PRESS RELEASE – INVITATION TO PRESS CONFERENCE
Athens, 16 February 2016
The organizations participating in the network group “Campaign for the Access to Asylum”, would like to express our deepest concern about the harrowing developments in the political and social context, which lead to the dismantling of the legal acquis concerning the refugee and human rights protection, both in Greece and Europe.
Greece is about to implement policies in full and termless compliance with the european imperatives, subverting the up to date existing protection of refugees, as guaranteed by the International, European and National Law:
By sealing of Greek-Turkish border, which results to the refoulement of the refugees, the latter get excluded from their legally established right of protection.
By authorizing the involvement of the NATO forces, the refugee issue is being militarized. This revives distressing memories of the past, by stigmatizing the beneficiary of international protection as a potential enemy.
• The prospect of transferring the asylum applications examination and status recognition processes in third countries outside the European Union (externalization) leaves refugees exposed to countries’ legal orders that do not offer effective protection. However, the shifting of the "burden" does not absolve the EU Member States of their obligations under International and EU Law.
• The suggestion for the designation of Turkey -which massively violates human rights- as a safe third country, constitutes a mockery and mimicry of the framework for international protection of refugees as we know it until today.
Our organizations point out that the new policies mark the collapse of the rule of law and the end of the asylum acquis communautaire, as endorsed in the aftermath of World War II by the International Convention on the Status of Refugees, the European Law and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, leading to new unnecessary human sacrifices at the borders of Europe.
Our organizations, believing that in the current critical times, more than ever, the protection of refugees and the defense of our values is, despite all the difficulties, not only necessary but possible, call to a press conference on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 5 pm at the Athens Bar Association hall.
THE ORGANIZATIONS (in alphabetical order):
ARSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth http://arsis.gr
Network for the Social Support of Immigrants and Refugees http://migrant.diktio.org
Greek Helsinki Monitor https://greekhelsinki.wordpress.com
Greek Council for Refugees http://www.gcr.gr
Greek Forum of Refugees http://www.refugees.gr
Initiative for the Detainees' Rights. http://www.tokeli.gr