The new normality: Continuous push-backs of third country nationals on the Evros river

The new normality: Continuous push-backs of third country nationals on the Evros river

The Greek Council for Refugees, ARSIS-Association for the Social Support of Youth and HumanRights360 publish this report containing 39 testimonies of people who attempted to enter Greece from the Evros border with Turkey, in order to draw the attention of the responsible authorities and public bodies to the frequent practice of push-backs that take place in violation of national, EU law and international law.

The frequency and repeated nature of the testimonies that come to our attention by people in detention centres, under protective custody, and in reception and identification centres, constitutes evidence of the practice of pushbacks being used extensively and not decreasing, regardless of the silence and denial by the responsible public bodies and authorities, and despite reports and complaints denouncements that have come to light in the recent past. 
The testimonies that follow substantiate a continuous and uninterrupted use of the illegal practice of push-backs. They also reveal an even more alarming array of practices and patterns calling for further investigation; it is particularly alarming that the persons involved in implementing the practice of push-backs speak Greek, as well as other languages, while reportedly wearing either police or military clothing. In short, we observe that the practice of push-backs constitutes a particularly wide-spread practice, often employing violence in the process, leaving the State exposed and posing a threat for the rule of law in the country.
Τhe organizations signing this report urge the competent authorities to investigate the incidents described, and to refrain from engaging in any similar action that violates Greek, EU law, and International law.

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