The case of ‘ERCI and others’ is part of a series of prosecutions happening in the Aegean and the Mediterranean Sea that aim to criminalize solidarity and the rescue of migrants. However, this particular case stands out in that the defendants are seeking to stand trial in every way possible, and the court, five years later, is denying it.
The Greek National Commission for Human Rights (GNCHR) as the National Human Rights Institution in Greece (NHRI) and the independent advisory body to the Greek State for the protection and promotion of human rights, presented the Recording Mechanism of Incidents of Informal Forced Returns at a Press Conference held at its premises on Tuesday 24 January at 11.30 am. During the Conference the Recording Mechanism's mode of operation and methodology was presented, as well as a number of findings, recorded in its first Interim Report.
Legal Centre Lesvos publishes today a forensic reconstruction video, linked here, produced by an independent forensic research team. The team held interviews with survivors of the pushback, analysed testimonies and available evidence of the pushback, including evidence from Greek authorities and Frontex, and produced a reconstruction video of the events on 20-21 October 2020.
Based on its own documentation and reporting, the Legal Centre Lesvos demonstrates in a recent submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture that the illegal practice of systematic pushbacks in the Aegean region amount to torture, both under international and Greek law.
An expanded and updated edition of the Black Book of Pushbacks, consisting of more than 3,000 pages across four volumes. The majority of these pages are filled with testimonies from people-on-the-move who were beaten, kicked, insulted, humiliated and arbitrarily detained before being illegally pushed back both at the EU’s external borders and from deep within the territory of its Member States.