Nils Muiznieks, Europe’s Council Commissioner for Human Rights has complained about Greece’s migrant policy and has asked Greek authorities to end the collective expulsions of immigrants.
The council’s official website hosted a letter sent by the commissioner to the Greek Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias and the Merchant Marine Minister, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, in which he urged Greece “to radically change its migration policy and practice.”
“The large number of reported collective expulsions by Greece of migrants, including a large number of Syrians fleeing war and violence, along with allegations of ill-treatment of migrants by members of the coast guard and of border police, raise serious human rights concerns,” wrote the commissioner.
According to a report by Amnesty International published in December 2013, officers of the Greek police and coast guard regularly mistreat Syrian refugees who enter the country. The document reported many illegal practices such as push-backs, violent beatings and confiscation of personal belongings.
Muiznieks suggested that Greek authorities should carry out thorough investigations in all such reported cases, and take all necessary measures in order to put an end to these cruel practices. According to the European Commissioner, collective expulsions are against international and European human rights law and the fundamental principle of non-refoulement, enshrined in the UN Refugee Convention.