Almost two years ago, HIAS Greece, we and others filed a lawsuit to the highest Greek administrative Court Council of State to take down the extremely burdensome – and unlawful – registry for NGOs working in the sector of “International Protection”.
In the meantime, the UN Special Rapporteur for the Rights of Human Rights Defenders visited Greece and condemned the government for its treatment of NGOs. In the meantime, we spent thousands and thousands of Euros to meet the requirements – and eventually got registered. In the meantime, the Greek government went on “measuring the efficiency of NGOs” while treating refugees in a way that fundamentally violates their rights and is violating EU law – and undermining its efficiency.
After all this, on December 02, 2022, the Council of State – sitting in a chamber with 25 judges – finally conducted a hearing after having postponed it several times. Also, HIAS Greece presented our arguments.
The representative of the Greek State argued, that NGOs do not benefit from the human right to the freedom of association, enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights. With the pending judgement, human rights are at stake – and refugee rights. If NGOs can not operate freely, their interests cannot be represented independently. We will further work on it.