November 16, 2009

Report to the European Commission by Greek NGOs on infringement of EC Directive on minimum standards for granting and withdrawing refugee status

On 16 November 2009 six of the most important Greek organizations providing assistance to refugees and asylum applicants, Amnesty International, Ecumenical Refugee Programme, Greek Council for Refugees, Group of Lawyers for the Rights of Migrants and Refugees, Hellenic League for Human Rights and Praksis submitted to the European Commission a common report, in which they present their views on those aspects of the current greek legal framework for asylum procedure which are not in compliance with community law.


On 30 June 2009, presidential decree 81/2009 was published in the Greek Government Gazette, with the title: "Modification of presidential decree 90/08 on 'Harmonisation of Greek legislation to the provisions of Council Directive 2005/85/EC on minimum standards on procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing refugee status' ".

October 24, 2009

Double life on the border for Greek undercover immigration officer

(THESSALONIKI) - A veteran of Greece's anti-immigration police, 'Nick' has driven thousands of miles posing as a Turkish trucker, dodged an Albanian killer and was nearly shot by Greek border guards.

It's all in a day's work for the undercover officer who operates on Greece's northeastern border with Turkey, a major smuggling route through which thousands of clandestine immigrants slip into the country every year, seeking a better future in the European Union.

EU border watchdog Frontex calls the region delineated by the River Evros, Greece's natural boundary with Turkey, "the hottest area of illegal immigration in Europe".

September 9, 2009

Denunciation by the Group of Lawyers for the rights of Migrants and Refugees

Denunciation by the Group of Lawyers for the rights of Migrants and Refugees

On 8 September 2009 members of the Group of Lawyers for the rights of Migrants and Refugees visited the police station of Agios Panteleimonas in order to contact with their client, an Afghan detainee who was a victim of armed robbery in the Attica Square. We denounce the unjustifiable deficiency of police authorities responsible for the preliminary investigation in verifying the identity of the perpetrators. We denounce the fact that the papers in the case were sent particularly incomplete to the Public Prosecutor without even recording a sworn statement by the victim.

July 29, 2009

Moving Detained Migrants to North Raises - Fears of "Pushbacks" to Turkey

Greece: Halt Crackdown, Arrests of Migrants

July 27, 2009

It appears Greece is doing everything it can to close the door on persons who seek protection in Europe, no matter how vulnerable they are. The European Union must hold Greece accountable for acts contrary to international and European human rights and refugee law, and it needs to act fast, as the lives of many are at risk
Bill Frelick, Director, Refugee Policy Program
Greek authorities are arresting large numbers of migrants and asylum seekers in the country's cities and islands and moving many of them to the north, raising fears of illegal expulsions to Turkey, Human Rights Watch said today.

July 16, 2009


Athens, 16.07.2009

Within the public debate on migration, we have noticed many inaccuracies, a large amount of misinformation and a general approach which is not only one-sided but also exaggerates the seriousness of the issue , presenting it as a major national problem. Such an atmosphere allows no space for a calm and analytical approach to the entire issue, which would aim at shedding light on all aspects and focusing on substantial measures that could be taken to solve the problems. As a result, the discussion transforms refugees and migrants into targets rather than what they are: victims of armed conflicts, persecution, poverty and strict migration policies. Since we perceive the existing "dialogue" more as a monologue, and since no opportunity to speak has yet been given to the representatives of organisations that deal with migrants and refugees, we see it as our duty to intervene in the debate in order to inform Greek society about our position on this topic.

July 6, 2009

ANNOUNCEMENT-Change of address


The Group of Lawyers for the Rights of Migrants and Refugees is a team of lawyers working on a purely voluntary basis which strives for the promotion of the rights of migrants and refugees. The Group was established in February 2006 and has been active ever since, offering actual solidarity to migrants and refugees. The Group pursues the following objectives: a) providing legal counseling to migrants and refugees in all matters relating to their legal status; b) providing legal representation in urgent cases; c) intervening in the public debate concerning migrant and refugee matters.

February 17, 2009

News release - Police forces evaquate building with asylum seekers

News release
Athens, 17/02/2009

On Monday, 10/02/2009, police forces entered an abandoned building on Sokratous street (known as the "Ambassador" building) and chased away its homeless "residents". It is in buildings like this as well as in parks where homeless asylum seekers seek refuge in Greece. Among its residents, were several Iranian asylum seekers, that have sought protection before the Greek authorities fearing persecution on political grounds.
These Iranian asylum seekers are former members of a known political organisation in Iran

January 23, 2009

Ad hoc visit to the Aliens Directorate

Ad hoc visit to the Aliens Directorate

On Friday 23 January 2009, the Group of Lawyers for the Rights of Migrants and Refugees conducted an ad hoc visit to the Aliens Directorate of the Greek Police at Petrou Ralli street in Athens. The reason for this visit was the large number of complaints that the Group had received in the preceding period about asylum seekers being physically barred from accessing the Asylum Department of the Aliens Directorate, rendering it impossible to submit an asylum application. In addition, on 24 October 2008 and on 6 December 2008, two asylum seekers were found to have died in unclear circumstances after falling into a ditch located around 400m from the gate of the Aliens Directorate. According to witness statements, the deaths had been preceded by episodes of turmoil in front of the gate, in which the police had resorted to violence and persecution.