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Lesvos: Police violence towards unaccompanied minors at Moria Migration Center

This is a serious denouncement and it should be officially investigated as soon as possible. Humanitarian organization Médecins du Monde – Doctors of the World Greece reports of an incident of police violence towards 12 unaccompanied minors from Pakistan.  The minors were in Moria Reception Center in Lesvos. They were exposed to police violence, punching, were handcuffed and underwent a procedure that is just so close away from torture.

PRESS RELEASE

 

Reported incident of police violence towards unaccompanied minors at Moria Reception Center in Lesvos

Médecins du Monde – Doctors of the World Greece expresses its deep concern about the reported incident of police violence towards unaccompanied minors detained in Moria Reception Center in Lesvos.

On the 24th of June 2016, twelve (12) unaccompanied minor of Pakistani nationality, accompanied by the coordinator of the Centre, were examined by the doctor and the psychologist of the medical team of MdM.

Τhe testimonies of the unaccompanied minors and the related reports of the doctor and the psychologist of our Organization indicate that during a quarrel between unaccompanied minors, a stone hit one of the shift policemen. The officer entered ragging inside the wing and punched one of the minors while launching at the same time general threats against minors detained at the site. They reacted, which resulted in twelve of them to be transferred in handcuffs to the detention centre of the police department in Mytilene. The minors report that they were kept there from 3:00 a.m. until 14:00 the next day. During that period they were forced to sit most of the time at kneeling posture with their knees not touching the ground, while, if they changed position, due to fatigue or lack of sleep, the officers would hit them, with bottles of water.

During the clinical examination by MdM’s doctor, it was obvious that the minors were in a state of shock and suffering from physical/psychological depression. Some of them had abrasions on the wrists due to handcuffing and others in various parts of their body. Some reported headaches due to head strikes while one of them had a nosebleed.

Based on the above findings and following the examination, the doctors of MdM referred them to Vostaneio Hospital in Mytilene for further assessment.

Since events like the aforementioned constitute flagrant violation of minors’ rights, Médecins du Monde – Doctors of the World Greece sends a letter notifying this incident to the Alternate Minister of Immigration Policy and competent authorities, while calling for an immediate investigation into the incident. We trust that all the appropriate steps will be taken towards holding accountable, if necessary, those who have caused this incident and to avoid similar incidents in the future.

Finally, our Organization would like to draw once again attention to the issue of the detention of unaccompanied refugee minors and migrants within the Centre of Moria. Any restriction imposed on their freedom of movement should be limited to the shortest period of time and only for reasons relating to their record and then be referred to appropriate accommodation structures. It is the responsibility of both the Ministry and the Reception Service to ensure the full respect of the rights of minors, refraining or/and preventing such acts of violence against them and violations of their rights.

source: MdM Greece website

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3 comments

  1. The Greek state is a disgrace, and in particular the police. They have never respected children’s rights, and even when “protecting” them actually do no more than incarcerate them until they are old enough to be deported.
    ~
    This is just one aspect of why Greece was determined by the ECtHR and CJEU in 2011 not to be a safe country for asylum-seekers to be returned under the Dublin Regulation. As for Turkey…

  2. I do not understand Greek police at all. They do not respect their job, they do not respond to animalabuse neither.

    What do they do all day? drinking coffee?

    • They are mostly uneducated and badly paid, with no training at all. Once I went to report a minor crime, and they didn’t want to know: they sat there drinking caffe frappe and not interested to do anything else. But this is the fault of Greek politicians: they are responsible for the police, and do nothing about problems. They wait for riots (such as after the murder of the kid in Exarcheia), and then complain that the rioters are out of control. Also the Greek judges are useless: they never hold the police accountable in law. To be honest, I think Greece may as well just save the money and abolish all laws and courts.