Greek authorities unlawfully pushed a group including Syrian refugee back to Turkey through the Evros land border, while a procedure for interim measures was pending before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).
One year after the historic conviction of Golden Dawn, the Racist Violence Recording Network calls to mind the importance of the judicial decision that sent a clear message against the criminal organization and organized racist violence. In parallel, the Network warns that there is no room for complacency, as the modus operandi of organized violence continues to severely affect social cohesion.
Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) and Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) filed judicial review applications before the Greek Council of State for the annulment of the Joint Ministerial Decision of the Minister of Migration and Asylum and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of 7 June 2021. The Decision designated Turkey as a safe third country for nationals of Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
While the Greek government is sending contradictory messages about dealing with the humanitarian crisis caused by the return of the Taliban to power, thousands of Afghan refugees living in Greece are anxious for the fate of their relatives and themselves, as based on the Joint Ministerial Decision (JMD) issued in June they may be returned to Turkey as a safe third country with a risk of onward deportation to Afghanistan.
Three asylum seekers represented by Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) have lodged complaints with the European Commission relating to infringement of EU law stemming from Greece’s failure to correctly transpose and implement the Asylum Procedures Directive (2013/32/EU) and the Reception Conditions Directive (2013/33/EU).
our organisations stress that “externalization simply shifts asylum responsibilities elsewhere and evades international obligations”. We once again call on the Greek and European authorities to honour their responsibility to protect refugees and to avoid further undermining the European asylum acquis and the fundamental principles and values for protecting human rights. To this end, we call on Greece to revoke the JMD issued on 7 June.
Risks of repression of civil society organisations supporting refugees and migrants in Greece have been heavily exacerbated by successive legislative reforms in 2020, introducing disproportionate and ambiguous requirements for registration on two Registries managed by the Ministry of Migration and Asylum.
Three illustrative stories of refugees who experienced the tragic consequences of the implementation of the “deal” at any cost remind us that human rights are trampled every day in the Reception and Identification Centres of the Aegean islands.
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