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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