Document - Greece: Profound concerns over death of Afghan refugee
AI Index: EUR 25/013/2013
1 August 2013
Greece: Profound concerns over death of Afghan refugee
Amnesty International wishes to express its profound concerns over the death of Mohamad Hasan, an Afghan refugee who was held in immigration detention since September 2012. According to the Afghan migrants and refugees community in Greece, Mohamad Hasan had complained to the police about intense chest pain for a few months. Despite his and other detainees repeated requests he was not transferred to the hospital by detention staff until it was too late. On 7 July 2013, Mohamad Hasan was eventually transferred at the Korinth hospital where he was diagnosed with a very serious lung infection. A few days later, he was transferred by friends at a hospital in Athens where he died, on 27 July 2013.
The alleged failure of the detention staff to consider his pleas for medical attention raises serious questions over the circumstances that led to his death.
Amnesty International wishes to highlight concerns over the poor detention conditions at Korinth detention centre. During the organization’s visit in November 2012, there was lack of heating and hot water while beddings were dirty and not sufficient for the cold weather. In the toilets viewed, there was no soap or toilet paper and detainees said that the authorities did not provide them with hygiene products. Several detainees alleged that police guards frequently ill-treated them.
During the organization’s second visit in April 2013, delegates were not allowed to enter inside the centre but spoke to many detainees who expressed their despair about their prolonged periods of detention, and about the very poor detention conditions. The detainees spoke about limited access to medical assistance including guards ignoring their requests for such assistance, poor quality of food, lack of hot water and poor hygiene. Detainees also reported abusive and racist language being used by guards while an officer called some detainees “rats” in the presence of an Amnesty International delegate.
The Greek authorities must urgently and promptly investigate the circumstances that led to Mohamad Hasan’s death.
Further, they must improve the detention conditions at Korinth detention centre by ensuring adequate sanitation of the facilities, access to health care, hygienic materials, and outdoor space.
The indiscriminate and automatic detention of irregular migrants must stop.
Greek authorities must urgently investigate allegations of ill-treatment at the Korinth detention facility, 14 March 2013, AI Index: EUR 25/002/2013.