• Human rights in Europe – review of 2019 2019 in the heart of Europe, some states actively sought to erode the independence of the judiciary to avoid state accountability. The European Union continued to outsource border and migration control. Grave human rights risks ensued: tens of thousands of people remained exposed to conflict, violence, torture and an uncertain future in destitute conditions. Those opposing these border and migration control policies frequently faced smear campaigns, harassment, and even administrative and criminal penalties. Increasing numbers of human rights defenders, activists and independent media faced intimidation and prosecution. Expressions of dissent on the streets were often met with a range of restrictive measures and excessive use of force by police. Against this overall backdrop of intolerance and discrimination, minorities and those seeking to defend their rights were met with violence, increasing stigmatization of some communities. Survivors of sexual violence, including rape, continued to face obstacles in accessing justice. While two countries held their first ever Pride parades, there was a roll-back in a number of others on law and policies related to the rights of LGBTI people.

    Downlaod the full report in here: Europe: Human rights in Europe – review of 2019
    (available in Slovak, Czech, French, Greek, Slovenian, Hungarian, Spanish, English, Greek)

  • Dramatische Lage an der griechisch-türkischen Grenze: Flüchtlinge dürfen nicht für politische Machtinteressen instrumentalisiert werden

    Amnesty International fordert Ende der Gewalt gegen Menschen auf der Flucht Griechenland muss das Recht, Asyl zu suchen, weiter gewähren

    BERLIN, 02.03.2020 – Zur aktuellen Situation an den EU-Außengrenzen sagt Dr. Julia Duchrow, Leiterin der Abteilung Politik und Activism von Amnesty International in Deutschland:

    „Wir sehen aktuell an den EU-Grenzen zur Türkei die absehbaren Folgen des EU-Türkei- Deals: Menschen auf der Suche nach Asyl werden als Spielball in einem tödlichen politischen Konflikt instrumentalisiert. Griechenland und Bulgarien müssen garantieren, dass Schutzsuchenden die Einreise über offizielle Grenzübergänge ermöglicht wird, selbst wenn sie keine gültigen Reisedokumente besitzen. Die Sicherheitskräfte an den Grenzen dürfen keine exzessive Gewalt gegenüber Schutzsuchenden und Migranten einsetzen. Insgesamt sind alle Länder mit EU-Außengrenzen jetzt gefordert, an geeigneten Stellen sichere Grenzübergänge für Flüchtlinge zu öffnen.“

    „Die Ankündigung des griechischen Regierungschefs Mitsotakis, für einen Monat keine neuen Asylanträge anzunehmen, kann und darf nicht dazu führen, dass heute Asylsuchenden der Zugang nach Griechenland verwehrt wird. Die griechischen Behörden sind durch internationales Recht weiterhin dazu verpflichtet, den ankommenden Menschen faire und effektive Asylverfahren zu ermöglichen. Das gilt auch, wenn deren Durchführung kurzfristig ausgesetzt wird.“

    „Die EU-Kommission muss nun mit höchster Dringlichkeit alle Unterstützungsmaßnahmen koordinieren, die in Griechenland und Bulgarien benötigt werden, um Asylsuchenden eine angemessene Aufnahme und Zugang zu Asylverfahren zu ermöglichen.“

    „Alle EU-Mitgliedstaaten sind gefordert, ihren Teil der gemeinsamen Verantwortung zu übernehmen und sich gemeinsam um die in der Türkei ankommenden Schutzsuchenden zu kümmern: durch ausreichenden finanzielle Mittel und sichere Zugangswege in die EU.“

  • Greece Fire in Moria camp highlights abject failure of government and EU to protect refugees

    Responding to the tragic fire in which a woman died in Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesvos yesterday, Amnesty International’s Research Director for Europe Massimo Moratti said:

    “The fire in Moria refugee camp and the death and injuries it caused have highlighted the Greek government’s and the EU’s abject failure to manage the deplorable situation of refugees in Greece.

    With 12,503 people living in a camp designed for 3,000, and with fires previously breaking out in the camp, authorities cannot deny that this tragedy was preventable. Three people have died just this month.

    “The supposed flagship agreement, the EU-Turkey deal, has only made the situation worse. It has denied thousands of people trapped on the Aegean Islands their dignity and violated their rights.

    “Moria is overcrowded and unsafe. The Greek authorities must immediately evacuate and assist, including through medical care, those affected by yesterday’s events and accelerate transfers of asylum seekers and refugees to adequate accommodation on the mainland. Other EU member states must also assist by urgently agreeing on relocation schemes that can ease the pressure on Greece.”


    In recent weeks, Amnesty International has witnessed a drastic deterioration of the conditions for refugees on the Aegean Islands, with a disconcerting 30.000 and more currently present in the various facilities. Overcrowding has reached its worst levels since 2016, with Lesvos and Samos hosting up to four and eight times’ their respective capacities. The situation of children in the islands also deteriorated sharply, with tragic death of a 15-year-old Afghan in the ‘safe zone’ of the Moria camp testifying to the fundamental lack of safety for the thousands children forced to live in the hotspot.

    In early September, based on public announcements, the Greek government started to implement transfers of refugees and asylum seekers from the islands to facilities on the mainland. Such transfers, carried out in cooperation with IOM, have so far only amounted to fragmented initiatives. Today Greek authorities have announced an intention to implement 3,000 transfers by the end of October. However, arrivals are on the increase since July of this year and more than 3,000 people arrived this past week alone. The policy of containment of newcomers on the Aegean Islands remains unchanged, so these measures are blatantly insufficient to resolve the prolonged insecure and undignified conditions that refugees and asylum seekers have been condemned to since the EU-Turkey deal was implemented.

    See Amnesty International’s recent comprehensive statement on the refugee issue in Greece here:

26. August 2019