Severely beaten, secretly detained and forcibly returned from Greece, Parvin A’s digital evidence exposes Greece’s covert and systematic push-back practice. With the support of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), HumanRights360 and Forensic Architecture (FA), she has submitted a complaint against Greece to the UN Human Rights Committee for multiple violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
“I promised myself during one of the push-backs that when I get to Europe, I will go to court and get some justice. Because these push-backs and this violence must stop. We are human beings. I want to help get back some respect for human rights,” said Parvin A.
Parvin A, 30 years old, fled Iran due to gender-based persecution in 2017 and was pushed back six times from Greece across the Evros river and Aegean Sea during 2020. Intentionally denied any rights or legal safeguards, Parvin A was subjected to gratuitous physical violence at the hands of Greek officers. She was detained incommunicado in filthy conditions and repeatedly, summarily expelled.
Remarkably, Parvin A managed to preserve video, audio and live location evidence from inside and outside detention in Greek border guard stations. FA supported the case by analyzing this evidence and visually re-constructing her experiences (available here: https://parvin.forensic-architecture.org/).
“This case shows how push-backs are now normalized. They are routine, coordinated, and function on state resources. We are yet to see an effective Greek investigation into this. It is time for accountability,” said Evgenia Kouniaki, lawyer at HumanRights360.
Human rights institutions and the media have documented this longstanding, systematic push-back policy for more than two decades. Read more in ECCHR’s own analysis (https://bit.ly/3Hp4cCO).
This complaint is part of a series of legal steps to address systematic human rights violations at the EU’s external borders.
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