UN expert condemns Greek ‘criminalization’ of migrants

A UN skilled on Wednesday condemned Greece’s migration coverage for specializing in safety points and creating “an atmosphere of fear” amongst migrants and their advocates.

That coverage was having a “suffocating effect” on civil society, stated Mary Lawlor, the UN Special Rapporteur for rights defenders.

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“The government’s current approach to the issue is defined by its framing of migration as a matter of security and prevention,” stated Lawlor following a 10-day analysis journey to Greece.

“What this has fostered for refugees, asylum-seekers, migrants and the human rights defenders acting in solidarity with them, is an atmosphere of fear – particularly a fear of criminalization,” she added.

Athens has promoted its success in stopping tens of hundreds of migrants coming into the nation.

But Lawlor’s go to comes after repeated accusations by rights campaigners that the Greek coastguard has been illegally forcing migrants to return to Turkey.

Athens has denied the allegations, however each the European Union and the UN refugee company UNHCR known as for an investigation.

In March, the nation’s nationwide transparency authority stated a four-month investigation had discovered no proof of such practices.

But in her assertion Wednesday, Lawlor stated authorities coverage and statements by senior officers had heaped strain on organizations working to defend migrants’ rights.

“At the tip of the spear are prosecutions, where acts of solidarity are reinterpreted as criminal activity, specifically the crime of people smuggling,” Lawlor stated in a press release.

“The negative impact of such cases is multiplied by smear campaigns perpetuating this false image of defenders.”

Since he was elected three years in the past, conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has elevated safety on the border with Turkey with the assistance of the EU border company Frontex.

Lawlor travelled round Greece from June 13-22 on the invitation of the federal government, interviewing, migrants, rights activists and different events.

She is because of report again to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2023.

Read extra:

Turkey urges Greece to demilitarize Aegean islands

Greece jails Afghan teenagers for refugee camp fire

Greece blocked 40,000 migrants at Evros this year: Government

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