04.09.2008

Human rights prize awarded by the PRO ASYL Foundation is presented to Marianna Tzeferakou and the Greek `Group of Lawyers for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants`.

The PRO ASYL Hand, the human rights prize awarded by the PRO ASYL Foundation is presented this year to the Athens lawyer Marianna Tzeferakou. In accepting this prize, Ms Tzeferakou represents the Greek `Group of Lawyers for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants` as well as support groups from the Aegean Islands of Chios, Samos and Lesbos.

“Marianna Tzeferakou and her fellow campaigners represent a different Europe, which takes unconditional responsibility for the respect of human rights”, says Günter Burkhardt, board member of the PRO ASYL Foundation.

Working under difficult conditions, the Greek asylum network supports protection seekers at this European border and in Greek prison camps. Its members fight with passion, persistence and competence against the illegal practice of preventing disembarkation and the arbitrary treatment and detainment of protection seekers.

It is thanks to the courage of women like Marianna Tzeferakou and her colleagues Jota Massouridou (Athens), Natassa Strachini (Chios), Anna Pelizzoni (Samos) and Efi Latsoudi (Lesbos), to name just a few representatives of the network, that gross violations of human rights in Greece have come to light.

“This prize also represents our commitment to continue working closely with our Greek partners into the future. Together we will stand up to the flagrant human rights violations committed at the borders of Europe”, says Günter Burkhardt.

The key to improving the situation of refugees in Greece is not only to be found in Athens, but also in Brussels and in the capital cities of the most influential EU member states, for example Berlin. In terms of population size, Greece is seven times smaller than Germany. The fact that the Greek authorities registered more asylum seekers in 2007 than Germany shows that a joint fair and supportive asylum system still does not exist in Europe.

The award ceremony will take place on 6th September 2008 at 10:30am in Frankfurt in Ka-Eins/Ökohaus, Kasseler Straße 1a. The winner of the PRO-ASYL-Hand receives 1,000 Euro in prize money. The plastic used to make the PRO-ASYL-Hand was created by the artist Ariel Auslender. Born in 1959 in Buenos Aires, Mr. Auslender currently works as a professor at the Technische Universität Darmstadt (Technical University in Darmstadt, Germany).

Günter Burkhardt

Board Member of the PRO ASYL Foundation

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