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European Court of Human Rights Grants Temporary Measures for Asylum Seekers in Greece

Strasbourg – The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), based in Strasbourg, issued a temporary measure yesterday, following an application by the ASSEDEL Association, stating that the group of 56 asylum seekers, including children, who crossed from Greece to Turkey via the Meriç River and feared being pushed back, should not be deported.

In a post on ASSEDEL’s Human Rights Assistance Project’s account, it was stated, “As a result of our application for interim measures to the ECtHR on behalf of a group of 56 people, including children, who have sought political asylum in Greece, the ECtHR has decided that the group should not be returned to Turkey.”

The decision conveyed by the ECtHR to ASSEDEL reminded Greek authorities of their legal obligations and instructed that the 56 individuals seeking asylum should not be pushed back until July 11.

Escaping political pressures and unlawful trials in Turkey, a group of 56 people, including six children, crossed the Meriç River in the early morning of June 12 and sought “political asylum” in Greece.

In a video addressed to the Greek government on social media, individuals from the group stated, “We had to leave our country due to political pressure and unlawful trials. We have now crossed to the other side and find ourselves in distress. We are seeking asylum from the Greek government. The children are cold, everyone is wet, and we are in a very difficult situation,” making an appeal for help.

This is not the first time ASSEDEL has sought temporary measures from the ECtHR. On March 27, 2023, the organization applied for interim measures on behalf of seven refugees fleeing the persecution of Erdogan’s regime, and the court prohibited their deportation.

What are temporary measures?

According to Article 39 of the ECtHR Rules, the European Court of Human Rights can issue temporary measures against any State party to the European Convention on Human Rights.

Temporary measures are emergency measures applied in cases where there is a risk of irreparable harm that could occur without the implementation of such measures, according to the established practices of the ECtHR.

These measures are taken in connection with the case being examined by the ECtHR, without prejudicing the Court’s decision on the case’s admissibility or merits.

In exceptional cases where the risk of serious and irreversible harm to the applicant is significant, the ECtHR may issue temporary measures in response to such requests. These measures are later communicated to the Government responsible for the violation.

Typical situations for such measures include instances where applicants fear their lives would be endangered (right to life) or where there is a risk of prohibited ill-treatment (torture or inhuman or degrading treatment) upon deportation or return.

In more exceptional cases, these measures are also applied in relation to the right to a fair trial and the right to respect for private and family life.

What is ASSEDEL?

ASSEDEL (Association européenne pour la défense des droits et des libertés) is a Strasbourg-based human rights association that has been active since 2020.

ASSEDEL engages in activities related to refugee rights, women’s rights, the environment, and other human rights issues at the European Court of Human Rights, the Council of Europe, the United Nations, and the European Parliament.

Accredited by international organizations, ASSEDEL also provides free assistance to victims of human rights abuses upon their request.

Ensar Nur, TR724.com, Strasbourg

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