Migration and Struggle in Greece

Posts Tagged ‘Court of Appeals building’

Amnesty International: Further forced evictions leave large numbers homeless

Posted by clandestina on 23 July 2009


Amnesty International

Public Statement

AI Index: EUR 25/008/2009

22 July 2009

Greece: Further forced evictions leave large numbers homeless

Amnesty International is again calling on the Greek authorities to ensure that individuals made homeless following forced evictions are provided with suitable alternative accommodation, in line with the country’s international obligations.

According to reports, the latest incident started early in the morning of 20 July 2009 and was completed on 21 July 2009. The Greek police evicted around 100 individuals who had been living in the Old Appeal Court of Athens. No alternative accommodation was reportedly provided to those living in the disused courthouse either before or after the eviction. There are also reports that the remaining migrants living at the courthouse did not receive appropriate notification of the impending eviction by the police.

Around 600 persons, including irregular migrants and potentially asylum-seekers, had lived for the last three years in the disused courthouse in Sokratous street in squalid conditions with no water, electricity or proper sanitation. Over the past two months the Greek authorities had been making attempts to evict them from the building. The 600 inhabitants had refused to move, claiming they had no alternative accommodation. At the time of their eviction the number of those remaining there had been reduced to around 100 people, following a series of sweep operations by the police in the centre of Athens which led to many of those living in the courthouse being arrested for having no proof of their legal right to remain in Greece.

According to reports the police arrested only a few of those evicted, as most had left the building the night before and dispersed around the centre of Athens. Fears have been expressed by local non-governmental organisations that many of those evicted were subsequently arrested in sweep operations conducted by the police in the centre of Athens on 20 and 21 July and that those with no documents confirming their legal right to stay are likely to be detained and deported.

On 9 May 2009, five migrants were injured after members of a far-right group tried to storm the courthouse. Some human rights activists were also lightly injured during the attack. There were reports that although the police were present, they did not take action to prevent the attacks or protect those under the attack.

These events follow the eviction of around 300 migrants and asylum-seekers from their makeshift homes in Patras on 12 July 2009. At that time Amnesty International expressed concern that around 100 individuals were left homeless as a result, living in fields close to Patras without shelter, or access to water, sanitation and medical assistance. Among those left unprotected were said to be a small number of unaccompanied minors.

International law prohibits forced evictions. No one should be evicted without adequate notice, prior consultation, due process of law including access to legal remedies, and provision of adequate alternative accommodation. Forced evictions violate a range of international and regional human rights treaties and standards, which protect the right to adequate housing, most notably the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which Greece is a party.

Evictions may only be carried out as a last resort, once all other feasible alternatives have been explored, and only when all appropriate procedural protections are in place. All persons, irrespective of their legal status, must be guaranteed protection against forced evictions.

For further information about Amnesty International’s concerns about the asylum system and the treatment of asylum seekers and migrants in Greece see:

Greece: Amnesty International condemns forced evictions in Patras,AI Index: EUR 25/007/2009

Through the Demand Dignity campaign, launched in May 2009, Amnesty International is calling on governments globally to take all necessary measures, including the adoption of laws and policies that comply with international human rights law, to prohibit and prevent forced evictions.

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The last act in the evacuation of the former Court of Appeals building, Athens downtown.

Posted by clandestina on 22 July 2009

This a rough translation of a text by  Photo is from the same source.  More photos at the original post here.  In text links by clandestinenglish.

court of appeals building - evacuated

court of appeals building - evacuated

Images from the Court of Appeals building evacuation

The last phase of the evacuation of the former Court of Appeals building in Socratous took place yesterday. The evacuation process had begun long ago, with strong police forces present there on a 24/7  basis to prevent more people enter to the building and deter those who had left it enter it anew.
For some time now the Court of Appeals building had been a point of friction.  Just a few months ago, on the 9th of May Golden Dawn fascists and cops assaulted immigrants with stones, pieces of woods and tear-gases, in one more case of harmonious cooperation between the forces of repression  and the fascists.  The media dedicated quite a few hours to accommodate the racist cries of some “angry people” in the district (who later became residents of Aghios Panteleimonas).   On a daily basis cops and fascists kept sieging the building,  in joint exercises of hate, beating and arresting immigrants.
Of the hundreds of immigrants living in the Court of Appeals building, many have been arrested and will be imprisoned in concentration camps… (see for instance the Aspropyrgos one).
The aggressiveness of power  against immigrants continues….
What is on our side to be done is the organisation of resistances…
Solidarity will pass over racism and repression.

Aigaleo Anarchists Initiative.

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The police strategy of gradually evacuating the old Court of Appeals Building

Posted by clandestina on 25 June 2009

This a rough translation of a report. More photos there.


dscn1639Torturers’ maneuvering

With the aim of evacuating the old Court of Appeals Building, the police do not take the risk of a public manifestation of brutality which a full blown assault on the buiding entails.  Instead of that, every day for almost a month now they keep the building surrounded by 4 patrol  vehicles, 2 on the front entrance at Socratous str. and 2 at Menandrou str. (the rear entrance). Immigrants who appear to be related with the building and those who attempt to enter or leave it are taken to the Omonoia police station, for which there have been made public many cases of  torture (this is the police station where a video was shot, and then leaked, of  some fascist in uniform forcing an immigrant to beat his friend …[clandestinenglish note: the horrendous video can be seen here].  In this way the state spreads its violence in a molecular and invisible from the public eye level.  The building  is being gradually evacuated, and this prevents effectively organized and united action against this to be taken .

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“Sweep operations” continue (June 16, 2009) – the situation at the Court of Appeals building

Posted by clandestina on 17 June 2009

“Sweep operations” continue: everyday some part of the center of Athens suffocates by police forces storming the sites where immigrants and refugees dwell, hang out or work.

Yesterday at the districts of Kerameikos and Metaxourgeio 630 people were stop-and-searched and 103 were arrested, most of them foreigners lacking documents (source: tvxs)

At the Court of Appeals building the police continues its operations, arresting immigrants en masse. The constant violence and pressure has led many immigrants to flee the building: out the 500 people finding refuge there some weeks ago, only 100 remain there (source: tvxs)

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Public Order Ministry’s agenda translates into everyday anti-immigrant terror…

Posted by clandestina on 15 June 2009

Yesterday afternoon police and municipal police cops stormed down town Athens (Omonoia square) beating randomly immigrants. Municipal police kept hunting rabidly street vendors. Unfortunately, in Zinonos street some bus drivers were shouting “get them”. The police confiscated the vendors merchandise and kept beating them. When a witness (writing about it in Athens indymedia) reacted the police responded something like “get lost or you will get the same).

Today at 7 in the morning the riot police squad outside the Court of Appeals building as a group kept assaulting any immigrant who exited the building alone (the whole squad against one).  Bloody beating, racist swearing, threats and “don’t come back” warnings. With all this terroristic pressure by the police more and more people abandon the building everyday. There have been many reports of municipal police beating street vendors, confiscating their merchandise, stealing money and cell phones from them. (see this athens indymedia article about it).

Yesterday the Public Order Minister Markoyannakis said that the police faces two major challenges: illegal immigration and the action of anarchists. He added that the police will leave aside the issue of anarchists for now to tackle the illegal immigrants issue first.  For the latter, concentration camps are ready and waiting (source).  His plans for cleansing down town Athens from immigrants will be concluded in one month or so from now.

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Yesterday’s pogrom in Athens….

Posted by clandestina on 12 June 2009

This is a translation of the “Red Anti-Reporters” [Kokkinoi Anti-Reporters] report published at the athens indymedia.  50 people were arrested yesterday, only hours after the Governement annnouned its plans.


The Police encircled Athens facing no resistance…

It is the first time we intervene in this way about the pogrom against immigrants the state machine and the deep state fascist bastards of Golden Dawn have launched.

Because the reality – either we like it or not – is a long way from the platforms, the revolutionary keyboard verbalisms and the solidarity, resistance and disobedience to the police that DID NOT TAKE PLACE YESTERDAY against the encirclement of the streets of Socratous, Sofokleous, Agios Konstantinou and Piraeos.

The Police occupied the area since 20.00. A similar police operation was set up in the square of Aghios Panteleimonos, manned by riot squad, Golden Dawn fascists and people shrieking gibberish.

The wider area from Omonoia square to the Larissis train station was occupied by the police. Cops in groups of 4 or 5 patroled and did checks in shops as well in the street, in Omonoia and Aghios Konstantinou Ave. (they entered a coffee shop in the ground floor of the building of the left newspaper Avgi. A journalist had a verbal conflict with the cops).

In the Court of Appeals building people had not taken notice of what was going on around, since no one had informed them about. Police forces of various types and police vans were patrolling in nearby streets since 20.30.

Other vans were parked in Omonia Square along with dozens of police motorists and undercover cops. The traffick police station at the train station Larissis as well as the section Patisia police station were shielded.

Cops with bulletproof vests were guarding outside the Aghios Panteleimonas police station, and had small talks with the fat pig-headed “indignant citizens” [the Golden Dawn fascists].

The same situation at the Aghios Panteleimon square as well: the fascist killers of Golden Dawn hanging out with the cops, the riot police, the undercover police… In other parts of the area extending from Omonoia to Aghios Panteleimonas big motorcycles with their plates covered were waiting.

Immigrants: Solidarity does not fit in steelyards.

In yesterday’s pogrom in Athens against immigrants and… undesirables, the first part of the summer project of repression took place. They will keep doing that, clearing people, and will be announcing the numbers “50 illegal immigrants arrested today”. Tomorrow, 50 more. Tomorrow 50 more and so on.

Still, comrades, do not fear. Police terror will be embedded.

The immigrants left in the Court of Appeals building are few. They will leave; gradually the government troops of the new junta will be invading the building; they will find it empty; the cops will be arresting the immigrants in the small allleys around. And we will not take notice or we will underrate the news….

Until then, the police will be arresting people and without us taking notice, the refugee camps (in Aspropyrgos, in Schisto) will be operating….

Then operations will take place against our haunts, squats and free space, laws agains the weraing of hoods and university asylum, and then … then we will wear hoods and be sent in small new Guantanamos in the burnt pine forests of the mountains … already set on fire for the new season… or in the operational refugee camps’ hell….

No one did anything against the pogrom yesterday. This was an effective plan by the police, with a very large police force, the armored vehicles and motorcycles of the Greek democracy. In full cooperation with the deep state and the fascists of the Golden Dawn.

When a whole area in Attiki is occupied by the police and the deep state, let us not just sit on our keyboards and write bullshit.

No one did anything yesterday and the cops roamed loosely performing a major “sweep operation”at ease … As if this is nothing special. As if this is something natural to happen…

PS: In the Aghios Panteleimonas square fascists and riot squads expelled two news agencies photoreporrters.

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Police and Neo-Nazi scum collaborate once more in Athens…

Posted by clandestina on 10 May 2009


athens indymedia photos

athens indymedia photos

… once more, against immigrants, refugees and anti-racists.  

Neo-nazis and junta-nostalgic ultra-nationalist scum were to do a demo in Athens down-town yesterday, bargaining on the cultivated by mass media sentiment of economic insecurity, to promote their anti-immigration absurdities. The gathering spot for this demo was at Omonoia square and about 100 braindeads were there. The gist of the days’ events is that the Police has an excellent cooperation with the para-statal neo-Nazis (of Golden Dawn) and uses them to help keep up the anti-migrant terror. 

At the same time, in surrounding streets and squares, antiracist organizations of all shades called for counter-demos. Most of the anarchists gathered at Kaniggos square but they were attacked by riot police and repulsed towards Exarcheia and the Polytechnic. There were conflicts and barricades for some time there. From Kotzia square migrant, student and leftist associations moved towards Stadiou avenue to prevent the neo-nazis from taking it to this central avenue. At the same time, other antiracist organizations of the left gathered in front of the Court of Appeals building .

The neo-nazis when obstructed from doing the demo started beating randomly immigrants with iron bars in Menandrou street. The police all the time looked but not intervened. Their collaboration got even tighter when the neo-nazis moved towards their headquarters, which is located near the Court of Appeals building at Socratous Street. Under the protection of the riot police, from their hq’s roof and then from the street, the neo-nazis attacked the building where immigrants find refuge with stones and flash and sound grenades. The neo-nazis were all wearing helmets, this at a time when in Greece the state attempts to illegalise hoods in protests.  They tried to invade the building but the immigrants defended it with stones. Four protestors and many immigrants were injured.  A girl was  arrested.  

All these, in the background of tragicomic but intense efforts by the Ministry of Public order to promote and further solidify Security State regulations across various spheres of the Greek society – for instance, it wants to plant 1.100 new surveillance cameras in Athens.

See photos and videos of the collaboration between police and neo-nazis here.  One more video is available here – if you dont understand Greek skip the first half.

info from

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More about the Court of Appeals building in Athens…

Posted by clandestina on 9 May 2009

These are some developments on the issue of the Athens Court Appeals Building from Kathimerini.

Today, there as well as elsewhere around Athens, both immigrants, and Greek antifascists were attacked by neonazi scum under the protection of police.  We will be reporting on this soon.


Activists lobby for migrant shelter


Illegal immigrants wait yesterday for medical advice from a member of the Doctors of the World aid organization which has set up a mobile unit outside the premises of the old Athens appeals court on Socratous Street in the city center where hundreds of migrants have been squatting for the past six months in squalid conditions. Doctors have said they will remain on site, offering the migrants vaccinations, medicines and advice, for as long as necessary.

Migrant support groups and leftist organizations yesterday held a press conference in the grounds of the old appeals court in central Athens, where hundreds of illegal immigrants have been squatting for the past six months, calling on authorities to transform the run-down building into “the first city shelter for migrants.”

“There are more than 550 people living here without basic amenities such as water and electricity,” said Thanassis Kourkoulas of a migrant support group called Deport Racism. According to Kourkoulas, local authorities are unwilling to foot the bill for transforming the Socratous Street site into a shelter for the migrants, most of whom are from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. The authorities point to the fact that the building belongs to a private insurance firm that has reportedly asked police to evict the migrants from the premises. Recent reports suggest that a police raid might be in the works. Interior Ministry sources told Kathimerini earlier this week about plans to transfer the residents to a disused military facility in Aspropyrgos, west of Athens. Authorities in Aspropyrgos have expressed their opposition to such an eventuality, as have those at Drepano, near Rio, where another disused military site has been touted as an alternative shelter for hundreds of migrants camping at the western port of Patras in a bid to board ferries to Italy.

In the case of the Socratous Street migrants, rights groups are pressing authorities not to “look elsewhere” for a solution but to overhaul the old building and provide them with “a decent place to live.” The groups are also lobbying for the government to grant legal status to all the migrants at the site. “Some of the migrants here have been in Greece for years,” Kourkoulas said.

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Ιmmigrants threatened with eviction from the empty building of the Court of Appeal of Athens

Posted by clandestina on 2 May 2009

This is a synthesis of these and TVXS articles.



More than 500 new immigrants from the Maghreb countries have occupied the 8 floor building at Socratous str., near Omonoia square.   A first person testimony: «It is the most miserable place of residence of immigrants that I have seen and I have seen several: people sleep next to decomposing litter and excrements». 

After the intervention by the police some months ago, now a strange warrant was posted on the door of the building a new that the public prosecutor is about to intervene. 

In particular, on Monday 27 of April morning, unknown men opened with a key the lock of the main entrance and posted on various parts of the building a notice requiring that immigrants leave the place within 24 hours as there is a command by the prosecutors and repair works are to take place there police protection.   The notice was a simple A4 printing, it was unsigned and did not bear the marks of any distinguishable formal authority. 

For the first time a television camera entered the building and shot the pictures of the terrible conditions of residence of these people. We talked with them and they told us that if kicked out they have nowhere to go and they are bound to end up homeless in the streets of Athens. They are resolved to seek a better life in Greece and we were told they only look for an opportunity to work to ensure food and a place to sleep for themselves. 

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