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Immigrants in detention centres rebel

11 April 2013 / 19:04:12  GRReporter
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The immigrants without documents allowing them to reside in Greece, who were sent to detention centres nearly a year ago, have begun to rebel. In Corinth, where an old military base houses 1,000 people, a group of immigrants have begun protesting against their continued detention.

They threw various objects and construction materials against the guards, caused damage to the premises where they live and set fire to a small building, which is located in the area of the base. Then, they tried to set fire to the basement of the building where the heating system is installed.

A police intervention dispersed the immigrants with tear gas and the fire fighters extinguished the fire in time.

During the police raid, 47 Afghan civilians were arrested. The charges, which are different for each of them, are resistance, disobedience, prison riot, criminal association, arson, attempted infliction of dangerous and unprovoked injuries, causing damage, cursing and violation of the law on weapons.

The arrested immigrants will appear before the prosecutor. According to sources, they rebelled when they were informed that their stay in the facility would be extended. According to a publication in Ethnos newspaper, the stay will be officially extended from 12 to 18 months because of the problems related to the extradition of immigrants, the processing of the applications for refugee status as well as in cooperation with foreign embassies.

In protest against their continued detention, 2,000 immigrants from the centre in Amigdaleza near Athens have begun a hunger strike. According to the members of the movement "United against the fascist threat and racism" that supports them, "The three attempted suicides in Amigdaleza over the weekend were the tip of the extremely poor living conditions, the ill-treatment and the harassment to which around five thousand immigrants and refugees have been subjected."

According to the far-left activists, "many police stations have become places of harassment of immigrants and refugees." The leader of the movement, Petros Konstantinou, said that the hunger strike has spread among undocumented immigrants throughout Greece.

"Three of the hundreds of starving people in the camp in Amigdaleza tried to commit suicide on Saturday. One of them cut his neck with a piece of glass from a broken window," he said, accusing the Ministry of Civil Defence of an attempt to disguise the poor living conditions in the centres.

Petros Constantinou urges trade unions, medical associations, bar associations, parliamentarians, mayors, the international organization Amnesty International and the Commission on Human Rights to support the immigrants. The leaders of the Pakistani, the Afghan and the Bangladesh communities in Greece have immediately responded to his call.

In today’s interview for To Vima radio, Minister of Citizen Protection Nikos Dendias said, "I do not pretend that everything is perfect, but inspections are carried out continuously and we are completely open to applying any new good idea to solve the immigration problem. The allegations of various non-profit organizations are another matter. It is their practice and there is nothing wrong with that. They exert pressure, which is their function. Everyone is doing his or her job. But there will be centres, we will apply our plan and we will try to solve the problem of immigration. Our goal is to create a smooth flow and for the illegal immigrants to leave the country to make it clear that rules apply in Greece."

Tags: SocietyIllegal immigrantsAmigdalezaRiotHunger strikeFar left activistsNikos Dendias
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