Greek authorities appear to be carrying out a mass deportation of migrants, according to Human Rights Watch.
Their report, Greece: Halt Mass Migrant Round-Ups, details how more than 6000 migrants have been brought in for police questioning since Aug. 4 2012, with at least 1,500 arrested for illegal entry and facing deportation.
Suspects are being unfairly targeted for their race or ethnicity, a policy which HRW has criticised; “Greek police must have specific cause to stop and question people beyond the appearance of their national origin.” Furthermore, mass expulsion of migrants is prohibited by international law, in particular refugees cannot be returned to their home country.
The country, which is deep in an economic crisis, recently elected a far-right government. Since then, there has been an increase in xenophobic violence, including regular gang attacks, with the police apparently taking little action.
Greece, despite its financial troubles must not discriminate against migrants and must ensure that it is complying with international law.
We the undersigned share the concerns outlined in the Human Rights Watch report, ‘Greece: Halt Mass Migrant Round-Ups’.
It is wholly unjust to discriminate against migrants. The police should not be permitted to bring people in for questioning because of their race or ethnicity. Furthermore, international law prohibits mass expulsion of migrants, including returning refugees to their home countries.
We are calling on Greece to respect the human rights of all those residing within the state and tackle the discriminatory policy of interrogation and arrests based on physical appearance.
Thank you for your attention.