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Human rights groups urge Greece PM to end detainment of asylum seekers

[JURIST] Human rights groups and nongovernmental organizations sent a letter [text] on Monday to Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras urging him to end the "containment" of asylum seekers in island camp, which violates human rights, and transfer them to the mainland to provide adequate human needs and hear their asylum applications.

More than 13,000 people are living in five camps on Greek islands as "checkpoints" until their asylum applications are processed permitted access to the mainland.

According to the organizations, the islands are "place of indefinite confinement" and the conditions are "abysmal." They also state that "reception conditions are deteriorating, and gaps in basic services, especially medical, are increasing", as thousands of people incoming cause overcrowding on the islands.

In May 2016 the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) [official website] expressed concern [JURIST report] over the poor living conditions of several refugee camps located in northern Greece, which lacked access to basic needs.

The deplorable conditions of the islands was labeled as "untenable" [JURIST report] by the European Commission [official website] in January as the islands was plagued with heavy snowfall. Again, they must now prepare for the winter, which the organizations claim they are ill-prepared for.

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