Amnesty International (AI) has issued a statement calling European countries to stop sending asylum seekers to Greece.
AI contends that refugees sent to Greece are too poorly treated, and that “they do not have adequate access to legal council, interpretters and necessary information. There have been cases of refugees forced to Turkey against their will.” Their inhumane treatment violates international law.
For many refugees heading for Europe from war-torn countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan, Greece is the first European country they enter. Unfortunately for them, the terms of the Dublin Regulation – of which Iceland is a signatory – gives governments the right to send asylum seekers back to their last country of departure.
Iceland has repeatedly sent asylum seekers to Greece, often without so much as looking at their case files. However, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has since April 2008 strongly advised Dublin Regulation signatory countries to cease deportations to Greece.
For more on Greece’s treatment of refugees, you can also check out Grapevine’s own Haukur Már Helgasons’s coverage.