Greece to face legal repercussions of expelling Syrian to Turkey

Lawyers of a Syrian man living in Germany will file a case at the United Nations human rights committee against Greek authorities for illegally expelling him to Turkey, the Guardian said on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old Syrian was detained by Greek police and forced into a boat to Turkey in 2016 while he was searching for his brother in Greece, who had disappeared after crossing the border from Turkey, the Guardian said.

He had been granted asylum for three years by Germany but his papers were confiscated by the Greek authorities, which meant he was not able to return to Germany.

“Even his EU asylum status, which Germany had granted him, couldn’t protect him. This approach to migration governance is inhuman and manifestly unlawful,” the Guardian cited Amanda Brown, a researcher at the Global Legal Action Network (Glan) who has worked on the case, as saying.

Several leading human rights organisations have accused Greece of illegal pushbacks of migrants to Turkey, a violation of non-refoulment under the 1951 Geneva Convention and EU law on asylum, and Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Human Rights Watch said in August that Greek coast guard personnel, police, and armed masked men in dark clothing carried out summary returns from the Greek islands of Rhodes, Samos, and Symi, forcing people onto small inflatable rescue rafts and sending them back to Turkish waters.