay quiet.”[16] Although the police chief in charge of the Fylakio detention facility assured us he would investigate any allegation of ill-treatment brought forward by detainees, he added that he has never received any complaints.[17]

The EU’s Failure to Hold Greece Accountable

Human Rights Watch has repeatedly called on the European Union to hold Greece accountable for its violation of European asylum standards, including while recent arrests and transfers were still ongoing. Yet, despite having a mandate and a duty to enforce member states’ implementation of EU legislation, the European Commission  has not spoken out against Greece’s effective abolition of the right to seek asylum or to appeal rejected asylum claims, or its abusive detention and expulsions of migrants, including children. In fact, Jacques Barrot, vice-president of the European Commission responsible for justice, freedom, and security, was on an official visit to Greece when the new presidential decree was published that effectively eliminated the appeals procedure in violation of binding EU standards.

The European Commission’s failure to call publicly for Greece to remedy these serious violations of EU standards and European and international human rights and refugee law sends a worrying signal that abuses may go unchecked. It is vitally important for the Commission to take the opportunity of a new administration in Athens to press in the strongest terms for immediate and fundamental reform of Greece’s asylum system, meaningful access to protection, and an end to abuse.

The Commission should without delay issue a reasoned opinion on Greece’s current breaches of EU standards on asylum and migration, identifying the steps needed to bring Greece back into conformity with EU and human rights law. It should also make clear to Athens that unless the new government takes those steps, the Commission will refer its failure to uphold EU standards to the European Court of Justice.

In two reports published in 2008, Human Rights Watch further called on European governments to stop sending migrants and asylum seekers, including unaccompanied children, back to Greece under the Dublin II regulations. We concluded that Greece violated both EU standards and international human rights law by holding migrants in unacceptable detention conditions, by preventing persons in need of protection from seeking asylum, and by failing to protect unaccompanied migrant children.

Under the European Union’s Dublin II regulations, the country where a person first entered the EU is generally held responsible for examining that person’s asylum claim, whether or not the person applied there. While the Dublin II regulations are premised on the notion that all EU member states have comparable asylum and migration practices, there are wide disparities, with some countries like Greece effectively offering no protection at all. This disparity underscores the importance of reforming the Dublin system while at the same time ensuring that EU member states are held to account for their failure to respect their obligations under EU law.  Only then can the EU take meaningful steps toward creating a common European asylum system.

New Greek Government Should Take Urgent Action to Stop Abuses

Human Rights Watch calls on the new government in Greece to take urgent steps to end abuses against refugees and migrants, including children. We reiterate the recommendations we made to the-then Minister of Interior in August:

Issue a public statement committing the government to treating migrants apprehended in Greek territory in a humane and dignified manner. Guarantee all migrants unhindered access to the asylum procedure and protection from refoulement.

Immediately ensure that the practice of illegal expulsion across the Evros River be stopped; carry out an investigation leading to identification and levying of appropriate sanctions of officials involved in such illegal acts.

Rescind Presidential Decree 81/2009, create a functioning asylum system in which trained staff assess asylum claims on the basis of confidential and private interviews, and allow for a fair and independent review of appeals.

Refrain from detaining unaccompanied migrant children and from summarily deporting them without prior assessment of the risks they face upon return. Create sufficient number of care places for all unaccompanied migrant children in Greece. Consider the granting of temporary residence for unaccompanied children on humanitarian grounds, as provided for in article 44(c) of Law 3386/2005, to protect them from repeated arrest and detention until a durable solution in their best interests is found.

Close substandard detention centers and open new facilities ensuring adequate space, cleanliness, recreation, access to health care, and legal and family visitation necessary for humane conditions of detention. Migrants should only be detained as a last resort, when actual proceedings for their deportation are ongoing, and when it is the only method necessary to secure persons’ lawful deportation, and when the necessity of detaining them is subject to regular review, including by the judiciary. Asylum seekers should not be detained.

Ensure full access for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Human Rights Watch, and other reputable organizations to all migration detention facilities, Coast Guard vessels and facilities, and to entry and border points and the border region.

[1] Human Rights Watch telephone interview (S-15-09), September 28, 2009. (name withheld)

[2] Human Rights Watch telephone interview (S-16-09), September 29, 2009. (name withheld)

[3] Human Rights Watch, Greece/Turkey: Stuck in a Revolving Door: Iraqis and Other Asylum Seekers and Migrants at the Greece/Turkey Entrance to the European Union, November 2008, ISBN 1-56432-411-7, http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2008/11/26/stuck-revolving-door-0, p.6.

[4] Human Rights Watch interview (S-3-09), September 8, 2009. (name and place withheld)

[5] Human Rights Watch interview (S-5-09), September 8, 2009. (name and place withheld)

[6] Human Rights Watch interview with Marianna Tzeferakou and Danai Angeli, Athens, September 6, 2009.

[7] Email correspondence from Greek Council of Refugees to Human Rights Watch, August 21, 2008.

[8] Mubilanzila Mayeka and Kaniki Mitunga v. Belgium, (Application no. 13178/03), October 12, 2006, available at http://www.echr.coe.int/, para. 69.

[9] Human Rights Watch interview (S-11-09 and S-12-09), September 10, 2009 (names and place withheld). Human Rights Watch interview with (S-13-09), September 11, 2009 (name and place withheld). The European Court of Human Rights held in a recent judgment that detention conditions at Soufli border police station amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment. S.D. v. Greece, (Application no. 53541/07), June 11, 2009, available at http://www.echr.coe.int/, paras. 53-54.

[10] Human Rights Watch interview (S-2-09), September 7, 2009 (name and place withheld). Human Rights Watch interview (S-6-09), September 9, 2009. Human Rights Watch telephone interview (S-14-09), September 28, 2009 (name and place withheld).

[11] Human Rights Watch telephone interview (S-1-2009), August 20, 2009. Another detainee referred to the same incident (S-4-09).

[12] Human Rights Watch interview (S-3-09), September 8, 2009 (name and place withheld).

[13] Human Rights Watch interviews (S-2-09) September 7, 2009 (name and place withheld). Human Rights Watch interviews (S-6-09, S-7-09, S-8-09), September 9, 2009 (names and place withheld). Human Rights Watch interviews (S-11-09, S-12-09), September 10, 2009 (names and place withheld).

[14] Human Rights Watch interview (S-13-09), September 11, 2009 (name and place withheld).

[15] Human Rights Watch interview (S-3-09), September 8, 2009 (name and place withheld).

[16] Human Rights Watch interview (S-5-09), September 8, 2009 (name and place withheld).

[17] Human Rights Watch interview with Giorgos Salamagas, chief of police Orestiada, Fylakio detention center, September 10, 2009.

© Copyright 2008, Human Rights Watch

Posted in Calls to Action, Campaigns, Appeals & Petitions, Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Greece: 5 immigrants murdered in one year, 50 in the last decade

Posted by clandestina on 14 October 2009

Five immigrants were killed by cops and coast guards during last year in Greece. More than fifty humans have been killed the last ten years because of “luckily gun-fires”, “unclear situations”, “health problems”, “unreasonable self-suicides”, the “reasonable rage of citizens”. In this list there are no cases of deaths that were caused because of inexistent safety measures in workplaces (13 dead immigrants ONLY during the olympic games’ constructions. On this list the deaths because of land-mines at Evros river, or shipwrecks in the Aegean sea are not included, as well as the cases of  gun-fire exchange, which were filed as’ “legal self-defense” cases although its certain they were plain murders.  In this list there are only cases of straight murders.

The blood list:
9/10/2009:Death of Mohamed Kamran Atif, who was beated up after 15 cops entered a pakistan workers’ poor house on 26th of September at Nikaia district in Athens.

27/7/2009: Death of Kurd immigrant Arivan Osman Abdulah, who was hospitalized in comma, after being beated up by coast guards at Igoumenitsa’s harbour on 3rd April 2009.

23/3/2009: Death of 24 year old Mazir, who was found in comma, on 6th December, in the stream of Votanikos, 600 meters away from the cops’ Immigrants’ Authority Offices at Petrou Ralli St. and was hospitalized in comma.

3/1/2009: Husein Zahidul, immigrand from Bagladesh loses his life in the same stream of Petrou Ralli St.

24/10/2008: In Petrou Ralli stream was found dead Mohamed Ashraf from Pakistan, after a barbarian cop chase close to Immigrants’ Authority Offices

22/2/2008: Abdukarim Yahya Idris from Sudan gets beated up and murdered by three cops.

8/11/2007: Ilmi Lates, 45 years old and father of five children, was found by border guards close to Levaia village, the guards fire on his back from close distance and falls dead on the ground.

8/11/2007: Imprissoned Pakistan in farm jail of Kassandra was found hung in his cell. The courts have decided to send him back to his country.

11/10/2007: Afgan prisoner, 27 years old, was found hunged in his cell in Korydallos jailhouse.

18/8/2007: Tony Onuoha, 25 years old from Nigeria gets killed in Kalamaria district, Thessaloniki.

15/4/2007: Leonidas Kaltsas, 20 years old from Albania, hunged in cells of Youngsters Authority in Liosia district.

28/3/2007: Mathiea Domin, 16 years old from Poland, prejailed in Avlona, commits suicide in Korydallos’ psychological hospital.

21/11/2006: A dead immigrand from Makreb in the Omonoia cop office.

October 2006: Greek Authorities are blamed for throwing in the sea almost 40 immigrants without papers. Turkish coast guards in Karaburun openseas close to Smyrnee collected 6 corpses and 31 alive of them.

13/2/2006: Patras. A 15 year old Afgan immigrant heavily injured by coast guards and a 29 year old who also presented at the event, fall dead under unclear circumstances.

5/2/2006: Dead, under unclear circumstances, immigrant from Iran at Omonoia cop station.

1/1/2006: Rethymno, Crete. Edisson Yahai killed, 18 years old, killed in his home by a team of greek youngsters (they have earlier a conflict with a group of alban youngsters), with 17 stabs by knife on his head, cheast, back, arms and legs. The victim has not participated in the conflict.

11/4/2005: Lamia city. Dead immigrant from Nigeria in the city’s cop station. The murdered immigrant was buried without a doctor to check the corpe to investigate the reason of death.

4/9/2004: After the match of national teams of Greece and Albania starts a pogrom against the alban immigrants in Athens, Thessaloniki, Larisa, Kilkis, Ileia, Kavala, Zante, Ioannina, Patra, Corfu, Paros, Rethymno, Kalamata, Volos, Rodos… almost all around the greek areas that alban immigrants live there. On Zante island, Gramos Palushi, a 20 years old immigrant, fell dead because of the knife of Panagiotis Kladis. Also two more immigrants in the hospital because of this killer.

11/8/2004: Luan Berdelima, 36 years old, economical immigrand from Albania lost his life because he was unluck to face some macho locals

13/3/2004: Jandeus Kocheva, 36 years old, dead in the cop station of Vyronas district in Athens.

13/1/2004: Mohamed Hamut, 42 years old from Syria, dead because of “health problems” in cops station of Rethymno, Crete. The doctor who checked the corpe stated that he was beated up all around his body.

23/9/2003: Vulnet Bititsi, 18 years old from Albania shoted and killed by border guards at Krystalopigi.

2/11/2002: Alban immigrant, 32 years old, shoted and killed by border guards at Kastoria.

1/12/2001: Border guards shot against two young albans in a village close to the borders at Thesproteia area, one falls dead.

21/11/2001: Cop Giannis Rizopoulos murders at America Square, Athens an immigrant from Albania, Gentjan Celniku 20 years old.

29/4/2001: Burdaki Taveus, 38 years old from Poland, commited suicide in the cop station of Kos island. He was found hung in his cell, after he was arrested and waiting for months to be sent back to Poland.

1/8/2001: O. Pazil from Turkey gets killed by coast guards around the sea space of Kos island.

4/6/2001: Afrim Salla, 15 years old from Albania, gets shot and loses the ability to move his legs, after -as Greek Police stated- the gun of the border guard fired by luck.

13/2/2001: Konstantin Katur, 47 years old from Romania, dies in a cop station. Despite his heavy injure no cop took him to a hospital.

23/11/2000: Chavahir Katsani, 22 years old from Albania and Ryon, 15 years old from Albania are shoted and killed by a greek at Galatista village at Halkidiki.

1/11/2000: Bledar Qoshku, 20 years old from Albania, was killed -as Greek Police stated- after he and a cop started shoting against each other. The gun that Bledar Qoshku should carry was never found.

10/8/2000: A 20 years old immigrand from Albania gets killed by border guards at Ieropigi, Kastoria.

14/6/2000: Border guards shoot and kill an immigrand at Evros river.

25/7/2000: A 22 years old immigrand gets shot and killed by greek army general at the greek-bulgarian borders.

15/6/2000: Yoval Badjar, 25 years old gets killed by G. Pistolas, a border guard, at Megalo Dereio village at Evros river.

27/4/2000: An under-18 immigrant from Albania gets murdered by cop, with a bullet on his neck, during a revolt at Avlona jailhouse.

25/3/2000: Nikos Leonidis, 17 years old from Georgeen, gets killed by mr. Atmatzidis, an undercover cop, in Thessaliniki.

21 & 23 of October, 1999: P.Kazakos, 23 years old, guard at ERT (governmental TV-channel) starts shooting generaly against immigrants. Victims of him: Kofi Tony from Ghana dead. Saad Abdelhadi, 30 years old from Egypt has serious moving problems. Hindir Serif, a 25 years old kurd, loses the ability to move his legs. Kurd Rasul Posef, Ahmed Nasar from Pakistan, Timoty Abdul from Nigeria and Mohamed Datnon from Bagladesh were not so heavily injured.

7/4/1999: An alban woman gets killed by Greek Police at the greek-macedonian borders.

18/3/1999: Lanti Peppa, 20 years old from Albania gets killed in Kastoria by Greek Police.

13/3/1999: Arben Vezi from Albania gets killed at Kozani by cop named Athanasios Kanavas.

November 1998: A. Hoxoli, 20 years old from Albania gets killed by A. Gougousis, because the victim tried to steal his horse. After this, the killer tried with some relevants of him to hide the dead body.

23/10/1998: Marco Boulatovic, a 17 year old student gets shoted at his heart in Thessaloniki by cop named Vantoulis because he was a “suspect for stealing”.

October 1998: Shbobek Miesic, from Poland, dies in the cop station of Meligalas because cops refused to transfer him to a hospital despite the doctor’s orders.

15/6/1998: At Megara city gets killed a youngster from Albania.

5/6/1998: Bokari Baho, 28 years old, falls dead because of “fear shots” of a border team.

April 1998: Ose Ogbuefi, from Nigeria gets murdered “for cheap reason”. The killer E.Kyriakopoulos and his friends refuse to state that felt sorry for the assasination.

Also:
4/8/2009: A 29 years old woman from Albania comited suicide at the cop station of Hersonisos, Crete because she did not want to be sent back to Albania.

12/7/2008: A 48 year old man from Gorgeen commited suicide in his cell in Kassandreia jailhouse, Thessaloniki because he didn’t want to be sent back to his country.

9/10/2009:Death of Mohamed Kamran Atif, who was beated up after 15 cops entered a pakistan workers’ poor house on 26th of September at Nikaia district in Athens.

27/7/2009: Death of Kurd immigrant Arivan Osman Abdulah, who was hospitalized in comma, after being beated up by coast guards at Igoumenitsa’s harbour on 3rd April 2009.

23/3/2009: Death of 24 year old Mazir, who was found in comma, on 6th December, in the stream of Votanikos, 600 meters away from the cops’ Immigrants’ Authority Offices at Petrou Ralli St. and was hospitalized in comma.

3/1/2009: Husein Zahidul, immigrand from Bagladesh loses his life in the same stream of Petrou Ralli St.

24/10/2008: In Petrou Ralli stream was found dead Mohamed Ashraf from Pakistan, after a barbarian cop chase close to Immigrants’ Authority Offices

22/2/2008: Abdukarim Yahya Idris from Sudan gets beated up and murdered by three cops.

8/11/2007: Ilmi Lates, 45 years old and father of five children, was found by border guards close to Levaia village, the guards fire on his back from close distance and falls dead on the ground.

8/11/2007: Imprissoned Pakistan in farm jail of Kassandra was found hung in his cell. The courts have decided to send him back to his country.

11/10/2007: Afgan prisoner, 27 years old, was found hunged in his cell in Korydallos jailhouse.

18/8/2007: Tony Onuoha, 25 years old from Nigeria gets killed in Kalamaria district, Thessaloniki.

15/4/2007: Leonidas Kaltsas, 20 years old from Albania, hunged in cells of Youngsters Authority in Liosia district.

28/3/2007: Mathiea Domin, 16 years old from Poland, prejailed in Avlona, commits suicide in Korydallos’ psychological hospital.

21/11/2006: A dead immigrand from Makreb in the Omonoia cop office.

October 2006: Greek Authorities are blamed for throwing in the sea almost 40 immigrants without papers. Turkish coast guards in Karaburun openseas close to Smyrnee collected 6 corpses and 31 alive of them.

13/2/2006: Patras. A 15 year old Afgan immigrant heavily injured by coast guards and a 29 year old who also presented at the event, fall dead under unclear circumstances.

5/2/2006: Dead, under unclear circumstances, immigrant from Iran at Omonoia cop station.

1/1/2006: Rethymno, Crete. Edisson Yahai killed, 18 years old, killed in his home by a team of greek youngsters (they have earlier a conflict with a group of alban youngsters), with 17 stabs by knife on his head, cheast, back, arms and legs. The victim has not participated in the conflict.

11/4/2005: Lamia city. Dead immigrant from Nigeria in the city’s cop station. The murdered immigrant was buried without a doctor to check the corpe to investigate the reason of death.

4/9/2004: After the match of national teams of Greece and Albania starts a pogrom against the alban immigrants in Athens, Thessaloniki, Larisa, Kilkis, Ileia, Kavala, Zante, Ioannina, Patra, Corfu, Paros, Rethymno, Kalamata, Volos, Rodos… almost all around the greek areas that alban immigrants live there. On Zante island, Gramos Palushi, a 20 years old immigrant, fell dead because of the knife of Panagiotis Kladis. Also two more immigrants in the hospital because of this killer.

11/8/2004: Luan Berdelima, 36 years old, economical immigrand from Albania lost his life because he was unluck to face some macho locals

13/3/2004: Jandeus Kocheva, 36 years old, dead in the cop station of Vyronas district in Athens.

13/1/2004: Mohamed Hamut, 42 years old from Syria, dead because of “health problems” in cops station of Rethymno, Crete. The doctor who checked the corpe stated that he was beated up all around his body.

23/9/2003: Vulnet Bititsi, 18 years old from Albania shoted and killed by border guards at Krystalopigi.

2/11/2002: Alban immigrant, 32 years old, shoted and killed by border guards at Kastoria.

1/12/2001: Border guards shot against two young albans in a village close to the borders at Thesproteia area, one falls dead.

21/11/2001: Cop Giannis Rizopoulos murders at America Square, Athens an immigrant from Albania, Gentjan Celniku 20 years old.

29/4/2001: Burdaki Taveus, 38 years old from Poland, commited suicide in the cop station of Kos island. He was found hung in his cell, after he was arrested and waiting for months to be sent back to Poland.

1/8/2001: O. Pazil from Turkey gets killed by coast guards around the sea space of Kos island.

4/6/2001: Afrim Salla, 15 years old from Albania, gets shot and loses the ability to move his legs, after -as Greek Police stated- the gun of the border guard fired by luck.

13/2/2001: Konstantin Katur, 47 years old from Romania, dies in a cop station. Despite his heavy injure no cop took him to a hospital.

23/11/2000: Chavahir Katsani, 22 years old from Albania and Ryon, 15 years old from Albania are shoted and killed by a greek at Galatista village at Halkidiki.

1/11/2000: Bledar Qoshku, 20 years old from Albania, was killed -as Greek Police stated- after he and a cop started shoting against each other. The gun that Bledar Qoshku should carry was never found.

10/8/2000: A 20 years old immigrand from Albania gets killed by border guards at Ieropigi, Kastoria.

14/6/2000: Border guards shoot and kill an immigrand at Evros river.

25/7/2000: A 22 years old immigrand gets shot and killed by greek army general at the greek-bulgarian borders.

15/6/2000: Yoval Badjar, 25 years old gets killed by G. Pistolas, a border guard, at Megalo Dereio village at Evros river.

27/4/2000: An under-18 immigrant from Albania gets murdered by cop, with a bullet on his neck, during a revolt at Avlona jailhouse.

25/3/2000: Nikos Leonidis, 17 years old from Georgeen, gets killed by mr. Atmatzidis, an undercover cop, in Thessaliniki.

21 & 23 of October, 1999: P.Kazakos, 23 years old, guard at ERT (governmental TV-channel) starts shooting generaly against immigrants. Victims of him: Kofi Tony from Ghana dead. Saad Abdelhadi, 30 years old from Egypt has serious moving problems. Hindir Serif, a 25 years old kurd, loses the ability to move his legs. Kurd Rasul Posef, Ahmed Nasar from Pakistan, Timoty Abdul from Nigeria and Mohamed Datnon from Bagladesh were not so heavily injured.

7/4/1999: An alban woman gets killed by Greek Police at the greek-macedonian borders.

18/3/1999: Lanti Peppa, 20 years old from Albania gets killed in Kastoria by Greek Police.

13/3/1999: Arben Vezi from Albania gets killed at Kozani by cop named Athanasios Kanavas.

November 1998: A. Hoxoli, 20 years old from Albania gets killed by A. Gougousis, because the victim tried to steal his horse. After this, the killer tried with some relevants of him to hide the dead body.

23/10/1998: Marco Boulatovic, a 17 year old student gets shoted at his heart in Thessaloniki by cop named Vantoulis because he was a “suspect for stealing”.

October 1998: Shbobek Miesic, from Poland, dies in the cop station of Meligalas because cops refused to transfer him to a hospital despite the doctor’s orders.

15/6/1998: At Megara city gets killed a youngster from Albania.

5/6/1998: Bokari Baho, 28 years old, falls dead because of “fear shots” of a border team.

April 1998: Ose Ogbuefi, from Nigeria gets murdered “for cheap reason”. The killer E.Kyriakopoulos and his friends refuse to state that felt sorry for the assasination.

Also:
4/8/2009: A 29 years old woman from Albania comited suicide at the cop station of Hersonisos, Crete because she did not want to be sent back to Albania.

12/7/2008: A 48 year old man from Gorgeen commited suicide in his cell in Kassandreia jailhouse, Thessaloniki because he didn’t want to be sent back to his country.

Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research, Undeclared War news | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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