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Council of Europe: conditions for migrants in Greece “inhumane”

Migrants are being held in Greece under “inhumane” conditions, the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) said in a report. The Committee urges Greece to review its reception policy.

According to the authors, Greece deliberately provides the hellish conditions in which migrants are held in order to discourage others from entering the country. The Greek government is doing this “without regard to the factors that cause these people to risk their lives to enter the country,” according to the CPT.

While a “coordinated European approach” is needed, the CPT argues that the lack of it does not exempt Greece from its human rights obligations.

Situation in Samos

After a visit in March, observers denounced the Greek approach, particularly those in the Evros region in the far east of the country and on the border with Turkey. They were also very critical about the conditions on the island of Samos.

“The CPT does not understand how the Greek authorities can continue to hold young children and babies in such traumatizing circumstances for up to a month or even longer,” they write.

In Samos’ port, two cells have been viewed, measuring 42 and 32 square meters, respectively. There, 43 and 50 people were locked up without heating, lighting, or beds. The migrants were also held under poor hygienic conditions and “without any possibility of contact with the outside world”. Scabies prevailed in another center.

The Committee wants the Greek government to take action. In response, the Greek government claims that the police have received no complaints of assault.

The government states that reports of human rights violations are investigated and, if necessary, “severe disciplinary sanctions”.

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