The UN called on Greece not to use force against migrants at the border

The decision to suspend access to the asylum procedure “has no legal basis in international law”,  noted UN Special Rapporteur Felipe González Morales.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of migrants, Felipe Gonzalez Morales, called on Greece to immediately stop the use of force against migrants and asylum-seekers at the border with Turkey.

“I am very concerned about reports of denials of entry to asylum-seekers and migrants”, –  he said in a message circulated in Geneva on Monday.

The Special Rapporteur stressed that such measures constitute “a violation of the prohibition on collective expulsions”.

According to Felipe Gonzalez Morales, Greece “should immediately reconsider” its decision to suspend access to the asylum procedure for persons who crossed the border illegally for 30 days from 1 March. According to him, this decision “has no legal basis in international law”,  and in this case it is a “cornerstone of human rights and refugee protection.

The statement also expressed alarm at reports of attacks on asylum-seekers by the Greek security service with the aim of “expelling them to the Turkish side of the border”. The migrants who managed to cross the border were reportedly “intercepted by Greek border guards, detained, undressed, deprived of their reapers and sent back to Turkey”. In addition, it has been reported that such actions resulted in the death of an asylum-seeker from Syria.

At the end of February, after a clash with the Syrian army, in which 36 Turkish soldiers were killed, Ankara decided not to stop refugees from Syria, who seek to enter the EU. The EU is negotiating with Turkey to resolve the situation and promises to support Greece, which is facing an influx of refugees. The border between Turkey and the EU has been closed to migrants since 2016 as part of the agreement between Brussels and Ankara on a visa-free regime, which, however, has never been introduced.


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