Reported incident of police violence towards unaccompanied minors at Moria Reception Center in Lesvos
Médecins du Monde – Doctors of the World Greece expresses its deep concern about the reported incident of police violence towards unaccompanied minors detained in Moria Reception Center in Lesvos.
On the 24th of June 2016, twelve (12) unaccompanied minor of Pakistani nationality, accompanied by the coordinator of the Centre, were examined by the doctor and the psychologist of the medical team of MdM.
Τhe testimonies of the unaccompanied minors and the related reports of the doctor and the psychologist of our Organization indicate that during a quarrel between unaccompanied minors, a stone hit one of the shift policemen. The officer entered ragging inside the wing and punched one of the minors while launching at the same time general threats against minors detained at the site. They reacted, which resulted in twelve of them to be transferred in handcuffs to the detention centre of the police department in Mytilene. The minors report that they were kept there from 3:00 a.m. until 14:00 the next day. During that period they were forced to sit most of the time at kneeling posture with their knees not touching the ground, while, if they changed position, due to fatigue or lack of sleep, the officers would hit them, with bottles of water.
During the clinical examination by MdM’s doctor, it was obvious that the minors were in a state of shock and suffering from physical/psychological depression. Some of them had abrasions on the wrists due to handcuffing and others in various parts of their body. Some reported headaches due to head strikes while one of them had a nosebleed.
Based on the above findings and following the examination, the doctors of MdM referred them to Vostaneio Hospital in Mytilene for further assessment.
Since events like the aforementioned constitute flagrant violation of minors’ rights, Médecins du Monde – Doctors of the World Greece sends a letter notifying this incident to the Alternate Minister of Immigration Policy and competent authorities, while calling for an immediate investigation into the incident. We trust that all the appropriate steps will be taken towards holding accountable, if necessary, those who have caused this incident and to avoid similar incidents in the future.
Finally, our Organization would like to draw once again attention to the issue of the detention of unaccompanied refugee minors and migrants within the Centre of Moria. Any restriction imposed on their freedom of movement should be limited to the shortest period of time and only for reasons relating to their record and then be referred to appropriate accommodation structures. It is the responsibility of both the Ministry and the Reception Service to ensure the full respect of the rights of minors, refraining or/and preventing such acts of violence against them and violations of their rights.