November 27, 2013

Press Release: Two coast guards convicted of torturing asylum seeker upon entry into Greece

On 25. November 2013 the Five-Member Naval Court of Piraeus found two out of three accused coast guards guilty for having committed acts of torture against an asylum seeker, including restricting the victim's breathing so as to simulate drowning and suffocation ('wet and dry submarino'), carrying out mock execution, as well as other serious attacks on human dignity, immediately after the victim's entry into Greece and during his transfer with other asylum-seekers to the Port of Chios. The above-mentioned incident was first documented in the report entitled “The truth may be bitter but it must be told – The Situation of Refugees in the Aegean and the Practices of the Greek Coast Guard” by the Group of Lawyers for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants and the NGO Pro-Asyl, which was published in 2007 and has attracted extensive publicity ever since.

The two defendants received suspended jail sentences of 6- and 3-years as well as long-term deprival of their political rights. In addition, one of the convicted coast guards faces demotion once the decision becomes final.

November 26, 2013



Atene, 26/11/2013

Ieri 25/11, il Tribunale Marritimo del Pireo in seduta collegiale ha condannato due delle tre guardie costiere imputate di aver torturato un rifugiato, tramite il blocco del respiro fino ai limiti dell'asfissia (il "waterboarding", con e senza acqua), e attraverso finte esecuzioni sommarie, oltre ad altre pesanti offese della dignità umana. Il tutto è avvenuto subito dopo il suo rientro in Grecia, durante il trasferimento del gruppo dei rifugiati al porto dell'isola di Chios. Il crimine venne documentato dal "Gruppo di Avvocati per i Diritti dei Rifugiati e dei Migranti" e dall'ONG "Pro Asyl" nel rapporto del 2007 "The truth must be bitter but must be told - The situation of refugees in the Aegean Sea and the practices of the Greek Coastguard", che ebbe grande risonanza.

I due imputati sono stati condannati a 6 anni e 3 anni di reclusione con effetto sospensivo, oltre all'inflizione della perdita dei diritti politici per molti anni. Al primo di questi personaggi è stata comminata la deposizione dal suo grado, dopo la comunicazione della sentenza irrevocabile.

November 9, 2013

Pushed Back – systematic human rights violations against refugees in the aegean sea and at the greek turkish land border


On the Greek-Turkish land border refugees are systematically refouled with brutal, shocking and systematic violations of human rights: ‘When they left us in the Turkish waters they made waves again and six of us – all men – fell into the sea. The Greeks saw that, but they didn’t help, they just left.’ PRO ASYL documents these systematic pushback in the report “Pushed Back – systematic human rights violations against refugees in the aegean sea and the greek-turkish land border”. With few exceptions, all documented pushback took place in the area of ​​operations of Frontex. PRO ASYL raises the question of the involvement of Frontex on the human rights violations and calls: Frontex must end its operations in Greece.

Download Report (in English)
Summary (in German)