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EU-Turkey deal undermines international law and human rights


07 Apr 2016


Europe's East
Justice & Home Affairs

The EU-Turkey agreement to return refugees in Greece to Turkey, which has been implemented since Monday, will be discussed in the European Parliament's civil liberties and home affairs committee today. Ahead of the debate, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms said:

"The situation regarding the illegal deportations of Syrian refugees from Turkey, as outlined by Amnesty International, is alarming. It is high time for an ad hoc mission of the EU to investigate these allegations. As long as it cannot be established that Turkey is fully respecting international law, there can be no returns of refugees in Greece. All EU governments share a common responsibility for ensuring that the treatment of refugees in Greece fully respects the rule of law. EU governments cannot abdicate this responsibility to Greece and Turkey. This implies also providing support on the ground.

"Above all, EU governments must finally start implementing a resettlement programme that is worthy of the name. That means providing EU asylum to at least 500,000 refugees from war and crisis zones per year."

Green migration spokesperson Judith Sargentini added:

"The deal with Turkey has led to inhumane conditions for refugees and is in contravention with European and international law. The Geneva Convention, which was created in Europe, is being undermined. Under pressure from EU leaders, those seeking protection in Greece are being detained in inhumane conditions. These deportation centres are at odds with international obligations on the protection of refugees and European law.

"The democratic legitimacy of the agreement with Turkey is also highly questionable. Despite the fact that the European Parliament has full co-decision powers in the area of asylum and refugee policy, this deal was signed, sealed and implemented with no involvement of the parliament. The deal must be ended without delay."


Richard More O'Ferrall,

Press and media advisor, social media coordinator,

Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament

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