Greece pledges to end immigrant detention centers, long criticized by rights groups as inhumane, after an inmate is found dead. Mana Rabiee reports.
A detention center for illegal immigrants in Athens, Greece. A 28-year-old Pakistani man was found hanging here overnight in an apparent suicide. Now, Greece's new left-wing government is pledging to shut these centers down. The Deputy Interior Minister visited this particular site on Saturday and said Greece is finished with immigrant detention centers. Instead, he said, the government will set up "open" reception centers with better facilities. Rights groups have long criticized centers like this one as being inhumane. The United Nations has accused Greece of holding migrants in shocking conditions -- without heat, without hot water. This site was designed to house displaced people after natural disasters. The detainees hold a banner that reads "You can't keep killing" and they shout the word "freedom" to reporters outside. For thousands of mostly Asian and African migrants each year, Greece is a major gateway into the European Union. The former conservative-led government arrested thousands of undocumented migrants, as anti-foreigner sentiment went on the rise during the country's economic crisis.