New refugees arrivals trying to enter Greek borders

Migrants disembarking a boat after arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos Migrants disembarking a boat after arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos Reuters

 

16 March 2020

Bill Frelick, refugee and migrants rights director at Human Rights Watch, testifies about the degrading condition of refugees

Since Turkey decided to allow refugees to pass its borders, thousands of people have moved towards the Greek border. 

Bill Frelick, refugee and migrants rights director at Human Rights Watch, through his  testimony describes the situation of a family of refugees he keeps in touch with. He drafts humanely the condition of who is fleeing their home seeking a new one in a place that does not welcome them.  

Mr. Frelick informed that the Greek government has suspended asylum claims for a month. Also, it is going to send unregistered border crossers back to Turkey or their countries of origin. Refugees aboard were given the boat forms to sign for their “immediate readmission to Turkey'' in a greek language only. This violates the refugee law as no refugee shall to be taken back to the place where they have to face violence. On March 1, refugees embarked from the Turkish coastline on an inflatable boat, but the Greek coastguard tried to stop them and some men attacked them with stones. Moreover, refugees were not given the chance to be taken to the Moria center where new arrivals are registered and can present asylum claims. The situation in which they lived was inhuman: very low-quality food and no access to proper hygiene were provided.

Greece, within the bond of law, cannot deny the right of asylum and cannot send back refugees to a place where they would be unprotected. Ylva Johansson, EU commissioner for home affairs stated, “Individuals in the European Union have the right to apply for asylum. This is in the treaty, this is in international law. This we can’t suspend.”  Moreover, Greece cannot be left alone to manage this emergency. It is fundamental that all the international community supports and helps.

 

To know more, please read:

https://www.ecre.org/violations-continue-in-greece-eu-says-asylum-procedures-cannot-be-suspended/

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/03/16/greek-vessel-takes-syrians-afghans-closed-camp

 

Author: Giulia Francescon; Editor: Shrabya Ghimire

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