Via Hürriyet (Link in Turkish) – A total of 50,000 migrants were caught while trying to cross to Greece or Bulgaria in Edirne throught the last year. Compared to the number of migrants caught in 2016 (31,000), the number of arrests increased by 19%. Among the arrested were around 15,000 Pakistanis, 12,000 Afghans and 10,000 Syrians. The number of Syrian refugees fleeing the war in their countries fell from 16,000 to 10,000 from 2016 to 2017. Further migrants from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq and Iran had been arrested throughtout 2017. Continue reading 50.000 irregular immigrants arrest in Edirne in 2017
Via T24 (Link in Turkish) – The Greek government is preparing a legislative amendment, which includes the assessment of asylum requests of asylum seekers in the country. This legislative amendment, which is due to be discussed in parliament next week, is supposed to speed up the returning of asylum seekers to Turkey.
Via EurActiv – Greece will speed up the relocation of thousands of migrants from its overcrowded islands to the mainland before the onset of winter after reaching a deal with Turkey, a key ally in helping to tackle Europe’s migration crisis, government sources said yesterday (11 December).
Athens persuaded Ankara last week to accept migrant returns, including Syrian refugees, from the mainland and not just from the Aegean islands as previously agreed under a 2016 EU-Turkey pact, a government source told AFP. Continue reading Greece to speed up migrant transfer after Turkey deal
Via No Border Kitchen Lesvos – Two brothers from Nigeria who made the deadly crossing from Turkey to Lesvos in a rubber dinghy were immediately detained in the pre-removal prison inside the so-called “Hotspot camp”, Moria. For almost three months they were isolated from society, adequate legal assistance or support structures. All refugees from countries with less than 33% acceptance rate (which are more than 28 countries including Syrian single men) can currently be detained immediately after their arrival on Lesvos, for the entire duration of their asylum procedure. While the two brothers were held in detention, their asylum application was rejected twice under the fast-track border procedure implemented on the Greek islands since the EU-Turkey statement of March 18th 2016. It has been repeatedly pointed out by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights and lawyers such as those from the Legal Centre Lesbos that the fast-track procedure tramples roughshod over human rights. In practice, individuals are targeted because of their nationality and stripped of their legal right to a fair and proper asylum hearing.
Turkey’s state run news agency Anadolu Agency reports that the anti-migrant smuggling police freed 57 Pakistani migrants in Istanbul. They were being held chained in their hands and feet in a basement of a building in Istanbul’s Arnavutköy district, apparently bound for Europe. The police arrest three suspected smugglers, also nationals from Pakistan. According to Arab News, some of the migrants had been tortured.
According to the police, the migrants had paid a total of 10.000 € to the smugglers to be brought to Greece and Italy, but that didnt happen:
“They were then chained and forced to tell their families that they had arrived Europe in order to receive codes for an alternative “Hawala” two-factor verification payment system, Doğan News Agency reported.”
Now, after being ‘rescued‘ by the police, the 57 migrants – who escaped Pakistan, and were in Turkey to continue they were towards Europe – will be deported to Pakistan! So instead of offering safety after what they have been through, the state decides to deport them, probably into another situation of high insecurity.
The three suspected organizers will be referred to court following questioning at the police headquarters.
Turkey’s state-run news agency ‘Anadolu Agency’ reports on Friday that more 258 migrants have been arrested during anti-trafficking operations in provinces of Aydin, Mugla, Edirne and Hatay when they either tried to reach Europe or attempted to enter Turkey using illegal routes. Continue reading AA: More than 250 undocumented migrants held in Turkey
Turkeys state-run news agency Anadolu Agency reports that a total of 504 foreign nationals have been taken into custody in Turkey either for being illegally in the country or attempting to travel illegally to European countries. Continue reading AA: 504 refugees, migrants held in Turkey operations
The Greek authorities are deporting migrants on the Greek islands to Turkey in an expedited process – raising concerns over potentially illegal and prejudiced practices, reports Matt Broomfield.
Via The New Arab – Refugees from so-called “undesirable” countries are being jailed upon arrival to the Greek islands, before being put through a summary fast-track asylum procedure and returned to detention in Turkey within a matter of weeks, it has emerged.
Individuals from North Africa and South Asia are being singled out upon arrival, due to a policy that has been described as racist and illegal.
Via Legal Centre Lesbos – In September, Mr. Maarten Verwey, EU coordinator for implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement, travelled to Lesvos and met with authorities in the camps, and the Mytilene mayor’s office. He did not, however, meet with any of the individuals best placed to brief him on the impact of the EU-Turkey Statement: the refugees and asylum seekers who know all too well how refugees are treated in Turkey, and as a consequence of the ‘deal’, have been trapped on Lesvos for months and years living in inhumane and degrading conditions in perpetual fear of deportation.
Their situation is constantly deteriorating: The European Commission increases pressure to return even asylum seekers who are classified as vulnerable and individuals applying for family reunification to Turkey. Furthermore, the Greek Council of State Plenary – Greece’s highest administrative court – ruled that Turkey is a safe country, setting dangerous precedent for forcible returns to Turkey under EU-Turkey deal, trampling roughshod over overwhelming evidence that basic human rights of returnees are systematically violated by Erdogan’s repressive authoritarian regime.
However, refugees and supporters on Lesvos keep up resistance. They go on protests marches, occupied the main Square in the town of Mytilene and demand freedom of movement.
Via AIDA – On 22 September 2017, the Greek Council of State, the highest administrative court of the country, delivered two long-awaited judgments (2347/2017 and 2348/2017). The rulings concern actions for annulment brought against: three Ministerial Decisions regulating the Independent Appeals Committees as second-instance asylum authorities following the 2016 asylum reforms; and Decision 4159/2016 of the Third Independent Appeals Committee of 8 September 2016, upholding the rejection by the Regional Asylum Office of Lesvos of an asylum application of a Syrian national as inadmissible on the basis that Turkey was a “safe third country” in his case. Continue reading GREECE: THE RULING OF THE COUNCIL OF STATE ON THE ASYLUM PROCEDURE POST EU-TURKEY DEAL