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Coerced Deportees at Risk of Arrest, Torture in Iraq

(Beirut) – The United States government has deported at least 30 of a planned 1,400 people originally from Iraq back to their country, in some cases threatening long imprisonment if they don’t consent, Human Rights Watch said today. In…
Protesters rally outside the federal court just before a hearing to consider a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of Iraqi nationals facing deportation, in Detroit, Michigan, US, June 21, 2017. © 2017 Reuters/Rebecca Cook
News

End Summary Returns, Unchecked Violence

(Athens) – Greek law enforcement officers at the land border with Turkey in the northeastern Evros region routinely summarily return asylum seekers and migrants, Human Rights Watch said today. The officers in some cases use violence and often…
Migrants that crossed the land border between Greece and Turkey are seen at the Pre-Removal Detention Center in the village of Fylakio, Northern Greece, February 24, 2017.
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Prosecution Seeks to Criminalize Saving Lives

(Athens) The criminal accusations brought by Greek prosecutors against activists for their efforts to rescue migrants and asylum seekers at sea appear entirely unfounded, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch analyzed court…
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Thousands of asylum seekers are trapped in crowded and filthy processing centers on the Greek islands, with many spending the winter in lightweight tents or even sleeping outside on the ground. Greece contends it has to keep the…
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Identify Those Most at Risk; Ensure Fair Hearings

(Brussels) – The EU-Turkey deal designed to stem migration and refugee flows to Greece has had a devastating impact on the mental well-being of thousands of women, men, and children trapped on Greek islands since March 2016, Human Rights Watch said…
Souda refugee camp on the island of Chios. Poor living conditions in the camp and overcrowded hotspots, with little to no access to basic services, such as sanitation and proper shelter is key factor that contributes to psychological distress.
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Face Delays, Barriers to Reuniting with Families

  (Athens) – Unnecessary delays and arbitrary barriers are keeping older refugees and asylum seekers stranded in Greece, unable to reunite with family members who have legal status in the European Union, Human Rights…
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EU-Turkey Deal Traps People in Abuse and Denies Them Refuge

(Athens) – The EU-Turkey deal has trapped thousands of people in abysmal conditions on the Greek islands for the past year, while denying most access to asylum procedures and refugee protection, Human Rights Watch said today. This assessment of conditions…
Asylum seekers from Algeria at a refugee squat on Lesbos. People of certain nationalities presumptively considered “economic migrants,” such as Algerians, are treated as having manifestly unfounded claims, and are often detained on that basis.
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  Q&A: Why the EU-Turkey Migration Deal is No Blueprint On March 18, 2016, the European Union signed an agreement with Turkey to stem migration and refugee flows to Greece. In 2015, over 850,000 people reached Greek islands by boat…
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Lack of Jobs, School, Health Care Spurs Poverty, Exploitation

(Brussels) – Delays in registration and limited implementation of temporary protection policies in Turkey mean that many Syrian refugees are left without effective protection or access to jobs and services that they desperately need, Human Rights Watch…
A migrant child stands in a tent on the side of a highway near Edirne, Turkey where hundreds of mostly Syrian migrants have had to wait as Turkish police prevent their bid to cross the border with Greece.
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Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Emergencies

 The Seleka [an armed rebel group] came and started killing people. I was fast asleep when I heard gunshots and woke up to find myself alone at home. My parents had fled without me. I started shouting and crawled to the entrance of my house but…
Safi, 30, (right) a Syrian refugee from Aleppo, walks on highway M1 near Budapest, Hungary in an attempt to reach Vienna, Austria by foot.
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Women, Children Fearful, Unprotected; Lack Basic Shelter

(Athens) – Police are failing to protect people during frequent incidents of violence in closed centers on the Greek islands known as “hotspots,” Human Rights Watch said today. The centers were established for the reception, identification, and processing…
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Text Messages Show Fear, Then Silence

(Athens) – The first round of European Union-sanctioned deportations of 66 people from the Greek island of Chios to Turkey on April 4, 2016 was rushed, chaotic, and violated the rights of those deported, Human Rights Watch said today. In Turkey, the…
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Wretched Conditions for People in Need

(Athens) – Greek authorities, in coordination with the European Union, are automatically detaining all asylum seekers and migrants who arrive on the islands of Lesbos and Chios in deplorable conditions, Human Rights Watch said today. The detention of…
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EU, Greek Authorities Should Urgently Address Needs

(Athens) –Thousands of asylum seekers and migrants at the Athens port of Piraeus face appalling conditions as the crisis for people trapped in Greece due to border closures intensifies, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Asylum seekers and migrants at a makeshift camp at the port of Piraeus, queuing for distribution of survival kits by the Hellenic Red Cross. In the absence of any visible government support or personnel the day to day operation of the camp is dependent on
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Blocked Access to Asylum; Beatings by Soldiers; Poor Conditions

(Brussels) – Nationality-based restrictions at the border between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are preventing asylum seekers from reaching countries where they want to lodge protection claims. Human Rights…
Two young Iranian sisters at the Idomeni border crossing between Greece and Macedonia. The border crossing is closed to all except those from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan who intend to seek asylum in Germany or Austria, stranding other asylum seekers and
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Masked Assailants Attack, Disable Boats, Abuse Passengers

(Athens) – Armed masked men have been disabling boats carrying migrants and asylum seekers in the Aegean Sea and pushing them back to Turkish waters, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch spoke to nine witnesses who described eight…
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Questions and Answers

The European Union (EU) is facing unprecedented numbers of refugees and migrants arriving by boat. In 2014, 220,000 people arrived, almost double the combined total of 121,000 from 2011 through 2013. During just the first six…
Un buque de la Armada irlandesa Le Eithne, participa en una operación de rescate como parte del operativo Frontex Tritón, el 6 de junio de 2015
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Urgent EU Support Needed to Ensure Basic Rights for Refugees

(Athens) – Thousands of migrants and asylum seekers on Greece’s Aegean islands face appalling reception and detention conditions as the humanitarian crisis for people reaching the islands by sea intensifies, Human Rights Watch said today. Despite…
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(Brussels) – Large numbers of children from war-torn countries, often traveling alone, are fleeing abuses in their home countries to seek safety in the European Union, Human Rights Watch said today.  Many are fleeing recruitment as soldiers, child…
A Syrian family sit on the dock side after being escorted into the harbor by the Greek Coastguard who found them drifting offshore on June 4, 2015 in Kos, Greece.
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Beaten, Extorted, Shoved Back Across the Border

(New York) – Asylum seekers and migrants in Serbia experience harassment and abuse at the hands of Serbian police, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch interviewed migrants and asylum seekers who described violent assaults, threats…