Alarm Phone demands immediate evacuation of refugees from a small islet in the Evros river

Alarm Phone Statement, 10.06.2022

28 people in distressThese people have been suffering for days despite a decision of the European Court of Human Rights which was issued on the 3rd of June 2022, stating “under Rule 39, that the applicants should not be removed until further notice and be provided with food, water and adequate medical care as needed until further notice.”

What is clear to us, as we stand together and maintain contact with the people on the islet, is that we are again witnessing how the group become victims of political power games played on their back. The tensions between Turkey and Greece are rising day by day. Erdogan continues to threat Europe, using people on the move as pawns in his game as he attempts to stabilise his own power. Many of those who had to flee Syria as a direct result of the war led by Turkey remain trapped in this sick game. At the same time, Greece maintains its’ position as the door-keeper of Europe, clinging on to the power this affords them, no matter what the consequence or how many lives it costs. In playing this role, Greece thinks itself above the law, and continues to ignore the decisions of European courts.

We are aware of the increasing propaganda against people on the move and against all those who stand in solidarity with them. Anyone that denounces and challenges human rights violations and crimes along the EU border, is automatically declared an enemy of the state. Criminalisation is becoming increasingly militarised. We also stand in solidarity with all those facing criminalisation in Greece because they support the right to freedom of movement.

We can only repeat: we will not let them frighten us! We will stand with the people for as long as it is required. We demand the immediate evacuation of the group in the small islet in the Evros river. We demand the Greek state complies with the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.

Chronology of the events:

We were initially contacted by a group of Kurdish refugees from Syria on June 1st – when they had ended up left alone on a small islet in the river of Evros in their attempt to flee to Europe. In the group of 28 people, there were several children and women, all of whom had been starving and without access to drinking water for days.

On the 2nd June, the group was pushed back from the islet, while a decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) was still pending. The decision, following an application by a legal project called “Rule 39 Initiative”, arrived on 3rd June, saying:

“On 03 June 2022, the Court (the duty judge) decided, in the interests of the parties and the proper conduct of the proceedings before it, to indicate to the Government of Greece, under Rule 39, that the applicants should not be removed until further notice and be provided with food, water and adequate medical care as needed until further notice.”

To view the full court decision, see attached. 

On the 8th of June, the people contacted us again from the islet in the river, where they had returned to after being pushed back. They were once more stranded and facing difficulties. We immediately informed Greek authorities on the decision of the court. Nevertheless, up until now there was no movement from Greek authorities to meet the needs of the people or follow the decision of the European Court of Human Rights. This is despite the fact that the Greek authorities are aware of the situation and are obswerving the group since shortly after the alert. The people are in a very difficult situation, and have run out of food and water.

They are urgently in need of assistance.

Sources:

  1. Tweets from Alarm Phone: https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1534466052469444613?s=20&t=YA9nPbvYC8DVK54Pn_fq6g
  2. Article in efsyn: https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/dikaiomata/347611_sos-gia-28-prosfyges-se-nisida-toy-ebroy

Material

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