Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Appalling detention conditions in Samos Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) highlights translated excerpts from an article in today’s issue of the Athens daily Avghi by MP (Left Coalition) (and medical doctor) Thanasis Leventis on the detention facility for illegal entrants in the island of Samos. Leventis has just visited the facility with the local authorities. "It is in the center of the city of Samos and there were 95 detainees. "Almost all are under 20, most are minors aged 15-16 yrs. Although young many mentioned they are married with 2-3 children. Detention conditions are really squalid. They are packed in cells. Only about 1/4 have beds. Some have mattresses, but most have just a blanket on the floor, without pillows. There is no electric light in the cells or the corridors which are dark even in midday when we visited. Toilets are in a miserable shape. There is no possibility to wash oneself individually unless with water through a hose in an open toilet. Many had mosquito bites. The high temperature (38 degrees during our visit) aggravates the problems packed in an old and not well maintained facility. They come from poor countries of the third world (Afghans, Somalis, Algerians, etc.) but are detained in fourth world conditions. The state budget per person is 6 euros per day which is very inadequate even for a poor meal. It is inhuman not to allow them to go out to the facility's yard some 200 sq.m. This can happen only when there are enough police officers available. It is irrational to hold for three months so many people mostly minors. We left the facility with a feeling of shame for our country and our civilization."


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