Doctors Without Borders released a report Tuesday criticizing the Greek state for the detention conditions of immigrants, including young children and asylum seekers, without access to medical care.
The report accuses Greece of causing “unnecessary suffering” adding that many immigrants not carrying the correct paperwork are arrested at random checks despite having lived in the country for several years.
According to the report, the unhealthy detention conditions lead to respiratory and skin diseases. Moreover, many immigrants resort to extreme forms of protest including suicide attempts or hunger strikes.
Ioanna Kotsioni of Doctors Without Borders revealed detainees in one detention centre were allowed to go to the toilet only twice a day. In many cases the immigrants had no access to everyday items such as clean clothes, soap or toothpaste.
The report claims that more than 6,000 immigrants are penned up in detention centres awaiting deportation, with others held in police cells without outdoor access, fresh air or natural light.
Thousands of immigrants arrive every year in Greece, which is considered the main entry point to Europe. The majority are attempting to reach the Greek islands from Turkey, in rickety boats that often sink, causing many victims.