The main objective of the visit was to examine the treatment of foreign nationals deprived of their liberty under immigration legislation. The visit was also an opportunity to review the progress made by the authorities in implementing the CPT’s recommendations in relation to immigration matters since its visits in 2018 and 2020, including as regards informal forced removals at both land and sea borders (so-called “pushbacks”).
To this end, the CPT delegation visited six of the seven Pre-removal Detention Centres and several Police and Border Guard Stations in different regions. The delegation also visited, for the first time, three Closed Controlled Access Centres on the Aegean Islands of Lesvos, Kos and Samos.
During the visit, the delegation met with Sofia Voultepsi, Deputy Minister of Migration responsible for Integration, Heracles Moskoff, General Secretary for Vulnerable Individuals and Institutional Protection, Dimitrios Iatridis, General Secretary for Reception of Asylum Seekers, and Dimitrios Mallios, Head of the Aliens and Border Protection Branch of the Hellenic Police, as well as senior officials from the Hellenic Police, the Hellenic Coast Guard and the Reception and Identification Service.
The delegation also held consultations prior to and during the visit with Andreas Pottakis, the Greek Ombudsman, representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Médecins Sans Frontières, and other non-governmental organisations active in areas of concern to the CPT.
At the end of the visit, the delegation presented its preliminary observations to the Greek authorities.
The visit was carried out by the following members of the CPT:
- Gunda Wössner (Head of Delegation)
- Jean-Charles Gardetto
- Nikola Kovačević
- Judith Öhri
- Karin Rowhani-Wimmer
They were supported by Hugh Chetwynd (Head of Division) and Sebastian Rietz of the CPT Secretariat, and assisted by three experts, Marija Definis, forensic medical doctor at the University Hospital in Split (Croatia), Richard Kirk, general practitioner (United Kingdom) and Cyrille Orizet, psychiatrist at the HEGP Hospital in Paris (France).
The delegation visited the following places of deprivation of liberty:
Establishments under the authority of the Hellenic Police
Pre-removal detention centres
- Corinth Pre-removal Detention Centre
- Fylakio Pre-removal Detention Centre, Evros
- Kos Pre-removal Detention Centre
- Paranesti Pre-removal Detention Centre, Drama
- Petrou Ralli Pre-removal Detention Centre, Athens
- Xanthi Pre-removal Detention Centre
Police and border guard stations
- Athens Airport Special holding facility
- Omonia Police Station, Athens
- Drapetsona Police Station, Piraeus
- Didimoticho Police Station, Evros
- Feres Police and Border Guard Station, Evros
- Neo Cheimonio Police and Border Guard Station, Evros
- Orestiada Police Station, Evros
- Soufli Police and Border Guard Station, Evros
- Tychero Police and Border Guard Station, Evros
- Kos Police Station
- Mytilene Police Station, Lesvos
Establishments under the authority of the Reception and Identification Service
Reception and identification centres
- Fylakio Reception and Identification Centre, Evros
Closed controlled access centres
- Lesvos Closed Controlled Access Centre
- Kos Closed Controlled Access Centre
- Samos Closed Controlled Access Centre
Establishments under the authority of the Hellenic Coast Guard
- Mytilene Coast Guard holding facility, Lesvos