Place of detention


Country Report: Place of detention Last updated: 08/06/23


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Pre-removal detention centres

According to Article 51(1) L 4939/2022, asylum seekers are detained in detention areas as provided in Article 31 L 3907/2011, which refers to pre-removal detention centres established in accordance with the provisions of the Returns Directive. Therefore, asylum seekers are also detained in pre-removal detention centres together with third-country nationals under removal procedures. Despite the fact that pre-removal detention centres have been operating since 2012, they were officially established through Joint Ministerial Decisions in January 2015.[1]

Seven pre-removal detention centres were active at the end of 2022. The PRDC of Lesvos, has temporarily suspended its operation due to extended damages following the widespread fire of September 2020. The total pre-removal detention capacity is 3,676 places. A ninth pre-removal centre has been legally established on Samos but was not yet operational as of March 2023 According to information provided to GCR by the Hellenic Police, the capacity of the pre-removal detention facilities is as follows:

Capacity of pre-removal detention centres[2]
Centre Region Capacity
Amygdaleza Attica 1,000

(Petrou Ralli)

Attica 150
Corinth Peloponnese 1,344
Paranesti, Drama Thrace 300
Xanthi Thrace 210
Fylakio, Orestiada Thrace 232
Lesvos Eastern Aegean 0
Kos Dodecanese 440
Samos Eastern Aegean 0
Total 3,676

The functioning of these pre-removal facilities has been prolonged until 31 December 2022 under a Joint Ministerial Decision issued at the end of 2018.[3] According to this Decision, the estimated budget for the functioning of the pre-removal detention centres is € 80,799,488.


Police stations

Apart from the aforementioned pre-removal facilities, the law does not expressly rule out detention of asylum seekers in criminal detention facilities.[4] Despite commitments from the Greek authorities to phase out detention in police stations and other holding facilities, third-country nationals including asylum seekers and unaccompanied children were also detained in police stations and special holding facilities during 2022. As confirmed by the Directorate of the Hellenic Police, there were 316 persons in administrative detention at the end of 2022 in facilities other than pre-removal centres, of whom 35 were asylum seekers.[5]

As stated in Grounds for Detention, detention is also de facto applied at the RIC of Fylakio.




[1] Joint Ministerial Decision 8038/23/22-ιγ on the creation and functioning of Pre-removal Centres of Detention of Foreigners, and their regulations, Gov. Gazette 118/Β/21-1-2015, available at:

[2] According to the information provided by the Directorate of Hellenic Police, 2 February 2023.

[3] Joint Ministerial Decision 8038/23/22-πζ/, Gov. Gazette Β’ 5906/31.12.2018.

[4] Article 50 Asylum Code.

[5] Information provided by the Directorate of the Hellenic Police, 3 February 2023.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation