Campaign for the access to asylum in Greece

Campaign for the access to asylum in Greece

Δευτέρα 1 Δεκεμβρίου 2014

01/12/2014: Serious problems in the access to asylum procedure

Greek Forum of Refugees

The Greek Forum of Refugees, after the desperate appeals and complaints from the refugee communities and many other extremely problematic cases of access to asylum procedure, as happened to the Haidari family, expresses its deep concern about this issue.

The 11 Haidari family members left from Afghanistan. In their course, they lost two minors in Iran and three adults in Turkey. The rest of the family managed to reach Greece about two months ago. Since then, they have tried almost every day to make a request to the Asylum Service, exposing themselves to the continuous risk of being arrested by the police and transferred to a detention center. This is something that happens everyday at anytime. On November 18, the parents of two minor children of 10 and 12 were arrested and taken to the police station of Aghion Anarghiron. This happened while they were going to an appointment with a psychiatrist and psychologist. Currently, the mother is being hold at the Aliens Division of Attica Petrou Ralli and the father has been transferred to Amygdaleza detention center with serious health problems. As a result, the two children were found without their parents and currently they live in inappropriate conditions together with other 30-40 strange people in an apartment in Athens. Note that the family members are facing serious psychological health problems and are followed by the organization KLIMAKA (IOLAOS Program).

The Greek Forum of Refugees expresses the following concerns in relation to the access of applicants for international protection in the asylum procedure:

1. Recognizing the efforts of the management workers of the Asylum Office, we believe that the problem stems from inadequate staffing of the Office because of the lack of administrative personnel and interpreters and also the shortage of other Asylum offices as is provided by Law 3907/2011. The result is the accumulation of thousands of asylum seekers in Athens which makes the registration impossible. Alongside, vulnerable groups of applicants for international protection (as children, pregnant women and people with health issues and special needs, also victims of torture and with psychological problems) are suffering for months in queues from 5 a.m. for many hours without managing to be registered by the Office. Finally, asylum seekers sooner or later are arrested by the police and end up in detention centers with prolonged and unknown detention periods in inhuman conditions.

2. We believe that the inefficient access to the Asylum procedure intensifies the cycle of systematic violation of fundamental rights of applicants for international protection in Greece, as provided by the relevant international and national legal framework.

We demand the immediate concern for the creation of a functional and effective Asylum Service.
We ask relevant organizations to help us to set free the parents of the Haidari family in order for them to be with their children. -

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