EU, immediately stop any violence against civilians at the Greek border

Image: Refugees crossing the Mediterranean sea on a boat, heading from Turkish coast to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos. Photo Mstyslav Chernov/Unframe 2016 Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

March 4, 2020

PAX is seriously concerned about recent developments at the Greek borders and the EU’s response.

On Monday, a Greek coastguard boat attacked a boat of refugees. Police have fired teargas at refugees trying to cross the border from Turkey into Greece. At least one child has drowned while trying to make the sea crossing. This is happening at our EU border and because of the actions of the authorities of an EU member state. The response of the EU institutions and other EU member states has been one focused on keeping people out, rather than offering them safety.

Now that Turkey has opened its border with Greece, the EU- Turkey deal has officially failed, as many NGO’s had predicted. As Turkey has opened its borders, refugees try to reach Europe to apply for asylum.

The EU and its member states should:

  • Immediately stop any violence against civilians happening at the border. 
  • Keep its promises to Greece and other member states at the southern frontier to share the responsibility for refugees arriving in Europe and engage in a program to relocate them
  • Uphold international law and demand and facilitate that Greece allows refugees coming from Turkey to apply for asylum
  • Develop with Turkey and other countries in the region a sustainable solution for the situation of millions of refugees, including resettlement programs

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