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GreekReporter.comGreeceAre Greek Authorities Starting to Push Back Migrants?

Are Greek Authorities Starting to Push Back Migrants?

A series of videos published earlier in the week by German magazine Der Spiegel allegedly show masked figures working for the Greek authorities secretly deporting migrants back to Turkey through the Evros River.
The Greek government has repeatedly denied carrying out illegal “pushbacks” at its land border with Turkey. No asylum seekers, Athens insists, have been forced back across the Evros River into Turkey without a fair asylum process — even if numerous refugees claim otherwise.
The magazine published 11 videos. The images from a security camera on the Turkish side shows masked men, some of whom are dressed in military-style clothing without any national emblems. In the video, they are transporting groups of people from the Greek side of the river to the Turkish side in a small, motorized rubber dinghy.

Push-Backs an EU-Grenze: Videos zeigen mutmaßlich illegale Abschiebung von Migranten

Seit Jahren werden Griechenland Push-Backs am Grenzfluss Evros vorgeworfen. Jetzt zeigen Videobilder erstmals mutmaßlich eine solche Operation. SPIEGEL-Reporter Steffen Lüdke mit einer Videoanalyse zu den Hintergründen.

Posted by SPIEGEL ONLINE on Thursday, December 12, 2019

The videos show for the first time what appear to be exactly these kinds of pushbacks taking place on the Evros, says Der Spiegel. The German magazine reports that six active and former police officers and soldiers have also independently confirmed that pushbacks are systematically carried out on the Evros.
A Greek police spokesman said that the Greek police had no knowledge of the incident. He said that Greek borders were always secured within the framework of “democratic lawfulness,” and that international agreements were respected.
Der Spiegel notes that pushbacks are a violation of international law, violating both the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Geneva Convention.
There are two main reasons, the German magazine says. For one, asylum seekers have the right to a proper process to determine if they require asylum. And they are not allowed to be returned to a country in which their safety is not guaranteed. This so-called non-refoulement principle is a tenet of international law for the protection of asylum seekers. A group expulsion without an individual evaluation of asylum claims is also illegal.

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