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EU Court Condemns Greece in Case Involving Illegal Minor

Today the European Court of Human Rights condemned Greece for not having provided adequate care and for having illegally detained an unaccompanied minor who was seeking asylum.
The case involves a 15-year-old Afghan orphan, who arrived illegally to the island of Lesbos in the summer of 2007. On the island, he was initially incarcerated for several days in the detention centre for immigrants in Pagani and then released under the supervision of an alleged cousin, with an expulsion order.
The boy arrived to Athens on his own where an NGO took responsibility for him at a hostel where he is currently being accommodated. In its condemnation of Greece, the court underlined how considering the age of the boy, the authorities were obligated to provide him with protection, an adequate place to stay while assessing his case, and appoint a guardian. However, observed the court, none of these steps were taken.
The boy was incarcerated in a detention centre whose conditions have been defined as ‘inhumane’ and then released under the supervision of a man for whom the Greek authorities could not prove any relation nor provide any identification.
The court also stated that once released, the boy was abandoned, and that even after the authorities were notified of this by the NGO that is currently caring for him, they took no steps to intervene.

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