Minors, adults not kept apart
The Ombudsman has called on the government to take further steps to ensure that minors are not kept with adults at the Amygdaleza detention center for migrants in northern Athens. Officials from the independent rights watchdog visited the camp in August and found that the proper processes were not in place to separate minors from adults when they arrived at the center. The Ombudsman made a number of recommendations aimed at helping to ensure minors are kept together, including the regular presence of interpreters, who were found to be missing from the camp. In its report, which was sent to the Public Order, Health and Labor ministries, the watchdog reminded the government that international conventions and national law forbid minors being kept in the same area as adults.
A 14-year-old boy was to face a prosecutor in Halkidiki, northern Greece, yesterday on charges of desecrating a national symbol after he allegedly removed the Greek flag from the yard of his former school in Nea Moudania and hid it in nearby shrubs. According to a police investigation, the pupil, who is not Greek, removed the flag from its mast on the night of October 19. He had been expelled from the school for “inappropriate behavior.” Charges also have been lodged against his guardian for neglectful supervision of a minor.
Council for Refugees.
Workers at the Greek Council for Refugees has issued a statement saying that they have not been paid for six months. The employees claim that the government has not released the necessary funds for programs run by the organization even though two-thirds of the costs are covered by the European Union. The council provides assistance to asylum seekers and refugees.
Coast guard officers on the Aegean island of Naxos yesterday intercepted a 53-year-old man as he was trying to hand over a 25-kilogram package of explosives to the captain of a professional fishing boat. Officers spotted the man getting out of a car in the southern port of Volaka and approaching the edge of the pier with the package. On realizing he had been seen, the suspect leaped into the sea and tried to swim to the fishing boat but the captain steered the boat away and sailed off. The package was found to contain 25 kilograms of an unidentified explosive divided into six separate packets. While illegal, using explosives to stun schools of fish, which makes them easier to collect, is still practiced in the Aegean.