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The Open Access Campaign publishes the letter of a migrant locked up in Corinth detention center to the members of the European Parliament. The author of this letter has been now released, after doing an asylum application.



« Letter to the Members of Parliament of the European Union

Subject: The unlimited prolongation of administrative detention in Greece beyond the maximum period of 18 months.

As migrants imprisoned in the administrative detention centre of Corinth, a former military base, we herewith inform you of our situation and address you a vital appeal. We need you.

The “Nomiko Symvoulio tou Kratous”, referred to in Greece as the State Legal Council, which functions as a legal consultation service and jurisdictional representation of the Greek state, published its opinion 44/2014 on March 20, 2014 in response to a request submitted by the police dependent on the Ministry of Public Order and Citizen Protection. The opinion is in favour of an unlimited extension of detention for undocumented migrants. We migrants locked up in Corinth camp reacted to this decision of the Greek authorities with a hunger strike in June, 2014, however to no avail.

This prolongation of administrative detention is of conflicting opinions with the spirit and letter of the directive 2008/115/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on common concerning the standards and procedures of Member States for the return of illegal nationals from third countries. The directive, which states that the detention period must be as short as possible, sets the maximum limit to eighteen months.

The conditions under which we were arrested and have been detained is in complete noncompliance with the European Union law: having been detained for eighteen months or more, we never saw a judge. We have no possible appeal to a judicial authority (article 15). Inside the centre we have no distractions, cannot wash ourselves, and eat insufficient food despite the European funds meant to feed us. We no longer benefit from the services of Médecins du Monde, whose specialists (in dentistry, dermatology and psychiatry) used to intervene very regularly. Suicide attempts are frequent.

Our despair is immense.

We request that you ensure that Greece comply with European standards in immigration and request your immediate rethinking of this terrible detention of a large part, moreover the poorest part, of the world population. The portentous historical consequences of these detention centers are imponderable.

On August 15, 2014, we migrants imprisoned in the camp in Corinth thank you for acting on our behalf.

Mr X, for the detainees at the detention camp in Corinth »