Migration and Struggle in Greece

Posts Tagged ‘deportation’

Latest news, Monday 15 – Friday 19 Feb.

Posted by clandestina on 19 February 2010

Monday Feb 15 Tention in the police station of Tripoli, Peloponese after the suicide attempt of a 35 yearold Palestinian who was imprisoned in purpose to be deported. Other migrants prisoners, also under deportation, looted blankets so a small fire was caused. The pigs entered the detention centers and evacuated the imprisoning cells by transfering the prisoners to a room beside. Later, the migrants were also transfered to the Panarcadic Hospital for health checks, where also the Palestinian was transfered whose deportation is planned to take place in two weeks.

Tuesday Feb 16 In Archontiki village, Rethymnon, Crete, an Indian farm worker was shot and heavily injured by his boss – a shepherd himself.   The culprit then took the victim on his car which crushed on the road.  He left the victim there in a horrid condition and disappeared.

A shoot-out between cops and bank robbers in the neighbourhood of Vironas, Athens saw an innocent passer-by assassinated by the cops: 25-year old migrant worker Nikollas Todi was unfortunate to be at the shooting range of the pigs in uniform. He was executed in cold blood, shot with nine bullets in the back, one going through his head and another one through his heart.  Leuteris Oikonomou, head of the greek police, stated that “nothing went wrong in the operation – simply the 25-year old found himself amidst crossfire”. Trying to supposedly disassociate himself from this provocative statement, Michalis Chrisochoidis (minister of citizen protection) stated that “a crucial battle was won, even if the cost was dear”. Earlier today, Chrisochoidis announced that Athens will see “unprecedented” policing operations after easter.

Thursday, Feb 18 50 Palestinian refugees detained at the Samos refugee center were boarded on a ship to Athens probably to be deported.   They cannot communicate and they have no legal assistance.

Friday, Feb 19 In Patras, the police  warned earlier today the Sudanis living in the makeshift settlement in an old train depot that they should evacuate it (the plan is to make a parking there) or be arrested and deported.

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Public Event, Open Discussion in Thessaloniki: “People in mid-air: between deportation and asylum”

Posted by clandestina on 28 October 2009



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

organised by

Posted in Events, Group of Immigrants and Refugees / Clandestina Network Texts & Announcements, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

“Help us close down Pagani” campaign

Posted by clandestina on 11 October 2009

source & more info at

_ _ _ _

Help us close down Pagani

Published on 26. August 2009


If you have been following our actions of the last days, you are aware about the immediate necessity to close down the detention centre of Pagani here in Lesvos. Now we call all on everybody out there, wherever you are, to take action. It is quick and easy, and you can really help to make a change: you just need to send a fax or an email.

Participate in the struggle for the immediate closure of Pagani by sending a fax or an email to the Greek Ministry of Health and Social Care as well as to the Ministry of Interior Affairs, demanding the immediate closure of Pagani and the release of the people detained inside. You can also call them. These ministries are the authorities responsible for Pagani, and they have not been willing to move. Let us force them to do so.

If you have sent the fax, leave a short comment on this site that you did so. It will show the force of people behind the demands. Also, spread this campaign and get more people to be involved.

We formulated a sample text you can send, but of course feel free to write your own text. Here are the addresses:

Ministry of Interior Affairs

  • email:
  • telephone: ++30 2131364931 / 2131364932 / 2131364933

Ministry of Health and Social

  • email:,
  • fax: +30 2105235749
  • telephone: +30 2105233798 / 2105233573 / 2105232821 / 2105232829 / 2105249011 or 2105235703

To the
Ministry of Health and Social Care
Ministry of the Interior

concerning the disastrous situation in the Detention Center of Pagani, Lesvos, I want to express my deepest concern to you as the authorities responsible. The circumstances for refugees detained in Pagani, as they were presented in many greek newspapers recently, are not bearable at all. At present, more than a thousand refugees are detained in Pagani. Amongst these are many women detained with their children and babies and numerous unaccompanied minors, whose imprisonment is illegal under greek law.

During his last visit to Pagani on the 24th of August, 2009, the director of the greek UNHCR branch, Giorgos Tsarbopoulos, stated that the Pagani prison doesn’t match neither greek nor internation standards. He also stated that there are numerous breaches of greek law.

People are imprisoned for many weeks, even month. They are forced to share a room with aproximately hundred people! Sanitary and medical conditions are beyond any possible imagination. It is not even necessary to describe the further consequences of forcing people to live under these circumstances, since the absolute lack of human rights is all too obvious.

My protest also concerns the praxis of discharge. By releasing people from Pagani in huge numbers without further sustain, they are forced to live on the streets without any support by the Greek state. Without the possibility to catch a boat to Athens or any place to stay, they are forced to sleep outside not even having access to food or water.

Therefore, my demands are:

  • Immediate closure of the detention center of Pagani!
  • Freedom for ALL prisoners of Pagani!
  • Accommodation with food and water, as well as medical treatment and support!
  • Infrastructure for refugees arriving to or released from Pagani, while waiting for the ferry!
  • Immediate access to travelling papers, so they can continue their journey!
  • Freedom of movement and papers for everyone!


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

Group of migrants in Calais started a hunger strike

Posted by clandestina on 30 September 2009




As of 12am French time today a group of migrants in Calais started a highly visible hunger strike in a public place. The migrants, from regions including Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan, Palestine, and Egypt, say they will continue the strike until Western countries co-operate to offer them asylum. They are also demanding that no migrant in Calais is readmitted to Greece, Italy or Malta.

The migrants face constant harassment from police. Every day some amongst their number are arrested, taken to the police station only to be released in four to six hours. Occasionally they are held for as long as two days. Repression intensified recently with the destruction of the jungle where many migrants lived, the trigger-happy use of tear gas including on pregnant women, destruction of personal belongings and the targeting of migrants observing fasting during Ramadan by arresting them at nightfall and throwing away their food. If the police try to separate the hunger strikers or arrest them on spurious grounds, they say they will continue the hunger strike while under arrest and move again to a public space to continue the action when freed.

No Borders activists are already supporting the hunger strikers by standing alongside them, but the migrants are calling for support from all over the world. Messages of support can be left at and the hunger strikers welcome anyone who wants to join the hunger strike in solidarity whether in Calais or elsewhere.

Benjamin, 38, an asylum seeker from Iran, says: “The police tell us we cannot be here but we have nowhere to go. The world is ignoring us so we are making our suffering public by going on hunger strike in full view. Tourists moving through the port and exercising their freedom of movement will be forced to see our lack of freedom until Western governments work together to offer us somewhere to build a new life safely.”

With migrants facing increasing repression and winter approaching, the situation is urgent. But they say Western countries should not abrogate their responsibilities by readmitting migrants to the first European country they were fingerprinted in.  Many migrants who are readmitted to Italy, Greece and Malta say the situation is much worse there than living clandestinely in Calais and that they are oppressed there. In Greece, readmitted migrants are often locked up for three months and increasingly for six months. On release, migrants still have nowhere to go and continue to be targeted by police who beat them and sometimes rip up their papers. Readmission is not the solution according to the hunger strikers – countries including the UK, Canada, USA and Sweden should take a proportion of the hunger strikers.


For further information, or to arrange an interview with one of the hunger strikers, call 0033634810710. HYPERLINK “”

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

Spain and Greece pledge to continue anti-immigrant terror in the Mediterranean

Posted by clandestina on 14 July 2009


Spain and Greece to cooperate against illegal immigration

Europe News

Jul 13, 2009, 14:46 GMT

Madrid – Spain and Greece on Monday pledged to jointly renew efforts to fight illegal immigration into the European Union.

Spain will intensify such measures when it takes over the EU presidency in the first half of 2010, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said at a joint press conference with his Greek counterpart Costas Karamanlis in Madrid.

Spain will focus on strengthening the European frontier control agency Frontex and on seeking repatriation agreements with undocumented immigrants’ countries of origin, Zapatero said.

The agreements should also include cooperation programmes to promote the social and economic development of the countries in question, in order to discourage their citizens from seeking better lives abroad, Zapatero said.

Karamanlis proposed a European coast guard to improve maritime surveillance.

Spain and Greece were among the European countries most concerned by the influx of immigrants across the Mediterranean, Zapatero said.

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The FRONTEX job: the first ever deportation coordinated by Frontex on the high seas

Posted by clandestina on 9 July 2009


Frontex handover of migrants to Italy results in forced repatriation

Karl Stagno-Navarra

The European Union border agency Frontex operating from Malta has for the first time ever coordinated a mission that led to the forced repatriation operation of migrants at sea.
74 illegal migrants sighted last Thursday afternoon by a Maltese private aircraft at approximately 126 miles south-east of Malta, was transmitted to a German Puma helicopter participating in Operation Nautilus IV that is being coordinated from Malta.
Senior military sources revealed with MaltaToday that the German helicopter was instructed to work closely with the Italian coast-guard in the area, that picked up the migrants Friday morning, and handed them over to a Libyan patrol boat.
The Italian army is participating in another joint patrol along with France, to monitor the Sardignia-Lampedusa route.
The mission has been defined as the first ever forced repatriation operation coordinated by Frontex on the high seas. Even though the migrants were intercepted by an Italian coast guard boat, the same migrants, that included women and children were identified by a Frontex asset that followed the operation through.
Meanwhile Italian police have reportedly been in contact with the Maltese authorities, after 10 migrants who escaped from Safi and Marsa detention and open centres, were apprehended in Sicily.
The migrants were caught on the Ragusa coast shortly after being ferried by a Maltese speedboat.
The news re-opens past issues with the Italian authorities following a series of tragic trips by speedboats driven by Maltese criminals that exploit the migrants and secretly take them to Sicily.

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The need of oppressive states to share the risk of social unrest – “Immigration Is A Threat To Greek Democracy” says EU Commissioner

Posted by clandestina on 3 July 2009

The antagonism between states is the game under which the share of the fear or the risk of social unrest due to harsh economic and social conditions becomes itself something to be negotiated between players.   Migration “flows” are a parameter of this risk – certainly not the only one, and not the severest one , since non migrant populations have also many reasons to resist.

Notwithstanding the inter-state antagonism,  though, the best strategy for all states to have their powers unchallenged is to scapegoat someone for the domestic problems, and the best way to do that in the case of Greece is to blur preemptively any social reaction – by immigrants and non-immigrants – in the national threat / political “destabilisation” discourse.   Barrot, thus, mingles the traditional external enemy (Turkey) with the novel internal one (immigrants) for the Greek government and offers a service of disorientation. 


Source of the article.

Immigration Is A Threat To Greek Democracy – EU Commissioner

Thursday, 2 July 2009 – 17:09

BRUSSELS (AFP)–A huge flow of migrants through Turkey could threaten social unrest in Greece, European Union Justice Commissioner Jacques Barrot said Thursday.

“There is a major threat to the equilibrium of the Greek democracy because of the uncontrollable flow of immigration,” Barrot told a press conference in Brussels.

Greece has accused Turkey of failing to stop clandestine immigration through Turkish territory which the Greeks say has pushed their resources to the limit.

Greek Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos Tuesday said the number of migrants detained in Greece tripled to 148,000 in 2008 from 40,000 in 2006.

Europe’s asylum legislation puts pressure on the first E.U. country that receives applicants to handle their claims, but the rules could change in the next six months.

Immigration is causing social tension in Greece and is used as an argument by the extreme right, which saw its share of the vote rise to 7% in recent European parliamentary elections.

Barrot visited Greece this week and called on Turkey to do more to tackle clandestine immigration.

“Turkey has to help us fight the facilitators and the traffickers who push people to make risky journeys,” he said in Brussels.

“We can’t simply remain motionless. We have to get much firmer control from the Turkish government. We would also encourage the Turks to sign a readmission agreement,” the French commissioner said.

He added that he would like to see readmission agreements with Pakistan and other Asian nations, from where some would-be migrants begin their journeys.

Barrot said he intended to relaunch debate on immigration during an informal meeting of E.U. interior and justice ministers in Stockholm July 15-16.

E.U. nations Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta are in the frontline of the battle against migrants without papers and are gearing up for the summer wave of arrivals by sea.

Other E.U. nations refuse to be constrained to accept numbers of asylum seekers to help the four, with some stressing that they have to concentrate on the E.U.’s eastern borders in the former Soviet Union.

Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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Charter flights to Afghanistan – the Greek state to continue deportations the whole summer

Posted by clandestina on 24 June 2009

A charter flight to Afghanistan deported Afghan immigrants yesterday, according to the newpaper reports that the number of deportees was 25.  This was done in the frame of the deportations programme implemented by the ministry of interior, under which 55 Pakistanis were deported. The ministry leaks that these deportations flights will continue after agreements made with “various embassies”. reports that the number of deportees was 25.

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New law increases threat of deportation – deportation without trial over misdemeanors

Posted by clandestina on 23 June 2009


Emphasis added.

New law increases threat of deportation

“It is absurd for foreigners who have been in the country for a long time, including those from the European Union, to face the danger of deportation simply if they are charged with minor infractions,” said the site lawyer Vassilis Chronopoulos, who foresees a backlog of cases building up in the courts.

“It is totally unacceptable in a just state for someone to face devastating consequences before it has been established in a fair trial whether he is guilty and before he has exercised every legal right to defend himself,” said an organization called Greek Action for Human Rights.

The provisions of the proposed law have prompted a backlash from human rights activists.

An amendment to Greece’s existing legislation, which could be passed through a reduced summer session of Parliament later this week, may lead to foreigners living in the country legally as well as those who are here illegally being deported over misdemeanors even if they are not convicted.

With immigration becoming a pressing political issue, the government has embarked on an effort to adopt a series of measures that will stem the flow of illegal migrants arriving on Greek shores.

Sources told Kathimerini that the amendment would allow authorities to classify as “dangerous for public order and safety” any foreigner who is charged with committing a crime that carries a prison sentence of three months or more.

This means that the person can then be deported to his homeland before even standing trial, as long as that country has signed a bilateral repatriation agreement with Greece.

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Greek Government’s “Six-point plan” for the war against immigrants in the Aegean

Posted by clandestina on 23 June 2009

source: ministry of foreign affairs release

Article of Deputy Foreign Minister Valinakis in the Athens daily ‘Kathimerini’

The problem of illegal migrants is one of the 21st century’s global challenges. Europe and our country are at the heart of this global problem due to their geographical position as a gateway to Europe from Asia, the Middle East, and Africa and we are exposed to these migratory pressures. This problem is particularly acute for our country’s border regions and, more specifically, our eastern border in the Aegean Sea.

For the past few years we have persistently and methodically tried to turn our positions into EU-27 positions because this problem cannot be understood easily by all the European countries, e.g., those countries without sea borders. Since 2004, Greece has been playing a leading role in the creation of a common, integrated European policy on these issues. The problem’s labyrinthine dimensions do not allow for oversimplification based on domestic interests. In fact, they require an integrated plan; that is, a mobilization of human and other resources, use of national and European means, partnerships, synergies, and painful negotiations.

Bearing this in mind, a network of complementary actions could relieve the islands of the Aegean from these pressures and lay the foundations for successful treatment of the problem. This network of actions is based on 6 axes:

1.         A ship of sufficient tonnage to be used as a first reception and transport centre. This ship will sail near the islands of the Aegean where illegal migrants have been arrested, it will take them on board and carry them to the reception centres already in, or due to be put into, operation. The ship must be equipped with the necessary logistics infrastructure so as to ensure a complete health check of illegal migrants and to cross-check their identification data in order to ascertain their country of origin reliably and in a timely manner.

2.         An immediate relaunching of EU-Turkey negotiations on the conclusion of a readmission agreement and an immediate implementation of the existing Greek-Turkish Readmission Protocol. Given that these issues have become part of the framework of relations between the EU and Turkey, our neighbouring country is jeopardizing its European future by dragging its feet.

3.         Use of a specific port on the Turkish coast for the return of illegal migrants who have reached our country through Turkey. This will be a major step that will certainly contribute to the relief of our insular areas. The use of a Turkish harbour in conjunction with the operation of a ship as a reception centre creates the necessary conditions for the faster return of illegal migrants.

4.         Conclusion of European and bilateral readmission agreements with the countries of origin for the overwhelming majority of illegal migrants (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia). Development aid as well as political and economic cooperation can be used as leverage in speeding up the conclusion of these agreements.

5.         Intensification of joint operations on a permanent basis under FRONTEX, the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union, on the way towards the creation of a European Coastguard. Our proposal for the creation of a specialised FRONTEX branch in Greece is included within the same framework.

6.         Full use of every potential for financing all the necessary actions with additional EU funds and utilization of European and bilateral programmes.

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