November 10, 2008

Press Release


It is with regret that we note that once again the Asylum Department of the Aliens' Directorate of Athens is adopting and implementing policies that constitute a flagrant violation of the fundamental right of asylum seekers to have access to the asylum procedure. Τhe previous policy of accepting only a very limited number of asylum applications was recently replaced by a complete suspension of the process of accepting new asylum applications. The consequences of this practice were not difficult to predict: during the weekend of 25-26 October, after having been barred from the asylum process for two months, an unprecedented number of asylum seekers (around 3000) queued up outside the building of the Aliens' Directorate at Petrou Ralli Street, in order to claim asylum under conditions which degraded their human dignity. The response of the police was to resort to violence in order to repel the crowd; as a result, many were injured while the death of a migrant during these events is now under investigation following witness accusations.