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Amnesty slams Greece over migrants

Amnesty international has heavily criticised Greece for its handling of migrants. According to the human rights charity the Greek authorities have been detaining migrants, including woman and children in inhuman conditions and has criticised the EU for not doing more to stop it.

“Greece’s failure to respect the rights of migrants and asylum-seekers is taking on the proportions of a humanitarian crisis,” John Dalhuisen, the group’s Europe and Central Asia director said in a statement.”The current situation in Greece is totally unworthy of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning European Union and so far below international human rights standards as to make a mockery of them.”

In a report Amnesty said that tens of thousands of migrants that cross into the debt ridden nation are finding it extremely difficult to lodge genuine asylum claims, face racist attacks on the streets and are often detained in squalid conditions at detention centres.

Greece has struggled to keep control of the number of migrants slipping into the country during the Euro crisis that has seen the Greek government be forced to slash the budget for its border guards and migration centres.

Greek officials also blame the Dublin 2 treaty which deemed that all asylum seekers entering the EU be the responsibility of the nation in which they entered Europe. For Greece this is a particular problem as many refugees and migrants from the war torn Middle East and parts of Asia cross into Europe via Turkey and the Balkans. The Greek government has urged other EU nations to do more to assist with the immigrant problem.

The Greek governments struggle to control immigration and the economic difficulties imposed upon it through strict austerity measures has caused the rise of the fascist ‘Golden Dawn’ that is building on the anger of Greek citizens who blame mass immigration as one of the key causes for their plight.

The report also cited examples of children separated from their families. It said that youngsters were held in poor conditions among adults and released without access to shelter if no place was found for them at a reception centre.

“The Greek authorities continue to systematically detain asylum-seekers and irregular migrants including unaccompanied children in breach of international standards and seem to use detention – often in appalling conditions – as a deterrent,” said Dalhuisen. “The burden on Greece is great, and given the current economic crisis, increasingly difficult for it to deal with alone,” the report said. “However, this cannot excuse the impediments that deny people their rights, the xenophobic rhetoric, or the racist attacks.”

This report makes the fact that the EU won the Noble peace prize even more of a farce.

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