In Greece, a “pushback” strategy targeting refugees has led to a systematic environment of violence and arbitrary detentions. One victim, Mehmet Çelik, who sought refuge in Europe after facing legal issues in Turkey, was sentenced to 155 years in prison despite the prosecutor recommending acquittal. He and several other refugees endured a harrowing journey across borders only to face potential deportation and accusations of smuggling by Greek authorities. Critics point to these cases as evidence of Greece’s politically charged approach rather than a focus on human rights.
In a somber announcement, the human rights monitoring group Mare Liberum has announced its withdrawal from Lesvos island, the end of its operations, and the dissolution of the association. The decision came after five years of operation in the Aegean, during which the group faced multiple forms of sabotage, obstruction, and repression.
The question of migration has been at the forefront of public discourse for many years. The migration of people from their countries of origin to other parts of the world has been a part of human history for as long as civilization has existed. However, the issue has taken on new urgency in the modern era, as a result of a variety of factors, including war, political instability, and climate change.
Greece has been facing accusations of illegal pushbacks of migrants and asylum seekers for several years. However, the country’s Minister of Migration and Asylum, Notis Mitarachi, recently denied that there is any truth to these claims. Despite this denial, evidence of illegal pushbacks has continued to surface in increasing numbers in 2022.