Author: Valeria Hänsel
On Thursday, 23rd November 2017, the deportation of two migrants was stopped last minute. The two men from Iran and Afghanistan were held in detention on Lesvos Island. Shortly before they were transported to the harbour of Mytilene to be quietly deported to Turkey via ferry, lawyers and activists managed to intervene and stop the deportation of the two men. Eight other people from Haiti, Tunisia, Afghanistan and Pakistan were however deported and will be detained in Turkey, among them a family with a small child.
For the two cases that were stopped, there were serious doubts about the lawfulness of the deportation practice. Alireza Kamran from Iran is suffering from severe health problems while Tarik Chian from Afghanistan was prevented from exhausting his legal remedies in Greece. The names and cases of the other deportees were not known to the lawyers and activists monitoring the deportation. Therefore the legality of their deportation cannot be assessed but it is doubted that the persons concerned have received sufficient support to challenge second instance rejections.
Continue reading Dubious Deportations to Turkey Prevented!
Via AlJazeera – Dutch journalist Sakir Khader, who was detained on Monday at the Greek-Turkish border, has been released from police custody in Greece.
Khader, who was reporting on refugees crossing into Greece via Turkey, was handed a suspended five-month prison sentence on Tuesday for entering a restricting military area near the town of Didymoteicho without permission, Greek police told Al Jazeera. Continue reading Greece releases Dutch reporter ‘taken for smuggler’
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
Via ECRE – The Administrative Court of Mytilene restricted automatic detention of asylum seekers on the Eastern Aegean islands with a view of their return to Turkey under the EU Turkey deal. In three decisions from October, the court found that the applicants’ detention was unlawful, on insufficiently justified grounds in two cases and on wrong grounds in a third case. Continue reading Greece: Court curtails detention in the context of the EU-Turkey deal
Via Turkey Purge – At least 144 people affiliated with Turkey’s Gülen group were detained in two months while trying to flee to nearby Greek islands, according to state-run Anadolu news agency.
The report said that 144 were detained as part of the operations in the resort province of Mugla in September and October. Some of the suspect were rounded up by coast guard off Mugla shores while some were caught upon tips off about their departure even before they took aboard. Continue reading At least 144 detained in 2 months while on way to escape to Greek islands
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.
Continue reading ‘Racist and illegal’ fast-track deportations target North African and Asian refugees in Greece
Since the EU-Turkey deal was implemented, arbitrary detention of asylum seekers on the Greek Hotspot Islands has been on the rise. On Lesvos Island the police detains – among others – people who they consider as “trouble makers” and asylum seekers who gave up their right to apply for a protection status and agreed to so-called “voluntary return” after months of forcibly staying in terrible living conditions behind barbed wire. Until recently, members of six nationalities were furthermore simply detained on basis of their national belonging. In September, this illegal detention practice has been expanded to 28 nationalities. Affected are nationalities with less than 25% acceptance rate who are sweepingly considered as “economic migrants”. Asylum seekers with the respective national belongings are detained in a pre-removal centre within Moria camp without adequate access to basic goods such as clothes or medical and legal support. Continue reading 28 “reasons” for arbitrary detention
Via University of Oxford – Turkey was regarded as a safe third country for the purposes of the EU-Turkey Statement and on September 22, 2017, the Greek Council of State approved decisions of earlier Appeals Committees, which declared Turkey a safe third country; thus paving the way for more returns. However, little is known about the reception conditions of the migrants and asylum seekers who have been readmitted to Turkey. To fill this knowledge gap and to achieve a better understanding of the impacts of the Statement, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Migration Law Section conducted research that was funded by the Dutch Council for Refugees.
The following article is a summary of a report by Orcun Ulusoy for Free University Berlin, which you can find here.
Continue reading Returned and Lost: What Happens After Readmission to Turkey?