December 22, 2011

Trial of Police Officers from St. Panteleimonas ends

Press Release

The trial of the police officers from St. Panteleimonas implicated in the torture case has ended.The Mixed Jury Criminal Court of Athens, which hears felonies at first instance, today sentenced two policemen (one of whom has already left the police force) to 5 years and 5.5 years imprisonment respectively, in the infamous torture case of Afghan refugees at the St. Panteleimon police station in December 2004. The trial had started on 21 October 2011 and ended on 20 December 2011.

December 6, 2011


Since 2009, more than seven thousand people have been taken into custody on the alleged grounds that they are associated with the KCK—an organization claimed to be the urban branch of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party). Four thousand of them have been arrested and imprisoned without having any prospect of a trial in the foreseeable future in Turkey.

The recent arrest of 51 lawyers representing their clients in KCK cases is a very serious development in these operations, aimed to silence the Kurdish opposition. On 22 November 2011, Turkish police authorities conducted an arrest operation in 16 different provinces. The police raided the lawyers’ offices and houses, searched and confiscated their files, and made copies of their hard drives, unlawfully violating their privileges as lawyers. After their arrests, the lawyers were transferred to Istanbul as the Specialized Heavy Penal Court (formerly known as the State Security Court) issued their arrest warrants. Records of telephone interviews were added to the investigation file, and presented as the main evidence.

October 27, 2011

Announcement on Renewal of Asylum-Seekers' Pink Cards

We would like to inform you that the Aliens Directorate of the Ministry of Citizen Protection has issued the following announcement:

"Asylum-seekers holding a pink card which has expired since June 2009 are requested to proceed to the authorities responsible for receiving and examining asylum claims in order to renew their pink cards, within a period of two (2) months, from 5 October 2011 to 5 December 2011 (inclusive). In case of failing to show up within this deadline the examination of their cases will be withdrawn".

September 16, 2011

Keine Auslieferung der Aktivistin Gülaferit Ünsal an Deutschland Gewährung politischen Asyls in Griechenland


Am Freitag, 16. September, verhandelt der Oberste Gerichtshof Griechenlands über das Rechtsmittel, das Gülaferit Ünsal gegen die Entscheidung des Berufungsgerichtes von Thessaloniki eingelegt hatte, mit der ihre Auslieferung nach Deutschland angeordnet wurde.

Nichts aber rechtfertigt Ihre Auslieferung.

Auf Grundlage eines Haftbefehls der deutschen Behörden wird Gülaferit Ünsal der Mitgliedschaft in einer „terroristischen Organisation“ beschuldigt. Die einzige Grundlage dafür ist ihre legale politische Aktivität, d. h. der Verkauf von Zeitschriften und ihre Teilnahme an Solidaritätskampagnen für türkische politische Gefangene.

September 12, 2011

Fylakio in September 2011 - "My only wish was to escape from this situation"

Yesterday we received a phone-call from relatives of Syrian refugees, who have been prisoners in Fylakio (Northern Greece) since a few days:

Today I talked with somebody who was released a few days ago from Fylakio prison about his experiences there. He didn’t want to talk about it first. He said he didn’t want me to feel sorry for something that happened to him, and make me suffer, me and my family. But I said to him: “Tell me the whole truth. The people have to know what happens in there!”
They get food once a day. The food is hardly enough to survive.
The drinking water is dirty. Sand is coming out of the tap.
The toilets are dirty.
There is no fresh air. No ventilation.
Once a months they are allowed to go out in the yard. Never they see the sunlight and they are always locked in. In 46 days they have been two times outside to breathe.
Only once, at the 3rd of September, when the prison was burning. This day they had to stand for four hours in the sun, no shadow anywhere. Collective punishment?
One guy from Syria started a hunger strike. Nobody was interested in his protest. So finally he hurt himself with a knife. The police was just watching. Later they transferred him into another cell. Seven days isolation. Afterwards they brought him back to the big cell, back to all the other prisoners. The demand of his hungerstrike had been to get released. But nobody listened. Nobody outside even noticed his protest.
Something else: Police beats people. They beat you in a life-threatening way. Beating and abusing this is normal in Greece. They beat the people in there, they torture them.
If somebody gets sick there is no doctor.
He told me:
I did not apply for asylum. I took a private lawyer who said to me if I do, I will have to stay very long in this prison and there is no chance to get asylum in Greece anyway. The lawyers always promise some things but they lie a little bit, about the chances of getting released.
The sitation inside is horrible. There is no electricity. The people sleep three in one bed. If one is falling from the bed, he can break his hands or his skull and nobody is taking notice. Once and Afghan fell down. He was bleeding heavily and nobody did anything to help.
There are different nationalities and ethnicities in one small room. If they start a fight the policemen stand outside laughing about it until the fight is over. Or until somebody gets a fracture or something else happens. They don’t care.
There are many people in one cell and all the time new people are pushed inside.
My only wish was to escape from this situation. Only to get out of there. Even if I would be deported. Anything would be better than this prison. This is why nobody wants to apply for asylum here. Because it’s so horrible in this prison and nobody wants to be forced to stay here for the whole six months – even not for one day longer!
Imprisoned refugees in Fylakio protested on 3rd of September 2011. They set the mattresses on fire. This is the ongoing revolt after a series of revolts in prisons in (Northern) Greece where people are locked because they are searching for a safe place to stay. Revolts and hungerstrikes we will make public. Publicity is the only (weak) protection against the brutal repression that follows the revolts in most cases:
On the last revolt in Fylakio, 3rd of September 2011:
Riot in Fylakio Detention Center, 4th of December 2010:
Demonstration of the Greek antiracist movement in Evros, Fylakio 18th of December 2010:
List of (some) hungerstrikes and revolts of migrants in Greece 2009 and 2010:
In August 2011 Medicins sans Frontieres announced that for almost a month, there has been no medical care to immigrants and asylum seekers in detention:

September 4, 2011

Revolt in Fylakio detention center

On Saturday afternoon immigrants held in the detention center of Fylakio, Evros, set fire to mattresses. Border police forced the inmates out of the building, where they were guarded by riot police units, while fire brigade that arrived from the city of Orestiada managed to put out the fire.

One immigrant was transferred by ambulance to the Medical Center of Orestiada.

Only recently the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) denounced that for almost a month, there has been no medical care to immigrants and asylum seekers in detention in Evros region.

Meanwhile, greek navy and coast police keep searching for survivors from early Saturday shipwreck near the island of Kefalonia. Unfortunately the number of dead will probably rise to 19.

Source: Clandestina, Migration & Struggle in Greece

March 3, 2011



300 migrant workers in Athens and Thessaloniki are now on their 37th day of hunger strike. Even though the consequences for their health have by now become very serious, posing imminent risks to their lives, the Government maintains the same absolute position.

The insistence of each government on overlooking the factual reality of thousands of humans to whom Greece has become the center of their vital relations, who live and work here, who form bonds with their local communities and whose stay can in no way be seen as being characterised by temporariness, has led a significant segment of the migrant population in our country to a dead end.

These are people who do not exist for the Greek authorities as far as the enjoyment of any right is concerned, but who do exist in order to exploited and be used as an escape goat for many our country's problems. As visible the product of their work, as invisible their existence as humans.

February 2, 2011

Petition Signatures against the wall of shame in Evros


The recent announcement by the Ministry for the Protection of the Citizen about the planned erection of a wall at the Evros borderline, with the purpose of preventing the irregular entry of migrants and refugees into Greece from Turkey, is well known to all of us.

This radical move of political expediency comes in continuation of the inhuman European policies, which the Greek State follows upon the recommendations of powerful EU Member States like Germany. First, by agreeing to the Dublin II Regulation, the Greek Government agreed to the Community's legal structure to find a way for EU Member States to discharge their international committments through the back door. In addition, by participating in this game of shifting problems beyond and outside the “democratic territory” of the European Union, it literally took on the role of becoming the borderguard of EU policies.

January 26, 2011

Solidarity Initiative with the 300 Migrants on Hunger Strike - Athens

 Press Release 
Solidarity Initiative with the 300 Migrants on Hunger Strike - Athens 
As already publicly expressed during yesterday's press conference (25.01.2011), we, the Initiative for Solidarity with the 300 Migrants on Hunger Strike in Athens, support the just and democratic struggle of the 300 migrants, undertaken on their own initiative and without intermediaries.
The struggle of the 300 migrants, who are currently using the unoccupied building of the Law Faculty of Athens as a shelter,  is the struggle of 300 people who have been working for many years without any social or labor rights. The historic building of the Law Faculty, which is presently not being used for academic purposes and is undergoing renovation, is a place that has hosted in the past major and fair social struggles. It is a place which offers asylum to those fighting for justice and dignity; a place where medical and legal support as well as civil protection is being provided to those on strike.

January 24, 2011




The Greek Council for Refugees hereby denounces the deportation of an Iranian asylum seeker, T.R. (full identification details available at the Greek Council for Refugees), from Tychero Border Police Station to Turkey, through the Readmission Protocol between Greece and Turkey. T.R, who was recognised as a refugee under the mandate of UNHCR in Iraq, entered Greece through the Evros region on 29.10.2010. According to the account he gave us, since the moment of his arrest he had been asking the Greek authorities for protection. However, his asylum claim was not registered and the Greek authorities issued a detention and deportation order against him. The Greek Council for Refugees intervened in writing for the registration of his claim (document 497/2010, dated 19/11/2010 ). T.R.'s claim was officially registered on 25.11.2010 and has been pending ever since. His detention was not lifted and he continued to be held in Tychero Border Police Station under conditions which were tantamount to inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of the applicable legislation and in particular Art. 3 ECHR.

January 13, 2011

Information on the Right to Appeal against negative answer on the demand for asylum (P.D. 114/2010)

We inform you that from the 22nd of November 2010, the provisions of the no.114 Presidential Decree were put in place.

According to this new legislative provision, the asylum seekers who have received a negative answer on their demand for political asylum (no.81 Presidential Decree, 30/06/2009) will have the right to make an appeal in order to have their demands reexamined. This provision includes all negative answers on demands for political asylum given by the Headmasters of the Aliens’ Directorates in both Attica and Thessaloniki along with the ones given by Headmasters of all Police Directorates in the country.