“The thruth may be bitter, but it must be told” – The Situation of Refugees in the Aegean and the Practices of the Greek Coast Guard

October 2007

In the past few months PRO ASYL has become increasingly concerned about reports from asylum seekers who, during hearings in Germany, state that whilst in Greece, they were given no opportunity to file an asylum claim in accordance with the requirements of the 1951 Refugee Convention. Furthermore, the numbers of refugees reporting maltreatment and attempted refoulement by the Greek coast guard has increased.

Between 12th July and 14th August 2007, a delegation from PRO ASYL undertook a fact-finding mission in order to examine the circumstances in the area. The focus of our research was access to the Greek territory, reception and detention conditions of newly arrived refugees on the islands of Chios, Samos and Lesbos and the particular situation of minors.