The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

In Limbo

The BBC’s Europe editor Gavin Hewitt has an article up at his blog called Greece’s Immigrants in Limbo

On a hill above the town of Samos in eastern Greece are a series of long buildings with grey walls and red roofs. They could be a barracks but this is a detention centre for immigrants. It was built to hold 300 people. Today, 473 are held there. Fifty-three are women and 10 are under the age of 18. They live behind barbed wire and wait. They stay for between one and three months, their frustration gnawing away at them. These are people who have made long, often dangerous journeys to reach the shores of Europe.

Within minutes of us starting to film through the wire a young man in a red football shirt detached himself from a group and shouted out to us. Clinging to the wire fence he said he was from Somalia but looked as if he had come from West Africa. He demands to know why he is being locked up. “Why?” he pleads with me. In a refugee centre in town someone has written on a wall: “They don’t let us come. They don’t let us stay. They don’t let us go.”

Read the full post here

Also read his post Migration Road from two days ago.

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2 Comments

  1. Immigrant Update
    October 16, 2009    

    http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_politics_100012_16/10/2009_111607

    Release for 1,200 illegal migrants

    Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis yesterday announced the impending release of 1,200 illegal immigrants from police holding cells around the country while also heralding a overhaul of the coast guard and police force to deter traffickers from bringing would-be migrants to Greece.

    The freed immigrants would be given a month to leave the country and offered financial incentives for their repatriation, the minister said, noting that migrants facing trial on criminal charges would not be subject to release.

    Chrysochoidis said that more measures were in the pipeline, including the reform of legislation to ensure greater rights for the children of migrants. “Child migrants who have grown up in Greece and merit protection status will not be subject to deportation,” he said.

    “First and foremost we want to discourage illegal entry but we must also drastically improve our country’s human rights record,” Chrysochoidis told reporters following talks with top police and navy officials. The minister added that Greece would “no longer be a free-for-all but neither a hell pit for human souls.” To this end, and in an apparent reaction to complaints lodged against Greece by international rights groups earlier this week, Chrysochoidis also heralded the creation of a police department that would probe alleged rights violations by officers. The plan is for the unit to operate in cooperation with the Ombudsman, Giorgos Kaminis, who last week highlighted the problem of illegal immigration when he appeared at the new government’s first ministerial meeting.

    Chrysochoidis said another priority would be reorganizing the coast guard with the aim of intensifying sea patrols and curbing a relentless influx of migrants to islands in the eastern Aegean.

    Earlier this week, the European Union’s border-monitoring agency Frontex reported a 47 percent increase in the number of illegal immigrants entering Greece through its sea border with Turkey. This sharp increase came even as Italy and Spain, also external EU border states, reported a 60 percent drop in illegal arrivals partly due to repatriation agreements signed with Libya and Senegal respectively.

  2. kat
    October 21, 2009    

    This is an article you might be interested in from Eleftherotypia:

    http://www.enet.gr/94118

    Greece: Worst housing discrimination against gypsies in the EU at 34 percent and Roma at 13 percent

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