According to reports by Aegean Boat report and Keep Talking Greece, the Greek army will start military excersises with live ammo on Lesvos and in Evros. The Greek government also announced that the right to asylum is suspended.
Published by Enough 14. Written by Riot Turtle. Image above: Archive image from Idomeni (2015)
The situation on the Aegean islands and in Evros is escalating more and more. One of our sources in the Evros region told us about civilians with shotguns threatening migrants and the cops taking away everything (money, cell phones, literally everything they possess) from them and sending them back in the direction of Turkey.
In the early morning hours a video was going round on Twitter. According to BBC journo Mughira Al Sharif, who posted the first video, the young man in the video was shot by Greek border guards at 09:07 am. According to other journalists Greek authorities denied that Greek border guards shot the man. I still couldn’t find a final confirmation of what (and where) actually happened. This is what is being reported from different journalists so far:
According to Daphne Tolis, a Greek government spokesperson said the video was fakenews.
Journo Jenan Moussa posted a second video with the victim of the shooting on Twitter and posted the following Tweets:
A tweet by Erik Marquardt showed that Turkish authorities are working hard on the propaganda front by providing videos to European media outlets. In the tweet below Marquardt wrote: “Turkish authorities have sent Sky-News a video showing the violent actions of the Greek coastguard against people on a crowded rubber dinghy. Unfortunately, it is to be feared that it is not a fake. #lesbos #lesvos #moria”
Knowing that Turkish authorities are regularly spreading fake-news for propaganda purposes, makes it hard to differentiate between fakenews and accurate reports. people should be aware of this when they follow whats going on in the region.
Military exercise today with live ammo
Aegean Boat report wrote on their Facebook page: “The Greek Army just announced that they are going to start a military exercise TODAY with LIVE AMMUNITION on Lesvos. From Agrielia Kratigos in the south up to Eftalou in the north. Shore and sea areas will be considered a shooting range, to avoid accidents all movements on land and sea in this area is not recommended.
Yes, you read correctly, they will use live ammunition, and shoot towards the area where most of the refugee boats are crossing. This will be ongoing day and night, 24/7 until further notice. As if it wasn’t dangerous enough to cross the sea in these flimsy boats, no they also need to worry about being shot at by the Greek army. When you thought things couldn’t get much worse..”
Keep Talking Greece announced that there also will be an exercise with live ammo in Evros: “The 4th Army Corps has announced military exercises with live ammunition at all border outposts at Kipoi and Kastanies”.
Greek government illegally suspends the right on asylum
Are You Syrious published a report about the suspension of the right of asylum by the Greek government on their Facebook page: “
BREAKING – GREECE SUSPENDS THE FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT TO SEEK ASYLUM (updates added at 23:43, March 1st)
We have finally reached the most miserable stage of our struggle for basic human rights to be respected. Greek government decided to suspend the right to ask for asylum for one month, justifying the move by “sudden, massive, organised and coordinated pressure from population movements to its eastern, land and sea borders”.
Here’s the rough translation of the statement ( shorturl.at/zAHMY ) issued today:
“Greece unequivocally exercises its sovereign right and constitutional obligation to safeguard its integrity. For these reasons, the National Security Council, which met today, decided the following:
1. The upgrading of security measures at the eastern, land and sea borders of the country by security forces and the armed forces to prevent illegal entry into the country to the maximum.
2. The temporary suspension, for one (1) month from the date of receipt of this Decision, of the lodging of asylum by those entering the country illegally.
3. Immediate return, wherever this is possible, to the country of origin without registration, of those who illegally enter the Greek territory.
4. Submit a request to FRONTEX for the development of the RABIT team with a view to guarding the country’s external borders, which also constitute the European Union’s borders.
5. Immediate notification of this Decision to the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the European Union and the initiation of the procedure referred to in Article 78 (3) of the Treaty on European Union to take provisional measures in favor of the Hellenic Republic in response to a sudden emergency influx of third-country nationals in the context of solidarity between the Member States of the European Union. “
Greek officials quote TEFU as legal basis to suspend the right to seek asylum for new arrivals. However, Article 78(3) of the TFEU provides a specific legal basis to deal with emergency situations at the external borders. It states that ”In the event of one or more Member States being confronted by an emergency situation characterised by a sudden inflow of nationals of third countries, the Council, on a proposal from the Commission, may adopt provisional measures for the benefit of the Member State(s) concerned. It shall act after consulting the European Parliament”. None of this has been officially done, therefore TEFU is used by the Greek government as a means to justify illegal decision, just like Croatian government misleadingly uses Article 13 of the Schengen Border Code to justify illegal pushbacks.
While we are aware that political and humanitarian situation in the first countries of entry at the so-called Balkan route is difficult, we’d like to use this opportunity to remind both governments and citizens that respect of fundamental human rights (such as the right to seek asylum) can not be conditional to any political or other factor.
Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria and other countries on the refugee route have all co-signed the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, also known as the Geneva Convention. The Convention builds on Article 14 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognises the right of persons to seek asylum from persecution in other countries. It also introduces the principle of non-refoulement, a fundamental principle of international law that forbids a country receiving refugees and asylum seekers from returning them to a country in which they would be in likely danger.
Furthermore, the prohibition of collective expulsion is explicitly prescribed in Article 4 of Protocol No. 4. of the European Convention on Human Rights. Collective expulsion is considered to be “any measure of the competent authority which forces foreigners as a group to leave the country, unless such a measure is taken over and on the basis of a reasonable and objective examination of individual cases of each person in that group individually”.
By continuing such practices, the countries are not only in violation of international law, but also in violation of national legislations that build on mentioned conventions.”
The EU/Turkey deal exploded after almost four years. That’s actually not surprising. German chanellor Angela merkel was one of the main architects of this inhuman deal and was warned again and again in the past four years that Erdogan would use refugees to put pressure on the EU. The EU/Turkey deal gave Erdogan something to blackmail the EU, and what we see today at the Greek/Turkish border is the result. Erdogan knows that the wannabee “liberal” governments of most EU member states are so racist that they would do almost anything as long as Erdogan keeps ther refugees in Turkey. It was one of the reasons why the EU did nothing when Erdogan invaded Afrin and did again nothing when Erdogan attacked Rojava. inside Turkey Erdogan could opress and lockup all kinds of opposition, he knew the EU wouldn’t say anything.
While fascists are attacking refugees, supporters and journos on Lesvos and other border regions, the most important issue for most EU member states is that the borders stay closed. It seems that the only way out is to abolish states and the economic system that causes wars, poverty and climate change: capitalism. We have to fight against the roots of the current situation.
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