In view of the mandatory reassessment by Greece of the designation of Türkiye as a “safe third country” in November, 15 civil society organisations have written to the Greek Asylum Service, the Ministers of Migration and Asylum and of Foreign Affairs, and the European Commission urging them to:
Immediately repeal the national list of safe third countries set out by JMD 42799/2021, as amended by JMD 458568/2021.
Publish previous and upcoming opinions of the Director of the Asylum Service regarding the designation of safe third countries, which should be made available to asylum seekers subject to the application of the list according to the European Commission.
Stop dismissing asylum applications as inadmissible based on the “safe third country” concept.
As the conditions worsen in Lesvos’ Reception and Identification Center in Lesvos (known as Mavrovouni RIC), the new Closed Controlled Access Center (CCAC) in Vastria continues to be built with the full support of the European Commission, despite the multiple voices raised against its construction: away from sight in the middle of a forest. Vastria has come to represent the future policies of the European Union and Greek State; more construction, fences and walls for people, at the expense of nature.
Equal Rights Beyond Borders together with HIAS Greece and Refugee Support Aegean and commissioned by the Danish Refugee Council published an analysis on Border Procedures on the Greek Islands.
Τhe report examines the workings of border procedures implemented on the Greek islands over the past year (June 2021 – June 2022), revealing new concerns tied to poor quality of asylum procedures and to breaches of fundamental rights.
Reports from refugees and volunteers compiled by Aegean Boat Report reveal that 1,624 boats carrying 43,476 people were pushed back from Greek islands into Turkish waters between 1 January 2017 and 27 September 2022.
Located in remote areas far from local communities, with 24/7 CCTV and barbed-wire fences, these prison-like complexes go against the core principles of European policy, including for example in the EU Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion, with disproportionate focus on deterrence, isolation and containment.