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Greece’s Immigrant Roundup Draws Ire in Belgium

Greece’s ongoing roundup of illegal immigrants under the code name A report dedicated to Zeus Xenios has drawn criticism in the Belgian newspaper De Morgen, which noted that Amnesty International has said the operation is leading to the detention of legal immigrants as well.

More than 1,100 unregistered migrants were arrested and another 4,900 brought in for questioning by police earlier this month in the wider Athens area, the Attica Police General Directorate (GADA) announced. Of those arrested, 1,130 did not meeting the legal conditions for residency in Greece, while 52 house searches were also conducted.

Public Order and Citizens’ Protection minister Nikos Dendias told a press conference that, “Today is a good day for Greek Police, regarding both the smooth development of the major ‘Xenios Zeus’ operation and the success in solving the hideous crime on Paros,” an unrelated case.

The deterioration of Athens’ downtown, with areas filled with illegal immigrants, drug users and prostitutes, before the roundup began, brought shame, Dendias said. “There are no racial criteria, we do not care about the color, nationality or religion of the illegal immigrants. Our only criterion is the observance of legality with absolute respect to the human rights,” Dendias said.

Amnesty International says that an end has to be put to all operations against the illegal immigrants and Greek government has to enforce the law which protects human rights and the right of international protection.

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