June 30, 2022

Greece breaking international rights law

Greece is in violation of international human rights law, in keeping with UN particular envoy Mary Lawlor.

Chatting with reporters in Athens on Wednesday (22 June), Lawlor stated Greek registration guidelines on NGOs engaged on migration and asylum are discriminatory.

“The register has to be amended and it can’t be discriminatory and it can’t be disproportionate,” she stated.

“It has to be in compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which it isn’t,” she stated.

The Greek authorities in early 2020 launched new ministerial guidelines which impose additional situations on the registration of civil society and NGOs engaged on asylum.

The foundations require them to register with the ministry of asylum and migration — in a transfer the Athens authorities stated would enhance transparency.

However NGOs stated the register was in reality designed to squeeze out important civil voices and imposed onerous bureaucratic hurdles to forestall others from serving to migrants and asylum seekers.

For example, these not registered are unable to entry asylum seekers and migrants in amenities the place they’re held.

Related views have been echoed by Lawlor, who stated there’s a huge discretion afforded to authorities to refuse to register applicant NGOs.

Lawlor stated that such ‘discretion’ in reality restricts civil society house and considerably enhances the management of the state over the work of NGOs within the area of migration.

“Individual human rights defenders are not able to obtain registration,” she identified.

Rights defenders in Greece

However Lawlor additionally took goal at how some media and political leaders in Greece criminalise assist staff.

“Solidarity should never be punished and compassion should never be put on trial,” she stated.

She famous that such criminalisation and stigmatisation of rights defenders picked up tempo in 2019.

She additionally took goal at Greece’s migration code, which implements the EU facilitator’s package deal geared toward cracking down on smugglers.

The Greek law criminalises each the facilitation of irregular entry and transit of individuals from outdoors the EU and their residence.

“However, Greek law does not define which acts or omissions constitute facilitation in this regard,” she stated.

The imprecise language means reliable conduct by human rights defenders are focused by police, she stated.

This consists of coordinating humanitarian help at refugee vessel arrival factors alongside the coastlines.

“Putting human rights defenders on trial for such conduct undermines their work,” she stated.

Lawlor drew her conclusions after quite a few conferences and visits held in Greece from 13 to 22 June.

She is going to current her ultimate report back to the United Nations Human Rights Council subsequent March.

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