MSF slams immigrant detention conditions

Thousands of migrants stopped in spot checks by Greek authorities, including some asylum seekers and minors, are being detained in “deplorable” conditions with “devastating” consequences for their health, the international aid organization Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) warned in a report published Tuesday.

The report, which is titled “Invisible Suffering” and based on the testimonies of medical staff who have visited various Greek migrant detention centers and police stations, expressed serious concerns about unsanitary conditions and overcrowding, as well as the “massive impact” of these conditions on the physical and mental health of migrants.

The conditions at police stations, where migrants are often detained due to inadequate space at reception centers, are even worse as detainees are often forbidden from going outdoors for months at a time, in some cases up to 17 months, the report said.

Even particularly vulnerable groups, including minors and torture victims, are subjected to prolonged detention sometimes, according to MSF.

The report called on Greek authorities to “put an end to the indiscriminate, systematic and prolonged detention of migrants” and to “invest in a reception system adapted to the physical, medical and humanitarian needs” of those detained.