‘Catastrophe for human rights’ as Greece steps up refugee ‘pushbacks’

From The Guardian, 27 Sept 2020

Interviews with five victims of pushbacks, 10 NGOs working across the Aegean Sea including Human Rights Watch, Josoor and the Aegean Boat Report, and a tranche of videos reviewed by the Guardian reveal an organised and systemic practice of denying entry to asylum seekers.

Next week a coalition of charities including Human Rights Watch and the Border Violence Monitoring Network will publish an open letter condemning the practice of pushbacks and calling for the Greek government and the European Commission to take action against those involved. A draft of the letter seen by the Guardian calls for “disciplinary and criminal sanctions” to be brought against those “found to have engaged in such illegal acts”.

International law experts say these activities are in breach of international law including the convention relating to the status of refugees and the European convention on human rights. “What you are seeing is the illegal collective expulsion of refugees from Greek territory,” said Satvinder Juss, a professor of human rights and international refugee law at King’s College London. “It’s a catastrophe for human rights.”

Read the full article by the Guardian here: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/sep/27/catastrophe-for-human-rights-as-greece-steps-up-refugee-pushbacks 

Photo : Lesvos, Greece
Credit © punghi, Shutterstock