Lawyers take legal action before the European Court for Human Rights

Yesterday evening three lawyers cooperating with PRO ASYL, a local Greek lawyer and the Greek Council for Refugees applied for interim measures at the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg in order to stop the imminent deportation of a Syrian persecuted by ISIS from Greece to Turkey. This is the first case under the EU-Turkey Deal reaching the ECHR.

The Syrian protection seeker used to work in the oil industry in Syria. On 25 March, he was sought out in his apartment by ISIS emissaries who demanded that he returned to Syria to work for ISIS oil production there. The protection seeker who is also at risk because of his homosexuality fled head over heels by jumping from his kitchen window. He reached Lesbos on 29th March.

After being interviewed by the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) on 6 May, his asylum application was deemed inadmissible. His reasons for seeking asylum were not examined. Now deportation to Turkey is looming. Without any hearing, the Greek Asylum Appeals Committee decided not to stop the deportation. Right now, the protection seeker is being detained on Lesbos. Together with Greek and Turkish lawyers, PRO ASYL is running the Refugee Support Program in the Aegean (RSPA). Within this context, Greek lawyers have lodged a complaint before the ECHR in order to stop the deportation to Turkey.

PRO ASYL accuses the European Union of deporting protection seekers to Turkey while out-levering the rule of law and refugee rights. More than 3000 persons are currently detained in Greece under inhumane conditions and practically without access to legal remedy. PRO ASYL denounces these circumstances as a scandalous violation of human rights, even if it was possible to make an appeal in this particular case.

The EU-Turkey Deal deprives refugees of protection. Therefore PRO ASYL has initiated a campaign addressed at the German Chancellor Angela Merkel: “The Chancellor has decisively initiated the EU-Turkey Deal. Now injustice happens right in front of us”, criticizes PRO ASYL director Günter Burkhardt. Burkhardt calls on Chancellor Merkel and the Greek Prime Minister Tsipras: “Stop the EU-Turkey Deal! Protection seekers like the Syrian homosexual must not be deported to Turkey”.

The EU-Turkey-Deal has led to a human rights disaster in the Aegean. This was obvious to the EU, the German government and all observers of the situation beforehand. PRO ASYL hopes that the ECHR will stop the deportation and that the rightlessness will be ended.

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