Another illegal pushback, without the knowledge of the ECtHR & the Athens Prosecutor’s Office

Athens, Tuesday 26 July 2022

The organizations Greek Council for Refugees and HumanRights360 submitted today a formal complaint to the Athens Prosecutor’s Office as a last resort to rescue the 50 Syrian refugees who had been stranded for 11 days on the islet of the river Evros despite the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) to provide assistance and not remove them from Greece.

The refugees, including three pregnant women, twelve minor children and an elderly woman, had had no access to the bare necessities for their survival since July 14th; without access to water, food, medical assistance, they remained exposed to heat and humidity in a small islet in the middle of the river Evros. In fact, 3 deaths had reportedly taken place during the group’s entrance to Greece, when their pushback and abandonment was initially attempted. Since then, after addressing the competent authorities, we succeeded in having the ECtHR issue a decision on interim measures, which the authorities, however, refused to implement.

Worse still, today the Syrian refugees were pushed back to Turkey, one day before the expiration of the deadline set by the ECtHR and at the very same time when the Athens Prosecutor was being briefed on this case from our organisations’ representatives.

Accountability for the increasing violations of the rule of law is becoming more urgent than ever.

For more information contact:

HumanRights360: Evgenia Kouniaki at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Greek Council for Refugees: Lefteris Papagiannakis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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