The Greek Guantanamo

“A visit to the Greek Guantanamo,” by Alain Salles for the Worldcrunch:

Over the last three years, Greece has been condemned 11 separate times by the European Court of Human Rights for the conditions of undocumented immigrants detained by the state.

The latest case to make news was Aug. 10, as Greek police launched a manhunt in Athens to capture migrants who escaped from the nearby detention center of Amygdaleza after a riot broke out. The unrest erupted when the 1,200 prisoners were informed that their detention could now last up to 18 months, instead of 12.

At the camp here in the coastal city of Corinth, the detainees’ living quarters speak for themselves: Prisoners linger behind high fences topped with barbed wire. They chat, hail the odd visitor and the few social workers who try to take care of about 1,000 undocumented migrants piling up in this former military barrack, 80 kilometers southwest of Athens.

These migrants are often grouped depending on their national origin and housed in large buildings with dormitories shared by some 70 to 80 people. They are allowed two walks a day, every morning and every evening. Each building has two shower cabins, accessible for 90 minutes per day…

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