In September, a new immigration detention centre on the Aegean island of Samos was inaugurated. According to the Greek government’s proposals, new detention centres will follow on the islands of Chios and Lesvos in 2022. The government proudly claims humane conditions in the new detention centre, namely water, heating, laundry facilities, a volleyball court, a playground and more. Those living there will enter using fingerprint scans.
The new detention centres will all be remote from residential areas. Isolated. The total capacity of the detention centre in Samos is 1560 people: 240 minors, 240 vulnerable people, and 960 in the pre-departure detention centre who await deportation to Turkey or elsewhere.
The new detention centres are nothing more than prisons. No one should celebrate when a prison opens its doors, especially when those doors incarcerate people who have committed no crime other than seeking a better and safer life. Humane living conditions will never compensate for every human’s need for freedom. Even if Europe constructs the cage of gold, it is still a cage.
Pray for the end of prisons; pray for freedom.