Letter of Mr X- detainee in the centre of Korinthos (Greece)

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Article posted the 2014/12/01

[EN] We, organizations of the Open Access Now campaign, would like to share with as many people as possible, the letter of Mr X, written during his detention in the centre of Korinthos, in Greece.

In his letter, addressed to the Members of the European Parliament, Mr X reports the extension of the period of detention in Greece, beyond 18 months and calls for the compliance of Greece with the provisions of the “Return” Directive on the maximum length of detention.

Mr X was recently released from Korinthos detention centre, after submitting an asylum demand. Nonetheless, his letter remains significant, since the situation he denounces still concerns number of people detained in Greece. (see the hunger strikes of detainees in the centres of Amygdaleza and Paranesti)

As part of our engagement for the access of civil society and journalists to immigration detention camps, we want to act as spokespersons of detainees and support their struggles against the non-compliance with the principles that Europe claims to promote, against the denial of justice, the arbitrary, the deprivation of contacts with the outside world and the silence of the authorities.

That’s why – without approving the purpose or aim of the “Return” directive – we invite you, to relay this letter.

[please find attached some propositions regarding institutions to address the letter to]

Background information:

According to the “Return” Directive (2008/115/EC), Member States cannot deprive liberty of third country nationals, for a period exceeding 18 months (Article 15). Despite this, the Greek “Nomiko Symvoulio tou Kratous[1]” published on March 20 an advice (44/2014), which allows indefinite detention of foreigners, until the deportation is possible, if they didn’t cooperate to their deportation or accepted a “voluntary” return or if they represent a ‘‘risk of absconding’’.

Elected officials and organizations defending migrant’s rights have already addressed this issue: In April parliamentary questions were asked to the Commission and in May the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR), the European Council for Refugees and Exiles and Aitima wrote a letter to Commissioner Cecilia Malmström on this issue. Finally, the Greek MEPs, members of GUE/NGL group, Georgios Katrougkalos, Emmanouil Glezos and Kostas Chrysogonos, addressed on September 23, a written question to the European Commission regarding specifically the situation in the camp of Korinthos.

So far, these interpellations are still awaiting a response[2].

[1] In English, « Legal Council of State », a body with an advisory role within the Greek public administration.

[2]At a hearing in the European Parliament, on 17 April 2014, the representative of the Commission stated «Regarding possible infringement procedures to ensure mutual trust between the Commission services and the MS,a degree of confidentiality is essential. The Commission therefore does not comment on ongoing or planned infringement procedures ».



Date(s) of publication: 01/12/2014
Author(s): Migreurop
Credits: Migreurop