UN: Greek gateway to EU is 'inhuman and degrading'
The EU Observer reported this week that...
A UN investigator has described as "inhuman and degrading ... appalling ... dysfunctional" the conditions in many Greek detention facilities, where the vast majority of irregular migrants seeking to enter the EU get their first glimpse of the bloc.
Writing in a report out on Wednesday (20 October), the UN special rapporteur on torture and cruel punishment, Manfred Nowak, painted a disturbing picture of overcrowding and legal problems in 21 prisons, police stations and other centres used to hold migrants in Greece.
In the Korydallos Prison, the UN investigator said "sanitary conditions were bad, with some mattresses hiding hundreds of cockroaches and bugs." In the Agiou Panteleimonos centre, detainees "were often forced to sleep for up to two weeks on benches or on the floor" in "dark and suffocating cells."
Lack of access to toilets and showers, lack of access to outside yards for up to two years, lack of blankets and warm clothes amid plunging temperatures and inadequate medical care were repeatedly cited in Mr Nowak's report< http://www.statewatch.org/news/2010/oct/greece-un-report-asylum.pdf' from a 10-day-long fact-finding mission.
Read the rest of Andrew Rettman's report for EU Observer.