Place of detention

Greece

Country Report: Place of detention Last updated: 30/11/20

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Pre-removal detention centres

 

According to the former Article 46(9) L 4375/2016, now Article 47(1) IPA, 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]

Eight pre-removal detention centres were active at the end of 2019. The total pre-removal detention capacity is 4,683 places. A ninth pre-removal centre has been legally established on Samos but was not yet operational as of February 2020. 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

Centre

Region

Establishing act

Capacity

Amygdaleza

Attica

JMD 8038/23/22−ιγ΄, Gov. Gazette B’ 118/21.1.2015; JMD  8038/23/22−να΄, Gov. Gazette B’ 2952/31.12.2015 

667

Tavros

(Petrou Ralli)

Attica

JMD 8038/23/22−ιγ΄, Gov. Gazette B’ 118/21.1.2015; JMD  8038/23/22−να΄, Gov. Gazette B’ 2952/31.12.2015  

340

Corinth

Peloponnese

JMD 8038/23/22−ιγ΄, Gov. Gazette B’ 118/21.1.2015; JMD  8038/23/22−να΄, Gov. Gazette B’ 2952/31.12.2015  

1,536

Paranesti, Drama

Thrace

JMD 8038/23/22−ιγ΄, Gov. Gazette B’ 118/21.1.2015; JMD 8038/23/22−να΄, Gov. Gazette B’ 2952/31.12.2015  

720

Xanthi

Thrace

JMD 8038/23/22−ιγ΄, Gov. Gazette B’ 118/21.1.2015; JMD 8038/23/22−να΄, Gov. Gazette B’ 2952/31.12.2015   

480

Fylakio, Orestiada

Thrace

JMD 8038/23/22−ιγ΄, Gov. Gazette B’ 118/21.1.2015; JMD 8038/23/22−να΄, Gov. Gazette B’ 2952/31.12.2015  

230

Lesvos

Eastern Aegean

JMD 8038/23/22−ιγ΄, Gov. Gazette B’ 118/21.1.2015; JMD 8038/23/22−να΄, Gov. Gazette B’ 2952/31.12.2015  

210

Kos

Dodecanese

 JMD 8038/23/22-ξε, Gov. Gazette B’ 332/7.2.2017; JMD 8038/23/22-οε΄, Gov. Gazette B’ 4617/28.12.2017

500

Samos

Eastern Aegean

JMD 3406/2017, Gov. Gazette B’ 2190/27.6.2017 (not yet operational)

300

Total

 

 

4,983

Source: Directorate of the Hellenic Police.

 

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.[2] According to this Decision, the estimated budged for the functioning of the pre-removal detention centres is €80,799,488.   

 

Closed reception centres

 

The IPA has introduced a new category of detention facilities for asylum seekers. These are referred to as “Closed Temporary Reception Facilities” (Κλειστές Δομές Προσωρινής Υποδοχής)[3] or “Closed Reception Centres” (Κλειστά Κέντρα Υποδοχής).[4]

On the one hand, the law provides that the Closed Temporary Reception Facilities are managed by the Reception and Identification Service (RIS),[5] the authority responsible for RIC and other facilities. On the other hand, it specifies that the Closed Temporary Reception Facilities are to be developed on the model of pre-removal detention centres, managed by the Police.[6] It should also be noted that Article 47(1) IPA only refers to pre-removal centres as facilities in which asylum detention is implemented. No such facilities have been established as of the end of March 2020.

 

Police stations

 

Apart from the aforementioned pre-removal facilities, the law does not expressly rule out detention of asylum seekers in criminal detention facilities.[7] 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 are also detained in police stations and special holding facilities during 2019. As confirmed by the Directorate of the Hellenic Police, there were 1,021 persons in administrative detention at the end of 2019 in facilities other than pre-removal centres, of whom 212 were asylum seekers.[8]

As mentioned in General, a breakdown of persons in detention in the police stations is only available for the Eastern Aegean islands. According to these statistics, as of the end of 2019 there were 65 persons detained in police stations on the islands, of whom 1 in Lesvos, 6 in Chios, 9 in Samos, 6 in Leros, 4 in Kos, and 39 in Rhodes.[9]

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: http://bit.ly/2kTWzKX.

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

[3] Article 13(4) L 4375/2016, as amended by Article 116(5) IPA.  

[4] Article 39(7)(c) IPA.  

[5]Article 8(5) L 4375/2016, as amended by Article 116(5) IPA.  

[6]Article 13(4) L 4375/2016, as amended by Article 116(5) IPA.  

[7]Article 46 L. 4375/2016.  

[8]Information provided by the Directorate of the Hellenic Police, 8 February 2020.

[9]  National Coordination Centre for Border Control, Immigration and Asylum, National situational picture regarding the Eastern Aegean islands, 31 December 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/37zEf0Q.

 

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