Greek Authorities Also Push Back Refugees - Report

World | May 1, 2014, Thursday // 17:02| Views: | Comments: 4
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Bulgaria: Greek Authorities Also Push Back Refugees - Report Systematic violence of asylum seekers' rights were reported in documents for both Greece and Bulgaria. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Greece has also committed serious violations against asylum seekers and immigrants entering its territory from Turkey, a new report by Amnesty International has argued.

In a document published Tuesday, the same day on which Human Rights Watch presented its report on refugees in Bulgaria, the international human rights organization claims there is evidence of widespread misconduct by border authorities toward asylum seekers, many of which have been expelled "at least once" from the country before entering.

After interviews with 67 migrants based in Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey, Amnesty International describes the instances of violence and expulsion practiced in Greece are "frequent... if not systematic".

Allegations within the report bear resemblance to the statements in Human Right Watch's document dedicated to Bulgaria called "Containment Plan: Bulgaria's Pushbacks and Detention of Syrian and Other Asylum Seekers and Migrants".

It claims a plan has been put in force by Bulgarian authorities to reduce the number of asylum seekers by returning to Turkey those who illegally cross the border.

EU officials were quoted by as saying that the European Commission was seriously "concerned" over the situation of asylum seekers in Bulgaria and Greece, as it was described in the reports.

Governments in both Sofia and Athens, on the other hand, dismiss claims in the documents of human rights organizations and describe them as "lies", stressing that border pushbacks were not commonplace, but rather "isolated" cases.

In Bulgaria, the country report prompted a fierce attack by officials, with the head of the Bulgarian Agency for Refugees, Nikolay Chirpanliev, even describing HRW representatives who prepared it as "morons".

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Tags: Amnesty International, human rights watch, refugees, greece, Bulgaria, asylum seekers, pushbacks, border, turkey
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» To the forumComments (4)
Fr Jack Hackett - 4 May 2014 // 20:14:16

I actually think that there is a move afoot to turn Europe into an Islamic state which is why they are being welcomed and given such huge incentives to come here. And there are those in power over us in the EU who seem quite happy with that, And while they are being given more, we are being deprived of freedoms as well as the benefits from our taxes. The result will likely be civil unrest - unless we are gagged like concerned citizens have been in Western Europe

Caspar - 3 May 2014 // 20:36:51

madoods, you hit the nail right on the head with your last sentence: Unless there is another reason they flock to the EU....???? Kurds from Turkey are taking advantage of the humanitarian disaster in Syria by mascaraing as refugees from Syria to obtain those coveted EU refugee documents so they can get to Germany, France, Belgium, Sweden and Denmark for their generous social welfare systems. IMHO this makes the problem "Muslims screwing other Muslims in need" with Bulgaria left holding the bag.

independent - 2 May 2014 // 21:30:32

I agree, they should stay in Turkey, those who want to get to Europe are using what's happening in Syria as an excuse to get in.

Fr Jack Hackett - 2 May 2014 // 10:49:45

Why should poor EU countries be forced to accept and provide for asylum seekers with a totally different culture than their own, when these asylum seekers have travelled through a richer country (Turkey) to get here? And Turkey enjoys a similar culture to these asylum seekers and therefore would be far more comfortable for them I would have thought. Unless there is another reason they flock to the EU.....????

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