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Anti-torture Committee undertakes rapid reaction visit to Greece to examine treatment of migrants

The Council of Europe’s European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) has just completed a five-day rapid reaction visit to Greece to examine the way in which persons attempting to enter the country and apprehended by the Hellenic Police or Coast Guard have been treated, notably since 1 March 2020, when inter alia the processing of asylum requests was suspended. The visit took place between 13 and 17 March 2020.
17/03/2020
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Anti-torture Committee undertakes rapid reaction visit to Greece to examine treatment of migrants

During the visit, the CPT’s delegation looked into the conditions of detention of migrants, including pregnant women and families with young children and infants. It visited police and border guard stations and other long-term facilities in the Evros region. It also visited certain quasi-official places of detention and examined allegations of push backs across the Evros River by certain Greek forces. In addition, the new detention camp at Malakasa (Attica) was visited on the day it entered into service in order to speak with a large number of persons who had been detained aboard a vessel for two weeks in Mytilini Harbour. Lastly, the delegation visited 93 persons held in two cells under the authority of the Hellenic Police on the Coastguard Premises in Samos.

The preliminary findings of the visit will be communicated to the Greek authorities in writing shortly, including as regards the immediate measures required to improve the situation. A full report on the visit will be transmitted to the Greek authorities in due course. The CPT will continue to engage constructively with the Greek authorities to ensure that all persons deprived of their liberty are treated in accordance with the CPT’s minimum standards, including as regards material conditions of detention and fundamental safeguards against ill-treatment.

The visit was carried out by Mark Kelly, 1st Vice President of the CPT, Julia Kozma, Djordje Alempjevic and Alan Mitchell. They were supported by Hugh Chetwynd and Natacha De Roeck of the CPT’s Secretariat.

List of places visited

Police and border guard establishments in the Evros region

  • Alexandropoulis Police Station
  • Didimoticho Police Station
  • Feres Police and Border Guard Station
  • Isaakio Police and Border Guard Station
  • Metaxades Police and Border Guard Station
  • Neo Cheimonio Police and Border Guard Station
  • Orestiada Police Station
  • Soufli Police and Border Guard Station
  • Tychero Police and Border Guard Station
  • The Poros facility under the authority of the Feres Police and Border Guard Station

Police establishments in Samos

  • Detention cells under the authority of the Hellenic Police at the Coastguard Premises
  • Vathi Police Station

Immigration detention facilities

  • Fylakio Reception and Identification Centre, Evros region
  • Fylakio Pre-removal centre, Evros region
  • Malakasa detention camp, Attica

Preventing torture in Europe
www.cpt.coe.int

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