Médecins Sans Frontieres and Aitima have published statements on detention at the Athens “Eleftherios Venizelos” airport in Greece. According to MSF, undocumented immigrants who are detained at the Athens airport police station suffer from inhuman living conditions in overcrowded rooms.
The report (PDF, Greek) documents that there are currently nearly 300 people detained, often for periods up to 40 days. There is a lack on legal aid and advice, and important shortcomings on the distribution of basic items of personal hygiene or of medical care. Furthermore, detainees have no access to open air during their detention. MSF has witnessed similar detention conditions in other places of detention all over Greece.
On the other hand, the Greek NGO AITIMA published a report (PDF), the “Programme for the provision of legal and social support to asylum seekers transferred to Greece under the Dublin II regulation’’ on the situation of asylum seekers who are returned to Greece under the Dublin Regulation, denouncing that the Airport Police Department provides no interpreters and no legal or social support to returnees.
Asylum seekers who apply for asylum in Greece for the first time are being detained in dire conditions until their fingerprints have been examined, a procedure which is also applied to asylum seekers who are returned under the Dublin Regulation. The duration of the procedure ranges from a few hours to up to four days, which has particularly adverse consequences for vulnerable persons.