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HRW says Greece, Turkey mistreating Iraqis and other migrants

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] said Wednesday in a new report [text; HRW press release] that Greece and Turkey are according inhumane treatment to migrants and possible asylum seekers from Iraq and elsewhere attempting to enter the EU. The report describes the migrants as trapped in a "revolving door" because the EU's Dublin II Regulation [text] stipulates that the state of first entry is responsible for evaluating an asylum claim. Greece nonetheless blocks migrants’ entrance into that country by disabling vessels and secretly and forcefully deporting would-be asylum seekers back across Turkish borders. For those who make it to Greek territory, the government blocks access to asylum procedures, and denies 98 percent of all asylum claims. Turkey in turn deports Iraqis to their home country "without giving them a meaningful opportunity to seek protection." The report recommends that the EU reevaluate the Dublin II Regulation and suspend transfers of asylum seekers back to Greece, examining asylum claims itself. It also calls on Greece to make a public commitment to ensure a fairer asylum process and to stop forceful deportation practices.

The UN has been urging [official statement] the EU to revise the Dublin II Regulations to ensure the rights and protection of refugees and asylum-seekers since 2006. In 2005, Amnesty International concluded in a report [text, PDF] that Greece was not meeting international rights standards for asylum seekers.

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