Pushed back to Turkey despite legal refugee status in Germany

Via AYSThe 23 year old Syrian refugee K. went from Germany to Greece to meet his younger brother who were supposed to come from Turkey by the end of November 2016. When he looked for him in Didimoticho, Greece, showing a photo of the 11-year old brother, he was arrested. 14 months later, K. is back in Greece after being pushed back to Turkey with 50 other migrants on the 30th of November 2016.

K.’s documents were basically thrown away, just as 14 months of his life. Photo: Vasco Gargalo (Art Against)
K.’s documents were basically thrown away, just as 14 months of his life. Photo: Vasco Gargalo (Art Against)

K.’s young brother was supposed to come from Turkey to Greece by the end of 2016. But, the younger brother were lost before he arrived safely in Greece, and K. who already had legal refugee status in Germany and therefore the right to travel within the EU, went from Munich to seek for the brother in Didimoticho, Greece. Back then, in November 2016, three policemen caught him. They didn’t care about the document K. had from Germany. Instead, the three Greek policemen took his documents and only gave him back his Syrian identity card. They also kept his cell-phone without any obvious reason or explanation. K. had a refugee passport, or travel document, so that he could be travelling all across the EU for six months during a year.

The following day, after having spent the night in a cell with around 50 other migrants and refugees, the police pushed them all into a green jeep and K. found himself pushed back to Turkey. He, who only was supposed to travel back to Greece to meet his younger brother. It took K. more than 14 months to be get back to Greece. He decided to come back to Greece the highly infamous way — the same he was deported through, the Evros river. It wasn’t easy, but on the 25th of January he succeeded and is still in Athens, waiting for permission to go back to Germany. He has filed reports about what he has been through to the German Embassy in Athens.

This case is of particular interest since the German authorities are involved. Push-backs like this one has been recorded and happened before. With that said, human beings with documented refugee status and permission to reside in a European country have been abused in similar cruel ways before.

The Greek police is denying the incident, claiming that the high water in the river of Evros around the 30th of November 2016 was to high. K. and his fellow imprisoned refugees was forced to cover their faces and put in a truck. K. met another Syrian there, who said that he was recognised as a refugee in Switzerland.

This is a clear violation of not only human rights, but also refugee rights that should be known to a greater public. We hope and will try to make sure that this case, and every other similar case, will get the attention they deserve and need.

The number of recorded incident in the Evros river is likely to be much higher in reality, as it so often is with this king of violations. The paper Ef.Syn.” has recorded dozens of incidents the past couple of years.

This article was originally published by Are You Syrious