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The EU-Turkey deal: Europe's year of shame

“I sleep on a mattress on the floor in a cell with five other people,” Noori told me last December when I met him in the police station on the Greek island of Lesvos, where he has been detained for the past six months. “I have nothing to read in my language. I have not been given a clean blanket since my arrest. ” Three months on and Noori, an asylum seeker and former nursing student from Syria, is still there.

Date:
20 March 2017
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Refugees

A remarkable journey: An emotional reunion

“When I close my eyes, all I see is being with my father again,” Alan Mohamed told me when I met him for the first time in a refugee camp near Athens last July. He and his sister Gyan,who have both suffered from muscular dystrophy since birth, thought that moment might never come. But, on Thursday night in Hanover, Germany, against all the odds and after a journey that saw them cross four borders and spend the past year stranded in Greece, their family was finally reunited.

Date:
17 March 2017
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Refugees

EU-Turkey Deal: A shameful stain on the collective conscience of Europe

The EU-Turkey deal which has resulted in the suffering of thousands of refugees and migrants is a stain on the collective conscience of Europe, said Amnesty International on the first anniversary of the agreement. The deal aimed at returning asylum-seekers back to Turkey on the premise that Turkey is safe for them, has failed on its own terms but left thousands exposed to squalid and unsafe conditions on Greek islands.

Date:
17 March 2017
  • News
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Refugees

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
Ref:
NWS 21/4978/2016