Europe

European Court of Human Rights rules against Greece’s controversial pushback practices

First time such decision made on pushback cases, says refugee advocacy group

Ahmet Gencturk   | 12.03.2022
European Court of Human Rights rules against Greece’s controversial pushback practices

ANKARA

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled against Greece’s highly controversial pushback practices, a refugee advocacy group said Friday.

The court ruled that asylum-seekers in Greek territory cannot be subjected to removal, the Aegean Boat Report (ABR) said in a statement.

ABR said it is the first time the ECHR issued a decision ordering pushbacks from Greek islands should not take place.

ABR had asked the court in March to urgently intervene under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court to prevent pushbacks of four asylum-seekers from Greek territory.

The court's initial provisional decision asked the government for information about the steps that had been taken on the allegation of pushbacks.

ABR is a major Norwegian NGO that particularly monitors and shares data about refugee movements in the Aegean Sea.

Turkiye and human rights groups have repeatedly condemned Greece’s illegal practice of pushing back asylum seekers, saying it violates humanitarian values and international law by endangering the lives of vulnerable migrants, including women and children.


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