Information Note

 

Athens, 23 June 2022

Since March 2022 the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) has represented 384 Syrian and 12 Turkish refugees, including many children, before the European Court of Human Rights, by filing 13 applications for interim measures (Rule 39), requesting to be granted humanitarian assistance and access to the asylum procedure.

The Court granted the requested interim measures for all cases and ordered the Greek government not to remove the refugees from the country’s territory and to provide them with food, water and proper medical care. The ECtHR also requested to be informed by the Greek government, amongst others, on whether the Syrian refugees have submitted an asylum application and whether they have access to the asylum procedure and to legal assistance.

Some of these 13 groups of refugees have been collected by the Greek authorities but most of them complain they have been pushed back to Turkey. It should be noted that the refugees, even from the groups that were rescued, complain that in the past they had been subjected to violent and informal return (pushback) to Turkey from Greece.

In particular:

  1. Application no. 13624/22, A.A. and others v. Greece, interim measures granted on 16/3/2022.

30 Syrian refugees including children. One child fell in the river and allegedly drowned during pushback operation. Applicants were rescued after being stranded on an islet in river Evros. Joint representation with the organization Human Rights 360 -a full application has been submitted before the Court. 

  1. Application no. 18341/22, B.M. and Others v. Greece, interim measures granted on 13/4/2022.

27 Syrian refugees including 5 children were rescued. 

  1. Application no. 18940/22, A.D. and Others v. Greece, interim measures granted on 19/4/2022.

37 Syrian refugees including 17 children complain that they were pushed back from Greece to Turkey, while the Court’s decision was pending. GCR submitted a full application before the Court. Some of the applicants entered Greece again and they are stranded on an islet in Evros since 15/6.

  1. Application no. 18941/22, Η.Α. and Others v. Greece, interim measures granted on 19/4/2022.

46 Syrian refugees including 10 children were rescued. 

  1. Application no. 19419/22, K.M.I. and Others v. Greece, interim measures granted on 21/4/2022.

39 Syrian refugees including 9 children complain that they were pushed back from Greece to Turkey twice. The second pushback took place after the Court’s decision. A woman in need of haemodialysis allegedly died on the islet. Some of them entered Greece again and were rescued. A full application has been submitted by GCR before the Court. 

  1. Application no. 21131/22, A.A. and Others v. Greece, interim measures granted on 4/5/2022.

14 Syrian refugees complain that they were pushed back from Greece to Turkey. Some of the applicants entered Greece again and were rescued. A full application will be submitted by GCR before the Court. 

  1. Application no. 21039/22, S.S. and Others v. Greece, interim measures granted on 29/4/2022.

12 Syrian refugees including 3 children complain that they were pulled back from an islet to Turkey. Some of them entered Greece again. Stranded on islet since 15/6. 

  1. Application no. 23128/22, F.R. and Others v. Greece, interim measures granted on 11/5/2022

39 Syrian refugees including 13 children complain that they were pulled back from an islet to Turkey. Some of them entered Greece again and they are stranded on islet since 15/6. 

  1. Application regarding five Turkish refugees, interim measures granted on 27/5/2022.

Applicants complain that they were pushed-back from Greece to Turkey, while the Court’s decision was pending. Joint representation with the organization Refugee Support Aegean. 

  1. Application regarding seven Turkish refugees, interim measures granted on 27/5/2022 

Applicants complain that they were pushed-back from Greece to Turkey while the Court’s decision was pending. 

  1. Application no. 25806/22 - H.M. and Others v. Greece and 15 other applications, interim measures granted on 25/5/2022.

93 Syrian refugees complain that they were pushed-back from Greece to Turkey after the Court’s decision.  Joint representation with the organization Human Rights 360. 

  1. Application no. 26558/22, H. M. Greece and 6 other applications, interim measures granted on 1/6/2022.

Some of the applicants in Application no. 25806/22 entered Greece again together with 28 other refugees.  Applicants complain that they were pushed-back from Greece to Turkey after the Court’s decision. Joint representation with the organization Human Rights 360. 

  1. Application no. 29655/22 - M.A. and Others v. Greece and 13 other cases, interim measures granted on 17/6/2022.

18 Syrian refugees including 7 children are stranded on an islet in Evros since 15/6 together with applicants of cases A.D., S.S. and F.R. v. Greece.  

GCR calls on the Greek authorities to urgently and immediately comply with the ECtHR’s decisions, before more refugees are put at risk. 

Since the start of the year, GCR has sent 58 interventions to the Greek authorities for the cases of more than 580 refugees including many children, from Syria, Turkey, Afghanistan and Iraq, who entered Greece from the Evros region seeking international protection. In approximately half of these interventions, the Greek authorities responded positively on locating them and providing them access to the procedures provided by law. In the rest of the interventions, the Greek authorities either did not reply or replied that they had not been able to locate them. In at least 17 of these interventions, which concerned refugees from Turkey and Syria, our organisation was informed that the refugees were informally and forcibly returned to Turkey, without being given the opportunity to submit an asylum application.

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