What: The release of a new Pro Asyl report entitled Pushed Back: Systematic Human Rights Violations against Refugees in the Aegean Sea and at the Greek-Turkish land border.
The research is based on interviews with refugees, mostly Syrians, who were allegedly pushed back from Greece to Turkey. Greece has been accused of blatant human rights violations before but the brutality and the extent of violations found by the report are shocking. Masked Special Forces ill- treat refugees upon apprehension, detain them illegally on Greek soil and then deport them back to Turkey, breaching international law. Special Units of the Greek Coast Guard abandon refugees in Turkish territorial waters without consideration for their safety.
When: Thursday, 7 November 2013, 10:30 to 12:00
Where: Residence Palace, rue de la Loi 155, Brussels
Karl Kopp – Director of European Affairs, Pro Asyl, Germany
Michael Diedring, Secretary General, European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE).
Context: The Greek border is open “like a barn door”, said Austria’s Minister of Interior Johanna Mikl-Leitner in March 2012. The German Minister of Interior Hans-Peter Friedrich threatened to reintroduce border controls for Greeks within the European Union, if refugees would continue to reach the EU over the Greek-Turkish border. The pressure that Germany, Austria and others imposed upon Greece made an impact. Shortly after these statements, the Greek government tightened its land border with Turkey. Since then protection seekers are forced to use the perilous sea passage from the Turkish coast to the Greek islands again. Europe’s efforts to seal off its borders put human lives in severe danger and constitute a betrayal of its own humanitarian values.
We look forward to seeing you. Please let us know if you are able to attend by replying to afontal(at)ecre.org