Joint Action for the creation of an initiative of organisations in relation to push-backs




Over the last years, the undersigned organisations have been receiving allegations of push-backs at the country’s land and sea borders. This practice seems to have now acquired systematic characteristics and constitutes an official state policy aiming at the prevention of refugee and migrant flows.


Although not a new phenomenon, this policy of land and sea push-backs has, however, escalated in an unprecedented fashion over the last year, both in terms of frequency of incidents and of the means employed. Dozens of complaints, substantiated by evidence (videos, testimonies and photos), have been recorded.


Of the utmost concern is the reported tolerance and/or involvement of FRONTEX as well as the inaction in conducting a substantial inquiry into the public allegations connected to it. This policy not only constitutes a violation of fundamental principles of international law but also poses a direct threat to people’s lives.


We emphatically point out that:


· The deterrence of entry as well as the return of persons who have entered Greece, without respecting the legal procedures for the apprehension and registration of the latter and without examining their potential application for international protection, infringes the fundamental principles of international law which prohibit the return of persons to a country where they are at risk of persecution, torture and inhuman or degrading treatment.

· The protection of human life is the ultimate responsibility and obligation of the authorities

· Targeting and criminalising civil society organisations and citizens who record and publicise push-back incidents at the land and sea borders of the country is dangerous for the Rule of Law and aims at consolidating a climate of fear and of tolerance towards illegal practices

· Several of the undersigned organizations have already submitted reports and complaints to international and European bodies, aiming at the effective investigation and prosecution of illegal push-back practices. In addition, we now call on civil society organisations and bodies to come together in an initiative to address the below demands to national, European and international bodies:

· The immediate end of illegal push-back practices that endanger the Rule of Law and fundamental human rights

· The establishment of an independent mechanism for the systematic recording and substantiation of reported push-back cases

· The protection of the victims and the facilitation of their access to justice for the substantial investigation of their complaints

· The protection of the organisations and citizens that record and publicise incidents of push-backs



THE SIGNING ORGANISATIONS


ΑΡΣΙΣ – Κοινωνική Οργάνωση Υποστήριξης Νέων, Αθήνα/ ARSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth, Athens

HIAS – Greece

Υποστήριξη Προσφύγων στο Αιγαίο /Refugee Support Aegean

Ελληνικό Συμβούλιο για τους Πρόσφυγες /Greek Council for Refugees

HumanRights360

ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΕΝΩΣΗ ΓΙΑ ΤΑ ΔΙΚΑΙΩΜΑΤΑ ΤΟΥ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΥ

International Rescue Committee (IRC)

ΣΩΜΑΤΕΙΟ ΥΠΟΣΤΗΡΙΞΗΣ ΔΙΕΜΦΥΛΙΚΩΝ (ΣΥΔ)

Refugee Legal Support (RLS)

Ελληνικό Παρατηρητήριο των Συμφωνιών του Ελσίνκι/Greek Helsinki Monitor

Ελληνικό Φόρουμ Μεταναστών - Greek Forum of Migrants

ΜΕΤΑδραση - Δράση για τη Μετανάστευση και την Ανάπτυξη/ METAdrasi- Action for Migration and Development

ECHO100PLUS

Refugee Rights Europe (RRE)

Συμβίωση-Σχολή Πολιτικών Σπουδών στην Ελλάδα, Δίκτυο Σχολών του Συμβουλίου της Ευρώπης / Symbiosis-School of Political Studies in Greece, affiliated to the Council of Europe Network of Schools

Θετική Φωνή / Positive Voice

ΝΑΟΜΙ, Οικουμενικό Εργαστήρι Προσφύγων, NAOMI, Ecumenical Workshop for Refugees

Diakonie Oesterreich (Austria)

Equal Rights Beyond Borders

Glocal Roots

Αλληλέγγυοι Χίου / Chios Solidarity

Irida Women's Center

EuroMed Rights

Mobile Info Team

Europe Must Act

ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΟ ΦΟΡΟΥΜ ΜΕΤΑΝΑΣΤΩΝ/ GREEK FORUM OF MIGRANTS

ΑΛΛΗΛΕΓΓΥΗ ΛΕΣΒΟΥ - LESVOS SOLIDARITY

Συνύπαρξη και Επικοινωνί στο Αιγαίο, Μυτιλήνη Coexistence and Communication in the Aegean (Siniparxi) Mytilini

Legal Centre Lesvos

Fenix - Humanitarian Legal Aid

"ΛΑΘΡΑ;" - Επιτροπή Αλληλεγγύης στους Πρόσφυγες Χίου

ΚΕΝΤΡΟ ΓΥΝΑΙΚΕΙΩΝ ΜΕΛΕΤΩΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΡΕΥΝΩΝ - ΔΙΟΤΙΜΑ / CENTRE FOR RESEARCH ON WOMEN'S ISSUES - DIOTIMA

Mobile Info Team

Still I Rise

Mare Liberum

RAD MUSIC INTERNATIONAL

The Hope Project

Attika Human Support

Choose Love

BORDERLINE EUROPE E.V.

Boat Refugee Foundation/Stichting Bootvluchteling

SolidarityNow

Lighthouse Relief (LHR)

Better Days

Changemakers Lab

Ιριδα-Κέντρο Γυναικών - Irida Women's Center

ΑΝΤΙΓΟΝΗ - Κέντρο Πληροφόρησης και Τεκμηρίωσης για το Ρατσισμό, την Οικολογία, την Ειρήνη και τη Μη Βία/ ANTIGONE - Information and Documentation Centre on Racism, Ecology, Peace and Non Violence

Οικολογική Κίνηση Θεσσαλονίκης/ Ecological Movement of Thessaloniki

Advocates Abroad

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