Island lawyers oppose compulsory detention of migrants

Island lawyers oppose compulsory detention of migrants

Lawyers from the bar associations of several Aegean islands on Tuesday expressed their opposition to the compulsory detention of refugees and migrants reaching Greece from neighboring Turkey. 

Addressing a joint press conference in Athens, lawyers from Chios, Lesvos, Kos, Samos and Rhodes indicated that the detention of migrants on the islands was a violation of both Greek and international law.

“We refuse to allow our islands to be transformed into prisons with the aim of stopping the flow of migrants to Europe,” Anthippi Zannara, head of the Chios association, said.

The vice president of the Athens association, Themis Sofos, said the practice of detaining migrants on the islands, apart from undermining their dignity, also prevented them from attending the hearings of their asylum claims in Athens. 

Reception centers on the Aegean islands have come under fire from human rights groups for being overcrowded and substandard.

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