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 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 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.
Via Ekathimerini – A group of 234 refugees boarded a charter flight from Athens to Lyon, France on Wednesday as part of the European Union’s relocation program, while dozens more migrants, deemed to belong to vulnerable groups, were transferred by ferry from the islands of the Aegean to mainland Greece. Continue reading Refugees relocated, others go to mainland
Orçun Ulusoy from Vrije Univeriseit Amsterdam published a research report on readmitted migrants from Greece to Turkey. While many reports and academic papers have been published on the conditions of migrants and refugees in Greece after the unfamous EU-Turkey Deal, little is known about the conditions of the migrants and refuges who were readmitted from Greece to Turkey after the EU-Turkey Statement, he states. With his research paper – which you can read and download under clicking here – he tries to fill this gap. Continue reading Situation of Readmitted Migrants and Refugees from Greece to Turkey under the EU-Turkey Statement
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
Via Bordermonitoring Bulgaria – The escape route from Turkey via the black sea was rarely used in 2013 and 2014 before the so called refugee crisis in Europe reached its peak. Since the recent crackdown on the Aegean Sea route in the last months, more and more people are again trying to travel from Turkey via the Black Sea to reach Bulgaria or Romania. Since the beginning of 2017, already 649 migrants were caught, while they tried to cross via Black Sea. Continue reading Is a new deadly route being (re-)established in the Black Sea?
Via Amnesty International – Two Syrian refugees are at risk of being forcibly returned to Turkey after Greece’s highest administrative court rejected their final appeals against earlier rulings declaring their asylum claims inadmissible. This could set a dangerous precedent for future returns of asylum-seekers under the EU-Turkey deal, Amnesty International said.
Today’s ruling sets an ominous precedent for many other asylum-seekers who have fled conflict and persecution and are currently stranded on the Greek islands
Via Yahoo – Greece’s top administrative court on Friday approved the forced deportation of two Syrian refugees, setting a precedent for hundreds of similar cases, a justice source said. Over 750 Syrian exiles are likely to be affected by the ruling by the Greek council of state, a source with knowledge of the case told AFP.
The refugees, two men aged 22 and 29, had filed a legal challenge after asylum committees rejected their pleas to not be returned to Turkey, from where they entered Greece last year. Continue reading Greek court approves first forced Syrian deportations
Via Daily Sabah – A European Union-funded migrant health center has opened in the Turkish capital Ankara, the bloc’s Turkey delegation announced Wednesday.
In a statement, the delegation said that the EU-funded center “opened today to provide health services to refugees in the Altındağ district, where the refugee population density is the highest in Ankara.” Continue reading EU-funded health center for migrants opens in Ankara