ON August 10th detained migrants in Amigdaleza near Athens protested in an uprising against the extension of their detention from 12 to 18 months. 1.620 migrants are currently detained in this prison while it was built only for 820. In the past months different human rights organisations had reported about the inhuman detention conditions, about cases of police violence and forced “voluntary returns”.
Saturday 10th of August: Immigrants imprisoned at Amygdaleza detention center (near Athens) started a revolt around 21.00 o’clock. They protested against the deplorable conditions and the extension of their detention from 12 to 18 months. Many of the detainees face deportation following the negative decisions on their asylum cases and have lost hope.
They set on fire mattresses and the cargo containers that are being used as their cells. Riot police entered the detention center by force and fire brigades arrived to take control of the fire. The riot police made extensive use of tear gas and flash grenades. There are many injured migrants, some heavily injured. The police also claimed that ten of their staff are injured after having stones thrown at them.
Today 41 immigrants are facing various charges after the suppression of the Amygdaleza uprising. They come from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Morocco. The situation of the immigrants injured during the uprising is yet unknown, since access to the detention center is denied even to lawyers.
Meanwhile, the mayor of the area, Sotiris Duros, declared that an uprising was “an expected one”, since the conditions in the detention center are inhuman and the temperature in the (made of of metal) cargo containers used for constraining 1650 people, during summertime reaches up to 50 Celsius degrees. This. combined with the fact that a prolonging of their imprisonment to 18 months was announced, led to the uprising. Furthermore, he said:
“Amigdaleza and the other detention centers for migrants are a huge business with a direct contracts to certain suppliers… they found a machinery and pull out european funds… what migrants and what security of citizens? For 1.600 detainees in Amigdaleza the EU pays each day 120.000 Euro!!! If the money that commes from outside would go to the detained migrants they would have even swimmming pools… but they live in containers under 45 degrees celsius… we just found another patent to “build our villas”.
Electricity had been cut for three days so migrants could not turn on the air condition. Leftist rights group KEERFA reported that electricity had been cut “because migrants turned on air condition” while mainstream media report that it had been cut due to construction works. The detainees denied returning into the dark and hot container cells. Police guards reacted with insults and beatings. As KEERDA reported then some officers stepped consciously on the meals and said: “We don’t care if you die!” and protests began.