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Greece using ‘black site’ for refugees: Report

Greece is using a secret “extrajudicial” site, where migrants are held in inhumane conditions, according to a New York Times report.

In a report published Tuesday, the newspaper claimed Greece is detaining migrants incommunicado at “a secret extrajudicial location” before expelling them to Turkey without due process.

It is one of the “hard-line measures” taken to close European borders, which violate international law, according to experts.

The existence of the secret center in northeastern Greece was confirmed by the Times through a combination of on-the-ground reporting and forensic analysis of satellite imagery.

Francois Crepeau, a former UN special rapporteur on human rights of migrants, told the newspaper it was the equivalent of a domestic “black site,” since detainees are kept in secret and without access to legal recourse.

A Sweden-based research group, Respond, also confirmed the site’s existence.

Crepeau said the center violates the right to seek asylum and “the prohibition of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and of European Union law.”

Interviewed by the Times, several migrants said “they had been captured, stripped of their belongings, beaten and expelled from Greece without being given a chance to claim asylum or speak to a lawyer, in an illegal process known as refoulement.”

“To them, we are like animals,” a Syrian Kurd named Somar al-Hussein told the daily, referring to the Greek security forces at the border.

Calling the Greek approach the “starkest example of European efforts to prevent a reprise of the 2015 migration crisis” – in which more than 850,000 undocumented asylum seekers passed through Greece to Europe, the report said the crisis played a crucial role in European countries’ politics and fueled the rise of the far-right.

According to Turkish authorities, at least three asylum seekers had been killed by Greece while others were injured in the last two weeks.

Greek authorities have denied the reports.

Blaming the EU for failing to keep its promises to help asylum seekers, Turkey recently loosened its policy on irregular migration, allowing them to seek entrance into Europe.

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