Ad hoc visit to the Aliens Directorate
On Friday 23 January 2009, the Group of Lawyers for the Rights of Migrants and Refugees conducted an ad hoc visit to the Aliens Directorate of the Greek Police at Petrou Ralli street in Athens. The reason for this visit was the large number of complaints that the Group had received in the preceding period about asylum seekers being physically barred from accessing the Asylum Department of the Aliens Directorate, rendering it impossible to submit an asylum application. In addition, on 24 October 2008 and on 6 December 2008, two asylum seekers were found to have died in unclear circumstances after falling into a ditch located around 400m from the gate of the Aliens Directorate. According to witness statements, the deaths had been preceded by episodes of turmoil in front of the gate, in which the police had resorted to violence and persecution.