Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Appeals Committee on Lesbos stops deportations to Turkey

PRO ASYL calls for an end to the inhuman large-scale experiment in the Aegean – stop deportations to Turkey!   
Yesterday night three positive decisions by the Administrative Appeals Committee of Lesbos were published. Lawyers of the PRO ASYL project “Refugee Support Program in the Aegean (RSPA)” represented nine Syrian protection seekers before the second instance on 20 and 21 April. The concerned asylum seekers were greatly relieved to receive the news that their deportation to Turkey has now been stopped. By now ten decisions by Appeals Committees have been published in which it is asserted that Turkey is no “safe third country” for Syrian refugees. There are a number of further positive decisions which have not been delivered yet. Despite of massive pressure from the European Commission and the responsible Greek Minister for Migration, the members of the Appeals Committee held up and decided in favor of the protection seekers.
“We thank our lawyers and the whole RSPA-team for their work and dedication. Since the commencement of the cynical deal with Erdogan our project partners are working day and night in order to support protection seekers in exercising their rights in spite of an unlawful procedure” says Karl Kopp, PRO ASYL Director of European Affairs.

PRO ASYL calls for an end to this cynical large-scale experiment. Deportations to Turkey must be stopped. According to Kopp “The EU-Turkey Deal has caused a human rights disaster in the Aegean”.
Thousands of protection seekers have been detained since 20 March; there is a lack of food, medical treatment is insufficient. The detention camps and provisional shelters are overcrowded, the hygienic situation is catastrophic. In the so-called “Hotspots”, protection seekers can hardly get any information regarding the procedure. Only a few donation funded lawyers try to appeal against negative first instance decisions and have to do so under most difficult circumstances. In this situation where the provision of basic needs and security for refugees in the camps can’t be guaranteed, there cannot be a procedure in accordance with the rule of law.
From the beginning this was clear to the EU, the German government and all observers of the situation. Since the responsible decision makers in Brussels and Berlin do not care about the human rights of refugees but only about deportations to Turkey, the resulting chaos was knowingly accepted. PRO ASYL will support appeals up to the highest European Courts in order to end the rightlessness of protection seekers on the Greek islands.


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