December 9, 2023

Greece will not be ‘gateway’ to Europe for Afghans fleeing Taliban, say officers | Global improvement

4 min read

Greek officials have claimed that Greece will not develop into a “gateway” to Europe for Afghan asylum seekers and have called for a united response to predictions of an increase in refugee arrivals to the state.

Greece’s prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has spoken to Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, about the building problem in Afghanistan this week. Greek migration minister Notis Mitarachi final 7 days claimed: “We are unable to have tens of millions of persons leaving Afghanistan and coming to the European Union … and certainly not by means of Greece.” The state has just finished a 25-mile (40km) wall alongside its land border with Turkey and mounted an automatic surveillance system with cameras, radars and drones.

Asylum seekers from Afghanistan have produced up 45% of arrivals to the Greek islands so considerably this calendar year, according to figures from UN refugee company.

In June, Greece declared Turkey a “safe third country” for men and women from Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Pakistan and Bangladesh. This supplies legal grounds for ruling an asylum claim inadmissible. The selection has sparked an outcry from lots of NGOs and rights teams which includes the Intercontinental Rescue Committee and the Greek Council for Refugees, who, in a joint letter, mentioned that most people today from nations these as Afghanistan had a “high recognition charge for worldwide protection”, and requested for the final decision to be “immediately revoked”.

Afghan asylum seekers and refugees in Greece have been anxiously waiting for information from family again household. Ali* lives in the Lesbos refugee camp but most of his family, including his dad and mom, are nonetheless in Kabul. The 21-calendar year-aged has recently had his asylum declare turned down in Greece. Ali reported Afghans in Lesbos now hoped their asylum claims would be reconsidered. “We truly hope that the condition of Afghanistan impacts our asylum case,” he claimed. “We hope to get a positive decision about our asylum for the reason that now, you know, the condition in Afghanistan is incredibly terrible and we just can’t go back again.”

Marion Bouchetel from the Legal Centre Lesbos instructed the Guardian that Greece’s choice to class Turkey as a safe third region for refugees was “an abusive and dangerous misapplication of the secure third country strategy supplied below EU law”.

She claimed: “Turkey is not a harmless third place for migrants and does not give for asylum seekers the likely of staying recognised as refugees or to be protected versus refoulement. Afghans previously stand for just about 75% of the population in Mavrovouni camp in Lesbos and the vast majority of asylum seekers in the Greek islands. Most of them are family members and have already been rejected in the asylum process centered on the assumption that Turkey is a protected third nation for them.

“Given the gravity of the circumstance in Afghanistan, there is no doubt that far more Afghans will before long flee and move by way of the japanese Mediterranean route by Turkey and Greece in research of security and asylum.”

Past week, hundreds gathered outside the house the Greek parliament in Athens to protest the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. “We are right here to raise the voice of Afghans, the millions who are left and are struggling,” claimed Naquib*, 32, a refugee who had lived in the Moria camp on Lesbos.

“We are right here also to elevate the voice of women of all ages back in Afghanistan. The Taliban are equivalent to terrorists, they do not regard gals or women’s legal rights,” he explained.

Naquib, who experienced worked with US forces and international NGOs in Afghanistan, explained it was critical for Europe to just take in Afghans to conserve life but it should also tackle the Taliban. “We require to get to the root of the problem,” he stated.

Parwana Amiri, 17, dwelling in a tent outside the house Athens, explained: “This is the previous time they will contact Afghan refugees economic migrants. Everybody’s lifetime is in danger, it is pretty tough for women of all ages and girls. People are seeking to access right here but there is no prospect to escape due to the fact the Taliban never effortlessly enable people today leave.

“Greece states they are not completely ready and they really do not want to facial area the exact same crisis as 2015. It suggests that other EU member states need to start relocation and give a possibility for new arrivals to achieve listed here. We have been struggling in the refugee camps, but it is greater than the mouth of loss of life.”

The Guardian approached the Greek migration ministry for remark on the classification of Turkey as a harmless state for Afghans but has had no response.

*Names have been changed on request to safeguard identities.

This report was amended on 26 August 2021 to right the spelling of Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s surname.