Muslim bloc urges safety for asylum seekers in Greece

World
Mon, 9 Mar 2020 20:52 GMT
Organization of Islamic Cooperation calls for security of asylum seekers seeking to enter Greece under human rights law The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is urging that the safety of asylum seekers at Greece’s borders be ensured in line with h...
Muslim bloc urges safety for asylum seekers in Greece

Organization of Islamic Cooperation calls for security of asylum seekers seeking to enter Greece under human rights law

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is urging that the safety of asylum seekers at Greece’s borders be ensured in line with human rights law.

Greek officials' announcements that the asylum seekers will be pushed back is in violation of human rights and EU law, said a statement by the OIC’s Human Rights Commission.

Referring to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 14, the statement said, "Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution."

"The commission supports the UN Refugees High Commission's statement on March 2, 2020, which calls for the states to not suspend applications by asylum seekers, who are under protection according to the UN’s 1951 Refugee Convention.

“States also have the responsibility to not discriminate between asylum seekers based on their religious views. The only way to solve the asylum seekers' crisis in the long run is to respect human rights law. We invite OIC countries and the international community to support asylum-seekers and provide services for them," it said.

The OIC's Human Rights Commission has members from 18 countries, including Haci Ali Acikgul of the Justice Ministry’s Human Rights Division.

Late last month, Turkey announced it would no longer stop asylum seekers from reaching Europe by land, while banning boat crossings as too dangerous.

In making the decision, Turkey complained that the European Union had failed to keep its pledges under a 2016 deal on migrants, and warned of a new refugee wave coming from the embattled province of Idlib, Syria, along Turkey's southern border.

Thousands of asylum seekers have since flocked to Turkey’s Edirne province – which borders Greece and Bulgaria – to make their way to Europe.

Turkey has also criticized what it calls Greek authorities’ brutality towards the asylum seekers at the border.

Turkey, which already hosts nearly 4 million Syrian migrants, more than any other country in the world, has said it would be unable to absorb yet another refugee wave.

Escalating attacks by the Assad regime and its allies in Idlib, Syria has sent a fresh wave of refugees toward Turkey's border.

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