amnesty.eu | 2 December 2021|
Greece: Asylum seekers being illegally detained in new EU-funded camp
Asylum-seekers staying in a new EU-funded refugee camp on the island of Samos are being detained illegally by Greek authorities following a yet unpublished decision from the Greek Minister for Migration and Asylum, based on information received by Amnesty International.
In line with the decision, since 17 November those without valid government-issued IDs (asylum cards) are barred from leaving the camp for an indefinite period of time. The decision applies to individuals who have had cards withdrawn as a result of unsuccessful asylum applications or newcomers yet to be issued with a card. According to unofficial estimates, around 100 of the approximately 450 residents have been prevented from leaving the prison-like premises for more than two weeks, in violation of their right to liberty.
“This camp more closely resembles a prison than a place to house people seeking safety. This is a gross misuse of EU money, and a gross abuse of the residents’ rights,” said Adriana Tidona, migration researcher at Amnesty International.
The new EU-funded “closed-controlled centre” (KEDN) of Samos has been constructed in an isolated spot 6 km from the main city, Vathi. It can house up to 3000 people and is equipped with a rigid system of containment and surveillance, including double barbed wire metal fencing, CCTV throughout, and the 24/7 presence of patrolling police officers and privately contracted security officers.