Legal Cases

Cases/Decisions before the Greek Courts

  1. Sworn testimony for the racist attacks in Aspropyrgos.

    On Friday 20/4/2018, the Deputy Director of HumanRights360 gave a sworn testimony before the Department for Combatting Racist Violence of the Hellenic Police regarding the recurring Racist Violence in Aspropyrgos.
    We remind that, along with representatives of other organizations [Hellenic League for Human Rights, Pakistan Community of Greece UNITY, Migrants Integration Council of Athens and the Movement United against Racist and the Fascist Threat (K.E.E.R.F.A.)], we had submitted a formal complaint to the Athens Prosecutor’s Office last June.
    The racist attacks in Goritsa Aspropyrgos are coordinated and recurring. These are acts of extreme and murderous violence by a group of perpetrators with a reoccurring modus operandi. The victims were mainly Pakistani land workers, however their Greek employers have also been targeted. It should be noted that the local police station has shown throughout this time unacceptable tolerance towards organized racist violence, given that the victims have already recognized the perpetrators of the attacks, but without any results.
    The prosecution report includes details of the attacks while photographic material and videos in relation to the actions of the group were filed to facilitate the authorities’ investigations and to clarify the attacks in order to ascribe responsibilities. The organizations’ request is to create a single case for all correlated lawsuits and to give the appropriate importance and priority to a criminal phenomenon that directly threatens our social cohesion and democratic freedoms.
    We reiterate our request for a speedy and efficient prosecution by the police and the judicial authorities.
  1. End of detention of a recognized refugee whose detention and return decision are illegal.

The Administrative Court of First Instance of Athens accepted the objections against detention and ordered the withdrawal of the detention until the completion of the administrative examination procedure regarding the revocation of his international protection status (refugee status) by the competent Service. According to the court’s ruling, the administration illegally based the detention decision of this person on a first instance sentence to one year and five months imprisonment for which he has already filed an appeal which is still pending. Therefore, in any case, this conviction has become final, as required by Article 21 par. 2 b of Law 4636/2019 on protection against return from the country of a foreigner with international protection status in accordance with the principle of non- refoulement.Athens 30/11/2020 – AA requested the withdrawal of his detention, arguing that both the detention and the return decision are illegal, as the administrative detention of a recognized refugee, like himself, is not provided for neither in Law 4636/2019, which provides for the detention of asylum seekers, nor in Law 3386/2005 and 3907/2011 which exclude recognized refugees from their scope. Furthermore, according to the competent Regional Asylum Office, no decision has been issued on revocation of refugee status and AA has not been convicted with a final decision up to date. The withdrawal of his detention was granted to AA until the conclusion of the examination from the competent authority of the proposal on the revocation of his refugee status.

Cases/Decisions before the European Courts/Committees

International complaint against Greece’s violent pushbacks at the Evros border.

On 17 Tuesday 2020, GLAN and HumanRights360 filed a complaint with the UN Human Rights Committee on behalf of Fady, a recognised refugee in the EU, who was subject to an enforced disappearance and repeated summary expulsions by Greek authorities between November 2016 and November 2017. Fady was stripped of his possessions, his document attesting to his residency status in the EU and placed outside the protection of the Law. He was placed in a state of precarity and rightlessness for three years until his documents were reissued and he was finally able to return to his home in Germany in November 2019.Fady, 25, arrived in Germany in 2015 from Deir az-Zour, Syria. In November 2016 he traveled to Greece with a German residence permit, which Germany issued to recognise his protected refugee status. He arrived to try to find his then 11-year-old brother, who was unaccompanied and had gone missing while crossing the Evros border, en route to reuniting with Fady and claiming asylum. On 30 November 2016, while looking for his brother at a Greek bus station, Fady was racially profiled and arrested by the Greek police who confiscated his German documentation. Greek authorities arbitrarily detained him incommunicado, without access to legal representation, and proceeded to violently and summarily expel him, in a group of 50 others, to Turkey. This initial expulsion to Turkey was reconstructed in the form of a ‘situated testimony’ by the UK-based investigative group Forensic Architecture. Stranded in Turkey without his documentation, Fady reattempted entry into Greece 14 times over the course of the following year and was subjected to further summary expulsions by Greek authorities, which maintained his exclusion from protection by the Law. In December 2017, he finally made it back into Greece without being pushed back. But he was stranded — undocumented, homeless, and with severe impacts on his health — for a further two years his German travel document was reissued on 30 October 2019. The complaint argues that Greece’s unlawful deprivation of Fady’s liberty amounts to an enforced disappearance under international Law. And it results in further serious violations of basic rights, notably the right to life, the right to liberty, the prohibition against torture, and the right to due process and remedy, as enshrined in the ICCPR. The repeated pushbacks the claimant was subject to are part of a clandestine systematic practice of summary expulsions by Greek authorities, as well as private actors under their direction. In this practice, which has intensified since the violent events at the Evros border in March 2020, refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants are arrested and detained, often following their racial-profiling and discrimination. This practice has been extensively and repeatedly condemned by the UN and European bodies and international civil society for the long-lasting harms it continues to inflict on thousands of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants, depriving them of the right to access asylum and exposing them to ‘chain refoulement’ by Turkey.

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