It was decided on Wednesday, February 18, that Greek authorities gradually start releasing migrants from Amygdaleza detention center, northwest of Athens. The mass release will start next Tuesday, just days after the center was criticized by Doctors Without Borders for the horrid living conditions.
According to Deputy Citizen Protection Minister Giannis Panousis’ announcement, migrants who have been in the detention center for more than six months will be released first, under the condition that they are able to provide a permanent address of residence and report to their local police station bimonthly.
It was estimated that out of 1,000 migrants who are currently detained in Amygdaleza, 500 have been there for more than six months.
Furthermore, another 400 people will be released in groups of 30 per day. The remaining one hundred are facing criminal charges and they are expected to remain in the detention center until their deportation. As for the 60 minors in the facility, Greek authorities have taken necessary measures in order to transfer them to more appropriate facilities.
According to Doctors Without Borders, the detention center lacked in several areas. Migrants received little to no information regarding their detention status, while living conditions resembled a concentration camp. The report also noted that the food was not sufficient for all detainees or permanent medical staff, while many migrants remained in the detention center for more than 18 months, which is the maximum detention period.