Ενημερωτικό Σημείωμα του ΕΣΠ

02.05.24

GCR’s Information Note

on interventions and on interim measures granted by the ECtHR in cases regarding pushbacks

Updated on the 2nd of May 2024

 

Since March 2022 the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) has represented 620 Syrian, 79 Turkish, 72 Iraqi, 32 Palestinian, 22 Afghan and one Somali refugees, including many children, before the European Court of Human Rights, by filing 60 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, in the majority of the cases, 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 refugees have submitted an asylum application and whether they have access to the asylum procedure and to legal assistance.

In 29 out of the 60 groups/cases the refugees complain they have been pushed back to Turkey; in 13 out of these 60 groups/cases the refugees went missing after the Court’s decision and GCR is not aware of their whereabouts; and in the rest (18) of these groups/cases the refugees have been formally arrested by the Greek authorities. It should be noted that the refugees, even from the groups that were formally arrested, complain that in the past they had been subjected to violent and informal return (pushback) to Turkey from Greece.

Furthermore, both with respect to those stranded on the islets and those in the Greek mainland, the refugees who complain that they have been pushed back to Turkey, also complain that, in the majority of cases, they were informally arrested by the Greek authorities and informally detained in an unspecified detention facility in the Evros region. In all these cases they complain that they were treated with violence, they were transferred to the Evros river bank from where they were forcibly put in boats and pushed back to Turkey.

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 formally arrested and registered after being stranded for several days 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 formally arrested and registered. 

  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 them entered Greece again three more times and they were stranded again on an islet in the Evros river. In particular: In two times they were pulled back by Turkish border guards together with two other groups of Syrians (see below S.S. and F.R. cases) and the third time, while being stranded on an islet for 10 days (15/6 -26/6/2022), together with some of the refugees of the S.S. and F.R. groups and also a new group of Syrians (see below M.A. case) they were pushed back to Turkey again.

  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 formally arrested and registered. 

  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 formally arrested and registered. A full application has been 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 in the Evros river by Turkish border guards. Some of them entered Greece again together with some of the Applicants of the A.D. and F.R groups as well as together with 18 other Syrian refugees (see below F.R. and M.A. cases). All of them complain that while they were stranded on an islet in the Evros river for 10 days (15/6 -26/6/2022) they were pushed back to Turkey. 

  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 formally arrested and registered. A full application has been submitted by GCR before the Court.  

  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 in the Evros river by Turkish border guards. Some of them entered Greece again together with some of the Applicants of the A.D. and S.S. groups as well as together with other Syrian refugees (see below M.A. case). All of them complain that while they were stranded on an islet in the Evros river for 10 days (15/6 -26/6/2022) they were pushed back to Turkey.  

  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, stranded on an islet in the Evros river, complain that they were pushed-back from Greece to Turkey after the Court’s decision. 27 of them entered Greece again and found themselves stranded on another islet, together with the applicants from the case H.M. (see below). They complain that they were pushed back to Turkey for the second time.  Joint representation with the organization Human Rights 360. 

  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. A full application has been submitted by GCR and RSA before the Court.

  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. 26558/22, H. M. v. Greece and 6 other applications, interim measures granted on 1/6/2022.

Some of the 93 applicants in Application no. 25806/22 (see above) entered Greece again together with the 28 applicants in the current case.  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 were stranded on an islet in the Evros river for 10 days (15/6-26/6/2022) together with applicants of cases A.D., S.S. and F.R. v. Greece. Applicants complain that they were pushed-back from Greece to Turkey after the Court’s decision.

  1. Application regarding five Turkish refugees, interim measures granted on 5/7/2022

Applicants complain that they were pushed-back from Greece to Turkey while the Court’s decision was pending. A full application has been submitted by GCR before the Court.

  1. Application regarding eleven Turkish refugees, interim measures granted on 8/7/2022

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

  1. Application no. 35090/22 -K.A. and Others v. Greece, interim measures granted on 20/7/2022

50 Syrian refugees, stranded on an islet in the Evros river, complain that they were pushed-back from Greece to Turkey after the Court’s decision. Most of them entered Greece again and found themselves stranded on the same islet. They complain that a young girl died on the islet from insect bites. They moved to the mainland and then were formally arrested and registered. The request for the interim measures were submitted by GCR and Human Rights 360. The full application before the Court has been submitted by GCR.

  1. Application no. 35490/22 - M.J. and Others v. Greece, interim measures granted on 22/7/2022.

6 persons out of which 5 Syrian nationals (including 1 asylum seeker in Greece) and 1 stateless minor from Kuwait, recognized refugee in Greece, being stranded on an islet in the Evros river for over a month along with 2 Applicants of other cases (S.S. v. Greece case - Application no. 21039/22 and N.A. v. Greece case - Application no. 29680/22).  

  1. Application regarding four Turkish refugees, interim measures granted on 4/8/2022

The applicants were formally arrested and registered.

  1. Application no. 38444/22 - B.S. and Others v. Greece, interim measures granted on 9/8/2022.

5 Syrian refugees, stranded on an islet in the Evros river, along with applicants from the K.A. v. Greece case.  They moved to the mainland and then were formally arrested and registered. The request for the interim measures were submitted by GCR and Human Rights 360.  The full application before the Court has been submitted by GCR.

  1. Application regarding six Turkish refugees, interim measures granted on 22/9/2022.

The applicants were formally arrested and registered while the interim measures request was pending.

  1. Application no. 49474/22 A.Z. and Others v. Greece, interim measures granted on 21/10/2022.

7 Syrian refugees, including 3 children, were formally arrested and registered in Evros region following the Court’s decision.

  1. Application no. 9906/23, M.D. and Others v. Greece, interim measures granted on 3/3/2023

17 Syrian refugees complain that they were pushed-back multiple times from Greece to Turkey in Evros region. According to our information the applicants were pushed-back from Greece to Turkey after the Court’s decision as well. The full application before the Court has been submitted by GCR.

10 of them entered Greece again later in March but, according to our information, they were pushed-back to Turkey again. (See below Applications nos.: 13532/23 M.D. and Others v. Greece, 13533/23 H.R. and Others v. Greece, 13534/23 M.D. and S.D. v. Greece granted on 30/3/2023) 

  1. Application regarding one Turkish refugee, interim measures granted on 29/3/2023 

The applicant went missing while the decision of the Court was pending. 

  1. Applications nos.: 13532/23 M.D. and Others v. Greece, 13533/23 H.R. and Others v. Greece, 13534/23 M.D. and S.D. v. Greece granted on 30/3/2023 

10 of the applicants of the case M.D. and Others v. Greece (Application no. 9906/23) complain that they were pushed-back once more from Greece to Turkey after a new entrance in Greece and a new Court’s decision. 

  1. Applications regarding four Turkish refugees, interim measures granted 28/4/2023.

The 4 Turkish applicants, up to now, went missing and there is no information available about their whereabouts.

  1. Application no. 24691/23 - S.J.A. and Others, B.H, M.A and A.A. v. Greece, interim measures granted on 20/6/2023

6 Afghans applicants (two families) complain that they were pushed-back from Greece to Turkey. One of these families (a father and his son), according to our information was deported from Turkey to Afghanistan. The full applications before the Court, regarding one family, have been submitted by GCR.

  1. Application no. 24701/23 Z. S. and Others v. Greece, interim measures granted on 20/6/2023

36 Syrian, Iraqi, Turkish and Palestinian applicants, among them three reported as missing/drowned. The same group of people were allegedly pushed back several times to Turkey.

  1. Application no. 27303/23 H.A. v. Greece, interim measures granted on 12/7/2023

The applicant, a Syrian recognized refugee in Greece, alleges that in October 2022, while being in the city of Thessaloniki, he was informally arrested by the Greek police, transferred to Evros river and was illegally and forcibly deported to Turkey. Ever since, according to his allegations, he has tried to re-enter Greece several times through the Evros river but every time he was being pushed back to Turkey.  The applicant soon after his latest pushback in July 2023, he was abandoned on an islet in Evros River and then swam back to Turkey, after the Court’s decision.

  1. Application regarding one Turkish refugee, interim measures granted on 16/8/2023

The Turkish applicant went missing while the decision of the Court was pending. The applicant’s last known location was in the city center of Orestiada, in front of the central bus station. The full application before the Court has been submitted by GCR. 

  1. Application no. 32629/23 - A.H. v. Greece and 8 other applications, interim measuresgranted on 28/8/2023

9 Afghan applicants (including 5 unaccompanied minors, one only 9 years old) were remaining in a forest area near the wildfires in Evros region for five days. They went missing while the decision of the Court was pending and up to now GCR has no news or indications about the circumstances under which they disappeared. 

  1. Application no. 33059/23 M.A.D. and Others v. Greece, interim measures granted on 1/9/2023

27 Applicants (19 Syrians and 8 Iraqis, including 12 minor children) were remaining in a forest area in Evros region for six days. While the decision of the Court was pending, the Applicants, allegedly, were violently pushed back to Turkey during the night.   The full application before the Court has been submitted by GCR.

  1. Application no. 34363/23 I.R.A.H. and Others v. Greece, interim measures granted on 14/9/2023

49 Applicants (41 Syrians and 8 Iraqis, including 18 minor children) were remaining on an islet in Evros region for a week. After the granted interim measure by ECHR, 48 out of the 49 Applicants were formally arrested and registered. Some of the Applicants allegedly had been informally arrested and pushed back to Turkey by the Greek authorities in the past. 

  1. Application regarding two Turkish refugees, interim measures granted on 13/11/2023

The two Turkish Applicants went missing while the decision of the Court was pending. The applicant’s last known location was in the city center of Orestiada, in front of a police building, from where they had sent to GCR a photo. The Applicants after their alleged pushback re-entered in Greece and were officially arrested by Greek Authorities. 

  1. Application regarding two Turkish refugees, interim measures granted on 21/11/2023

The Applicants complain that they were pushed-back from Greece to Turkey on the same day of the Court’s decision. Both Applicants after their alleged pushback were arrested in Turkey and one of them remains in detention with criminal charges connected to his political persecution.

  1. Application regarding one Turkish refugee, interim measures granted on 22/11/2023

The Applicant complains that he was pushed-back from Greece to Turkey on the same day of the Court’s decision. The Applicant after his alleged pushback was imprisoned in Turkey due to his political persecution. The full application before the Court has been submitted by GCR.

  1. Application regarding two Turkish refugees, Interim measures granted on 24/11/2023

The Applicants complain that they were pushed-back from Greece to Turkey on the same day of the Court’s decision. The Applicants are imprisoned in Turkey because of their political persecution.

  1. Application regarding one Turkish refugee, interim measures granted on 29/11/2023

The Applicant complains that he was pushed-back from Greece to Turkey on the same day of the Court’s decision. The Applicant after his alleged pushback re-entered in Greece and was officially arrested by Greek Authorities.

  1. Application regarding one Turkish and one Iraqi refugee, Interim measures granted on1st/12/2023

The Applicants complain that they were pushed-back from Greece to Turkey on the same day of the Court’s decision. Both Applicants were arrested by the Turkish authorities after their alleged pushback and one remains in house arrest because of his political persecution in Turkey. Joint representation with the organization Refugee Support Aegean.

  1. Application regarding two Turkish refugees, Interim measures granted on 18/12/2023

The applicants were formally arrested and registered after the decision on interim measures.

  1. Application regarding two Turkish refugees, Interim measures granted on 9/1/2024

The applicants were formally arrested and registered after the decision on interim measures.

  1. Application regarding ten Turkish refugees, Interim measures granted on 10/1/2024

The Applicants complain that they were pushed back from Greece to Turkey on the same day of the Court’s decision. A number of Applicants re-entered in Greece a few days after their alleged push-back and were officially arrested by Greek Authorities.

  1. Application no. 969/24 F.A. and Others v. Greece Interim measures granted on 11/1/2024

28 Syrians, Palestinians and Turkish Applicants complain that, after the adoption of the decision on interim measures, they were unofficially arrested from the islet in Evros river, detained in the Greek mainland and then pushed back to Turkey. A number of Syrian Applicants complain that after their pushback they were returned from Turkey to Syria. 7 of the Applicants re-entered in Greece. The full application before the Court is pending.

  1. Application no. 2411/24 J.W. and Others v. Greece, Interim measures granted on24/1/2024

8 Palestinian Applicants, together with 7 Applicants of the Application no. 969/24 F.A and Others v. Greece, were remaining stranded on an islet in Evros river for three days. The case is still pending.

  1. Application regarding two Turkish refugees, Interim measures granted on 21/2/2024

The 2 Turkish applicants were formally arrested and registered in Evros region following the Court’s decision.

  1. Application no. 7560/24 B.M. and Others v. Greece, Interim measures granted on 15/3/2024

5 Syrian Applicants (family), who were formally arrested and registered in Evros region following the Court’s decision.

  1. Application no. 7521/24 A.M.A.H. and Others v. Greece, Interim measures granted on 15/3/2024

16 asylum seekers from Palestine, Iraq and Turkey arrived on the Greek shore on 14.3.2024 and went missing after the adoption of the decision. GCR up till now is not aware about the whereabouts of the Applicants.

  1. Application regarding two Turkish refugees, Interim measures granted on 19/3/2024

The 2 Turkish applicants were formally arrested and registered in Evros region following the Court’s decision.

  1. Application regarding one Turkish refugee, Interim measures granted on 19/3/2024

The Applicant complains that he was pushed-back from Greece to Turkey on the same day of the Court’s decision.

  1. Application no. 9115/24 R.A.F. and Others v. Greece, regarding 15 Syrian and Palestinian refugees, Interim measures granted on 2/4/2024 (Application lodged on 1.4.2024)

15 Syrian and Palestine refugees were remaining on an islet, after their pushback from Greece to Turkey from another Greek islet. The Applicants were formally arrested and registered following the Court’s decision and after their movement to the Greek bank of the river Evros.

  1. Application regarding one Turkish refugee, Interim measures granted on 15/4/2024

The Turkish applicant was formally arrested and registered in Evros region following the Court’s decision.

  1. Application regarding one Turkish refugee, Interim measures granted on 17/4/2024

The Turkish Applicant went missing while the decision of the Court was pending. The applicant’s last known location was 5 kilometers away from the Border Police Station in Soufli. There is no information available about his whereabouts.

  1. Application no. 11521/24 S.H. and Others v. Greece, Interim measures granted on 19/4/2024

5 asylum seekers from Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia (2 Syrians, 2 Afghans and one Somali), arrived in Soufli and went missing after the adoption of the decision. One of the Applicants was an unaccompanied minor. One of the Applicants re-entered in Greece and was officially arrested by Greek Authorities. GCR up till now is not aware about the whereabouts of the rest 4 Applicants.

  1. Application no. 11663/24 A.E. and Others v. Greece, Interim measure granted on 22/4/2024

10 Applicants (6 Iraqis and 4 Syrians) complain that they were pushed-back from Greece to Turkey while the Court’s decision was pending. Four Applicants, after their new entrance in Greece, were formally arrested and registered. The rest six Applicants went missing and GCR is not aware of their current whereabouts.

  1. Applications regarding two Turkish refugees, interim measures granted on 23/4/2024.

The 2 Turkish applicants, up to now, went missing and there is no information available about their whereabouts. They entered in Greece at the same date of the Court’s decision and went missing in an area near “Dilofos”, together with 14 more asylum seekers, whose personal data are not available to GCR.

  1. Application no. 12008/24 Y.S.H. and Others v. Greece, interim measures granted on 25/4/2024

The family of 7 Syrian Applicants complain that they were pushed-back from Greece to Turkey on the same day of the Court’s decision.

  1. Application no. 12182/24 M.M.S.S. and Others v. Greece, interim measures granted on 26/4/2024

5 Applicants (4 Iraqis, 1 Syrian) went missing while the decision of the Court was pending. The applicants’ last known location was in an area near Nea Vyssa.

  1. Application no. 12197/24 R.H.S. and Others v. Greece, interim measures granted on 26/4/2024

8 Applicants (7 Iraqis, 1 Syrian) went missing while the decision of the Court was pending. The applicants’ last known location was in an area near Soufli.

  1. Application regarding one Turkish refugee, Interim measures granted on 29/4/2024

The Turkish applicant was formally arrested and registered in Evros region following the Court’s decision.

  1. Application no. 12426/24 A. I. and Others v. Greece interim measures granted on 30/4/2024

16 asylum seekers from Iraq (11) and Afghanistan (5) arrived on the Greek shore of Evros river on 28.4.2024 and a number of Applicants complain that on 30.4.2024 they were pushed-back from Greece to Turkey while the adoption of the decision was pending.

  1. Application regarding two Turkish refugees, Interim measures granted on 2/5/2024 (Application lodged on 1/5/2024)

The Applicants went missing while the decision of the Court was pending. The applicants’ last known location was in an area near Soufli.

 

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

Since January 2022, GCR has sent at least 553 interventions to the Greek authorities for the cases of more than 3826 refugees including many children, from Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iran, Somalia and stateless refugees, the vast majority of whom 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.  Regarding the rest of the interventions, the Greek authorities either did not reply or replied that they had not been able to locate them. In some of these interventions, which concerned refugees mostly from Syria and Turkey but also from Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, our organization was informed later that the refugees were informally and forcibly returned to Turkey, without being given the opportunity to submit an asylum application. For the rest of these interventions our organization had no information on the whereabouts of the refugees.

 

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