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Press Release – Documented Pushbacks from Centres on the Greek Mainland

Date 5 May, 2020
Category Press Release

The Border Violence Monitoring Network are releasing new case material presenting evidence of removals from Greek centres and the subsequent pushback of people to Turkey. The incidents, occurring from the camp in Diavata and the Drama Paranesti Pre-removal Centre, show the extension of collective expulsion during the COVID-19 period. These are brazen acts which situate institutional accomodation sites and detention spaces firmly within the illegal pushback regime.

The cases cover the collective expulsion of at least 194 people during the last six weeks, and provide narrative testimony of violations including:

  • Beating with batons
  • Use of tasers
  • Stripping of clothes
  • Boat pushback across the Evros river

See the full press briefing attached with case material, pictures and footage of the events. If you have any questions regarding this publication, or would like further comment, please contact:


On 6th May 2020, during the month of Ramadan, the police arrived to the camp in Diavata in the morning and started removing tents and structures set up in an overflow area outside the camp. This area is inhabited by asylum seekers who could not be registered within camp premises due to overcapacity. Among them there are individuals in possession of asylum cards, as well as individuals without documents, who have not been able to access the Greek Asylum Service as it has been closed for the last two months.

Mobile Info Team have been in contact with one Pakistani national aged 26 years old who was picked up by the police outside of Diavata camp on Tuesday 5th May 2020 at around 15:00. He sent the following message:

“police caught us i don’t know what going do with us. please on your data.“

He then tried calling Mobile Info Team twice, but the connection failed on both occasions. He has not been heard of since then, and he has not returned to the camp. Based on the successive testimonies provided in the above press release, Mobile Info Team has strong reasons to believe that he may have been pushed back to Turkey.

Mobile Info Team is reachable for comment, and to share further media (videos of police and other unidentified Greek authorities throwing tents into garbage containers), at