Tag Archives: MonitoringEUTurkey

Lesvos mayor files suit over conditions at Moria migrant camp

Via Ekathimerini – The mayor of the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos has filed suit against all responsible parties over the conditions at the Moria refugee and migrant processing center, claiming that the law is being broken at the government-run facility, which is supervised by the military.

His action comes two days after foreign media published videos shot covertly inside the camp and showing the squalor and cramped conditions to which thousands of refugees and migrants are being subjected. Continue reading Lesvos mayor files suit over conditions at Moria migrant camp

Greek gov’t aims to speed up migrant returns to Turkey

Via Ekathimerini – The Greek government is planning to amend a law governing the process of granting asylum to refugees next week! The aim is to accelerate the process of returning migrants to Turkey, which had been one of the goals of a deal that was struck last year between Ankara and the European Union but which is being inadequately enforced.

On Wednesday, Greece’s asylum service said its staff have processed 33,021 applications for asylum since March 2016, when the Turkey-EU deal was signed. The fact that rejected asylum claims are often appealed, and that reviews of those appeals take months, appears to be the main reason that thousands of applications remain pending, and thousands of migrants remain cooped up in state camps. Continue reading Greek gov’t aims to speed up migrant returns to Turkey

Greece to speed up migrant transfer after Turkey deal

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

Large Number of Migrants and Refugees Leave from Lesvos; Migration Ministry’s Decongestion Plan in Full Progress

Via Greekreporter – Lesvos island decongestion plan is in full progress. 408 persons have left the island in the last 24 hours. 152 refugees and migrants left on Friday evening from the port of Piraeus while another 256 left with the ferry “Nissos Samos” on Saturday for the port of Heraklio, Crete. Continue reading Large Number of Migrants and Refugees Leave from Lesvos; Migration Ministry’s Decongestion Plan in Full Progress

Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan in historic Greece visit

Via Deutsche Welle – Recep Tayyip Erdogan has become the first sitting Turkish president to visit Greece in 65 years. Could the EU-Turkey refugee deal be a sticking point during his landmark trip to Athens?

Erdogan is also expected to speak with his Greek hosts about the flow of refugees to Europe. Officially, Athens has signaled its satisfaction with the EU-Turkey Refugee Deal reached in March 2016. One point of the agreement stipulates that Turkey take back refugees that have illegally traveled from Turkish territory to reach Greece’s eastern Aegean islands. In Athens’ view, the agreement is working, as the number of new arrivals has gone down substantially since 2016. The fact that Turkey has only been able or willing to take back 1,400 people since then, however, has caused consternation.

Read the whole article at Deutsche Welle

Post-deportation risks under the EU-Turkey statement : what happens after readmission to Turkey?

In the frame of a research project coordinated by the University of Utrecht on the impact of the EU-Turkey Statement for refugees in Turkey and Greece a new policy paper was published! This part focuses on the situation for refugees once returned to Turkey:

“This policy brief examines whether asylum seekers readmitted from Greece to Turkey after the EU-Turkey Statement as of April 2016 were able to access effective protection in Turkey thereafter. The EU has long collaborated with countries of origin and transit in the form of migration compacts, readmission agreements and Memoranda of Understanding. The EU-Turkey Statement is different from prior forms of agreements because of the use of the safe-third-country concept. As a result, Greece can reject asylum applications of people who passed through Turkey as being inadmissible and shift the responsibility of merit assessments to Turkey.”

Proceed to the paper here

Dubious Deportations to Turkey Prevented!

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[1] 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!

Human rights violations by design : EU-Turkey statement prioritises returns from Greece over access to asylum

In the frame of a research project coordinated by the University of Utrecht a new policy paper was published on the impact of the EU-Turkey Deal:

“The EU-Turkey-Statement proposes to reduce arrival rates and deaths in the sea by subjecting individuals who arrive on Greek islands after 20 March 2016 to fast-track asylum procedures and, in the case of negative decisions, to returns to Turkey. In exchange, EU member states have agreed to take one Syrian refugee from Turkey for every Syrian readmitted from Greece to Turkey. The Statement builds on the deterrent effect of returns and turns high return rates into an indicator for a successful border policy. This policy brief examines the impact of the Statement’s focus on returns for people seeking asylum in Greece. The analysis draws on interviews with asylum seekers and practitioners, phone interviews with people who were returned from the Greek islands following the EU-Turkey Statement, as well as on participant observations at refugee camps and inter-agency meetings on Lesbos and Chios in July and August 2017.”

Tension breaks out in Lesvos public square over protesting Afghans

Via Ekathimerini  – Fresh tension broke out in the capital of Lesvos on Wednesday after a small group of Afghan asylum seekers attempted to set up camp on one of the island’s public squares in demand that they be transferred to the Greek mainland.

Migrant rights groups ring alarm over approaching winter

Via Ekathimerini  – With winter fast approaching and migrant camps on the Greek islands reaching breaking point due to overcrowding, 20 human rights group have written a letter to the Greek government calling for immediate action.

Greece should act to end a “containment policy” that forces asylum seekers arriving on the Greek islands to remain in overcrowded and unsafe facilities, the human rights and aid groups said in the letter, 19 months after a similar open letter to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras urged the government to move migrants to the mainland, where better conditions and services are available. Continue reading Migrant rights groups ring alarm over approaching winter