Asylum seekers are put in jail!

Our organisation provides legal supp ort to asylum seekers in the area of Igoumenitsa (port to Italy). This support is provided under a special scheme of the European Refugee Fund, in cooperation with the non- governmental organisation “Doctors of the World” and is co-funded by the Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity. The aim of the particular program is to inform refugees of their rights and assist them in practice.

Under this framework the employees of the program started informing refugees of their rights and the procedures. In time, some of them have asked our assistance in order to apply for asylum. After the submission of the first application and after we have informed the local police authorities that more applications are going to follow, we were given notice that from that point on, whoever applies for asylum without holding travelling documents will be detained (we put emphasis on the fact that only few asylum seekers have travelling documents).

Despite the fact, that we considered that such an action from the police authorities is beyond belief, we, in our turn, informed a Sudanese national that wanted to apply for asylum and insisted on doing so. In 29 th of April we accompanied him to the Alien’s Department of Igoumenitsa. The asylum application was submitted, however, the applicant- after the indication of the Alien’s Department and the decision of the Police’s Head Officer of Thesprotia- was arrested and is being detained.

The police authorities, punishing with imprisonment everyone who is trying to practice his/her right to apply for asylum, are basically demolishing such entitlement. This practice is a cruel violation of human rights of the refugees. The rights of the refugees are ratified in the international conventions and therefore compel our country.

We invite the Ministry of Citizen Protection, UNHCR, the National Committee for Human Rights and the Civil Society to take action on the matter.

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Following an invitation by the Norwegian Organization for Asylum Seekers (NOAS) a
delegation of our organization visited Norway.

Our visit aimed at:

  • Informing the Norwegian authorities and Ngos about the situation in Greece
  • Getting information about the asylum system in Norway
  • Strengthening our cooperation between AITIMA and Norwegian Ngos
  • Contributing in the acceleration of the process of funding the Greek asylum system
  • through EEA grants

During our visit:

- We had meetings with the Norwegian authorities

  • Ministry of Justice
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Norwegian Directorate for Immigration (UDI)
  • Appeals Board (UNE)

- We visited two reception centers for asylum seekers

- We had meetings with Ngos:

  • Norwegian Organization for Asylum Seekers (NOAS)
  • Norwegian Helsinki Committee
  • Norwegian People’s Aid









Ngo meeting 










Visit at Hvalstad Reception Center for Minors