7 April 2020

Expert Opinion by Equal Rights: Suspension of Asylum Law and Pushbacks in Greece Illegal

Equal Rights Beyond Borders together with Prof. Dr. Nora. Markard, member of our advisory board, published an expert opinion on the developments in Greece that have taken place after the ‘border opening’ announced by the Turkish President by the end of February.

The study assesses the measures taken by the Greek government and the European Union (EU) since the end of February 2020 in response to Turkey’s decision to cease its non-departure measures for refugees and asylum-seekers. It analyses the closure of the Greek-Turkish border and the temporary ‘suspension’ of the asylum law in Greece in light of EU law, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), and international refugee law.

The opinion concludes that pushbacks or deportations without an individual asylum procedure violate the prohibition of refoulement and the prohibition of collective expulsion. The excessive use of violence at the border constitutes a severe violation of basic human rights, including the right to life.

Finally, the opinion presents several alternatives: EU asylum law in particular provides for solidarity measures and adaptations of the asylum procedure as appropriate and legal reactions.

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Equal Rights Beyond Borders consists of two seperately registered entities in Greece and Germany.

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