Doctors Without Borders and Amnesty International lashed out on Thursday at Greece’s treatment of Syrian refugees fleeing their war-ravaged homeland, with many locked up as illegal immigrants or reportedly facing police brutality.
“There is a total lack of a humanitarian response and solidarity” in Greece towards Syrian asylum-seekers, Willem de Jonge, general director of Doctors Without Borders in Greece, told AFP on the sidelines of a press conference.
(Reuters) – Syrian shopkeeper Osama fled the fighting in Aleppo convinced he would be welcomed in Europe. Five months later, he is stuck in near-bankrupt Greece, where money and sympathy are scarce.
Beaten up and robbed by traffickers when they arrived in Athens, Osama, his wife and two children were arrested as illegal immigrants and thrown into detention when they recounted their ordeal to Greek police.
Newsnight’s report on the Greek far-right party Golden Dawn made headlines across Europe last week.
In it, MP Ilias Panagiotaros claimed Greece was “in civil war” and indeed advocated a new kind of civil war, pitting the far-right against migrants, anarchists, etc.
Within 24 hours Mr Panagiotaros had retracted his claim that Greece was “in civil war”, saying instead “there is no civil war” and accusing Newsnight of “paraphrasing” his words.
Fifteen people arrested in Athens says they were subjected to what their lawyer describes as an Abu Ghraib-style humiliation
Fifteen anti-fascist protesters arrested in Athens during a clash with supporters of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn have said they were tortured in the Attica General Police Directorate (GADA) – the Athens equivalent of Scotland Yard – and subjected to what their lawyer describes as an Abu Ghraib-style humiliation.
Hate on the Streets
The 99-page report documents the failure of the police and the judiciary to prevent and punish rising attacks on migrants. Despite clear patterns to the violence and evidence that it is increasing, the police have failed to respond effectively to protect victims and hold perpetrators to account, Human Rights Watch found. Authorities have yet to develop a preventive policing strategy, while victims are discouraged from filing official complaints.
Source: “EUROPOLITICS -the European affairs daily”
The member states’ home affairs ministers will meet, on 8 March in Brussels, to debate governance of the border-free Schengen area and in particular the problems they are experiencing with Greece, the main gateway to Europe for 80% of “illegal migrants” (more than 60,000 caught at the border between Greece and Turkey in 2011).
Would-be immigrants to Europe can go almost anywhere—for a price
IT TAKES a few minutes to cross the Evros river, now the main entry point for illegal immigrants from Asia into Europe, but it can be frightening. On the Turkish side people-smugglers can be armed. In winter the river is fast-flowing and very cold. Groups who pay €300 ($400) a head to cross are packed into rubber dinghies at night.
TEXT: ANDRÉS MOURENZA // PHOTO: ALESSANDRO PENSO
Finally, on Monday morning (2 days after the incident) the suspect of the racist attack to migrants in Corinth was arrested by the police. Also one of the two hospitalized migrants was able to leave the medical premises and return to the train station, with the other migrants.
Nabi, a 20-years old Moroccan, is lying on the ground. He looks dead.
Twenty minutes earlier we were sitting in the recovered-from-garbage chairs and furniture, smoking cigarettes and chatting in one of the abandoned wagons of the old train station of Corinth (Greece). Nabi lives there with about other 50 migrants from Afghanistan, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Yemen. Nasir—a polyglot, art lover Afghan interpreter—asks Nabi, another art lover, to draw something.
Construction of a fence along the Evros River on the Greek-Turkish border officially commenced on Monday, budgeted at 3,162.5 million euros, is due for completion in late August or early September.