UN invites Greece to adopt safe border protection policies

'Role of racism, systemic racism in treatment of migrants must be confronted within any meaningful review of these practices,' say UN experts

Yayınlanma: 24.08.2023 - 12:25
UN invites Greece to adopt safe border protection policies
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UN experts on Wednesday strongly criticized Greece for its "lack of accountability in cases of violations" committed by its law enforcement personnel. They called for the adoption of border protection policies that are both safe and impartial.

In a statement, a group of UN experts urged Greece to take decisive measures to ensure a transparent and impartial investigation into allegations of violations related to the principles of non-refoulement, non-discrimination, and the right to life. These allegations involve Greek law enforcement personnel, including the Hellenic Coast Guard, and incidents of border violence.

Expressing grave concern, the experts noted Greece's failure to promptly and effectively assist irregular migrants and provide them with safe disembarkation and adequate reception.

The statement pointedly referenced an incident in April, where 12 asylum seekers, fleeing war and repression, were apprehended by masked individuals. These asylum seekers were subsequently stripped of their possessions and forcibly transported to the port of Mytilene on the island of Lesbos.

Following this incident, UN experts requested comprehensive information from the Greek authorities concerning allegations of human rights violations and abuses.

They emphasized that the violence, which was captured on video, verified, and reported by the media, exposed the racial bias and cruelty evident in Europe's border protection practices.

The statement underscored that while investigations are ongoing, there is mounting evidence suggesting a deliberate and coordinated policy of forcible return and other dehumanizing practices at Greece's borders.

The experts stressed that addressing the role of racism and systemic racism in the treatment of asylum-seekers is essential within any meaningful review of these practices.

Furthermore, they called on Greece to adhere to the Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights at International Borders and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration.

Additionally, the experts highlighted that such removals contravene the recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which calls on states to ensure that non-citizens are not subjected to collective expulsions.

Turkey and international human rights organizations have consistently condemned Greece's unlawful practice of pushing back irregular migrants. They argue that these actions not only violate humanitarian values but also international law, endangering the lives of vulnerable migrants, including women and children.

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