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EU: Human rights cost of refugee deal with Turkey too high to be replicated elsewhere

The EU-Turkey refugee deal has left thousands of refugees and migrants in squalid and dangerous living conditions, and must not be replicated with other countries, Amnesty International said today ahead of the deal’s one year anniversary. The deal aimed at returning asylum-seekers back to Turkey on the premise that Turkey is safe for them, has left thousands exposed to squalid and unsafe conditions on Greek islands.

Date:
14 February 2017
  • Research
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Refugees

Greece: A blue print for despair. Human rights impact of the EU-Turkey deal

The EU-Turkey deal, agreed in March last year was Europe’s signature response to these challenges. It has certainly stemmed the flow of migrants across the Aegean, but at considerable cost to Europe’s commitment to upholding the basic principles of refugee protection and the lives of the tens of thousands it has trapped on Greek islands. With European leaders touting its success, closing their eyes to its flaws, and seeing in it a blueprint for new migration deals with countries like Libya, Sudan, Niger and many others, this briefing serves as a cautionary tale.

Date:
14 February 2017
Ref:
EUR 25/5664/2017
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Refugees

EU: Pressure on Greece for Dublin returns is ‘hypocritical’

European Commission pressure on Greece to improve conditions so that Dublin transfers to Greece can resume is hypocritical, as one of the main reasons why conditions for refugees in Greece - particularly on the islands - are so dire, is the EU’s deal with Turkey, said Amnesty International. The reaction comes in response to an announcement today by the European Commission that EU member states will be able to return migrants to Greece from mid-March.

Date:
8 December 2016
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Refugees

Greece: Police must protect refugees from ongoing far-right attacks

As attacks by suspected far-right extremists against refugees in Souda camp on the Greek island of Chios continue for a third day Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International’s Deputy Europe Director, said: “These shocking attacks against refugees cannot be permitted to continue with impunity. For the last two nights, suspected right-wing extremists have thrown petrol bombs, stones and rocks down on the camp from castle walls, causing injuries and panic.

Date:
18 November 2016
  • News
  • Greece
  • Refugees

Compassion of the many: Indifference of the few

On the day President Obama thanked the Greek people for their “extraordinary compassion” in their response to the refugee crisis, I spoke to Haji Mohamad Lound, a Syrian refugee whose experience at the hands of the Greek and European authorities was less than compassionate. Haji, together with his wife and four young children, was illegally returned from Greece to Turkey last month. “Our situation is desperate,” the graphic designer from Aleppo told me on the phone.

Date:
18 November 2016
  • News
  • Americas
  • Refugees

Greece: Obama must shine spotlight on Europe's abysmal failure to protect refugees

US President Barack Obama should use his visit to Greece, which begins on 15 November, to call for concrete action to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Greece and for European countries to stop shirking responsibility for refugee protection, said Amnesty International. “President Obama must use his visit to shine the spotlight not only on abysmal conditions for the tens of thousands of refugees stranded in Greece, but also on the failure of world leaders to adequately address the wider global refugee crisis,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe Director for Amnesty International.

Date:
14 November 2016
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Refugees

Greece: Evidence points to illegal forced returns of Syrian refugees to Turkey

Greece has illegally returned at least eight Syrian refugees to Turkey without respecting procedural guarantees or considering their asylum claims, documentation and testimonies obtained by Amnesty International reveal. The Syrians, including four children under the age of five, were rescued in Greek waters when their boat travelling from Turkey to Italy encountered problems and they were taken to the island of Milos on 9 October.

Date:
28 October 2016
  • Campaigns
  • Greece
  • Refugees

Europe on the brink of a dangerous precedent in the refugee crisis

By Giorgos Kosmopoulos, Amnesty International’s Europe Researcher on Migration You may never know his real name, but this week a Syrian asylum-seeker may unwillingly become an historic figure in the refugee crisis. I met him in detention, during a research visit on the island of Lesvos last week. Known as “Noori” to protect his identity, this 21 year old student risks becoming the first refugee to be forcibly returned from Greece to Turkey under the EU-Turkey deal without the substance of his asylum claim being considered, setting a dangerous new precedent.

Date:
4 October 2016
  • Research
  • South Africa
  • Torture and other ill-treatment

Wire Magazine October - December 2016; I welcome

The need for action to solve the global refugee crisis is summed up by what is happening in a strip of desert between Jordan and Syria known as the ‘berm’, where more than 75,000 women, men and children have been trapped for almost a year. After Jordan sealed its border with Syria in June, the refugees were abandoned in no-man’s-land, beyond the reach of international aid agencies. In this issue we look at Amnesty International’s ‘I welcome’ global refugee campaign, Write for Rights; campaigning for justice in South Africa and Syria’s torture prisons.

Date:
1 October 2016
Author:
Amnesty International
Ref:
NWS 21/4978/2016
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Children

Greece: Syrian refugee children detained for carrying toy guns allegedly ill-treated by police

The alleged ill-treatment of five Syrian refugee children who say they were detained, beaten and forced to strip naked by Greek police for carrying plastic toy guns in the street is a deeply disturbing incident that must be properly investigated, Amnesty International said today. The children, boys aged between 12 and 16, were seized “on suspicion of being members of an armed group” while they carried the toys as props on their way to perform in a theatre play in central Athens this week.

Date:
30 September 2016
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Refugees

“Please don’t forget them”: Refugees and asylum-seekers in squalor in Greece

Earlier this month, I wrote a piece about Alan Mohammad, aged 30, and his 28-year-old sister, Gyan, who both suffer from muscular dystrophy and fled their home in Syria in wheelchairs as fighters from the armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS) closed in on them. Their arduous journey in search of safety had taken them and their family across four borders. They were shot at on three occasions when they were trying to cross into Turkey and were strapped to the side of a horse in order to cross the mountainous border between Iraq and Turkey.

Date:
28 September 2016
  • Research
  • Greece
  • UN

Amnesty International welcomes Greece’s recognition of same-sex relationships, but regrets its inadequate response to the refugee crisis. Human Rights Council adopts Universal Periodic Review outcome on Greece

Amnesty International welcomes Greece’s acceptance of recommendations to respond to high levels of irregular migration in a manner that is consistent with international human rights and refugee law; to improve reception conditions for refugees and migrants; and to prohibit the detention of unaccompanied children. The organization noted with regret, however, that Greece’s current response to the refugee crisis, including the European Union (EU) -Turkey Agreement of 18 March 2016, is not consistent with international human rights and refugee law, including the principle of non-refoulement.

Date:
21 September 2016
Author:
Amnesty International
Ref:
EUR 25/4880/2016