The Action Group for the Palestinians of Syria called on the Greek authorities to put an end to the violations that the Greek coast guard and security forces are committing against asylum seekers trying to reach the European continent to escape the war and dire living conditions.
The London-based monitoring group said that the Greek border guards severely beat asylum seekers and forced them towards Turkish territory amid very low temperatures after stripping them of their clothes and means of communication. It also said that the Greek Coast Guard prevented asylum seekers from disembarking on the Greek islands and tried to sink boats carrying refugees, which causes many of these boats to sink.
The Group pointed out that Greece’s practices towards asylum seekers on its borders constitute a blatant violation of Article 33 the 1951 Refugee Convention, which prohibits countries from expelling or returning a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened.
The Group called on the international community and human rights organizations to exert pressure on Greece to stop violating the rights of refugees and respect the relevant international conventions.
Salim Idris, member of the Syrian Opposition Coalition’s political committee and director of the office of refugee affairs, earlier stressed that the maltreatment of Syrian asylum seekers in Greece violates international laws and norms. He called for the launch of independent investigations to reveal the identity of those responsible for the attempts to sink refugee boats.
Idris pointed out that the Greek authorities have passed laws to evade their international obligations towards asylum seekers under the 1951 Geneva Convention regarding refugees, and the conventions preventing the detention and deportation of asylum seekers.
(Source: SOC’s media department)