Greece: Rescue 50 Stranded Refugees

Map of Greece/Turkey border © Amnesty International
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According to information received from the Greek Council for Refugees and HumanRights360 who represented the 50 refugees before the European Court of Human Rights, the Orestiada Police Directorate informed them that they could not trace the group. The organization has been informed that the authorities have been provided with the group’s coordinates.

The people stranded also reported to the two organizations that yesterday Arab-speaking individuals appeared and threatened them and told them to return to Turkey. Additionally, in the past few days, the group   told the two organizations that the 70-year-old woman with diabetes requires urgent medical assistance, one of the children has a fever and suffered from nose bleeds, and a second child fainted from the heat and hunger. 

Currently, violent pushbacks remain rampant at Greece’s borders and go unpunished while the criminalization of aid groups that try to help victims of pushbacks continues. In June 2021, through the testimonies of 16 victims, Amnesty International reported 21 incidents of group pushbacks to Turkey in 2020, conducted by individuals appearing to belong to law enforcement and individuals in civilian or unmarked clothing. The incidents were estimated to have affected around 1,000 people. Many victims experienced arbitrary detention and ill-treatment, in some cases amounting to torture. None of those interviewed had the opportunity to seek asylum or to challenge their return. The research, consistent with evidence from other reputable actors, showed that pushbacks were Greece’s de facto policy of border management. 

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