August 18, 2013

Immigration detention centres - “Warehouses” of souls and bodies

A year after the start of operation Xenios Zeus, the uprising in Amygdaleza detention centre reminded us of the approximately 4,000 to 5,000 people held in various detention centres – warehouses all over the country we had forgotten about.

In crisis-stricken Greece operation ‘Xenios Zeus’ has been used by the Greek government as a means of rounding up a redundant and unemployed segment of the migrant labour force from the center of Athens under the pretext of controlling the legality of their residence.

These people have been transferred to new detention centers (Amygdaleza, Corinth, Xanthi, Komotini, etc.) set up specifically for this purpose but which hardly differ from extant facilities (police stations, former warehouses, etc.) that were the subject of a Public Statement by the Committee for the Prevention of Torture of the Council of Europe in March 2011 and have given rise to a multitude of convictions by the European Court of Human Rights on grounds of the inhuman and degrading treatment of the detainees.