01 May 2016
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The Spanish Refugee Aid Commission (CEAR) has today presented before the European Commission, the Council of Europe and the EU Ombudsman its complaint about the EU-Turkey deal and the infringement of the rights of refugees, with the support of 294 organisations and more than 11,000 individual signatures.
CEAR, together with the signatories, aims to demonstrate to the European institutions the illegal character of the agreement with the Turkish government and to stop the expulsions from Greece to Turkey. In March, just days after the entry into force of the agreement, the EU expelled more than 300 people, some of whom wished to apply for asylum.
Thus, CEAR has presented a complaint to the European Commission, submitted a report to the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and has sent a letter to the EU Ombudsman. Amongst other requests, CEAR and the signatory organisations call for an investigation into how the application of the EU-Turkey deal involves the infringement of European and international asylum norms, as well as the rights of refugees, and they make a call for the Member States of the EU to withdraw their support for the agreement.
"Withdrawing the agreement with Turkey is the last opportunity for the EU to recover its decency, avoid putting at risk the lives of thousands of people who have fled war, and to prevent the treaties that it has signed on human rights and the right to asylum from becoming nothing more than wasted paper," said Estrella Galán, general secretary of CEAR.
"The number of supporters of this initiative demonstrates that the EU acts contrary to society's demands for refugees' rights and dignified reception, not agreements to bypass the law," said Galán.
Since the announcement of the EU-Turkey deal, CEAR has declared that it is illegal, that its practical application infringes European and international law, and has highlighted the risk to the lives of refugees if they are returned to Turkey.
The petition will remain open for individual signatures in the weeks to come, to continue demonstrating citizens' refusal of the EU-Turkey deal.
The original article can be found here: CEAR denuncia junto a más 300 organizaciones el acuerdo UE-Turquía (CEAR, link). Translation by Statewatch.
The list of social collectives and entities; professional organisations, networks and platforms, universtities and research centres, political organisations and trade unions that have signed the CEAR letters can be viewed here (pdf).
The petition open for individual signatures is here: Detengan las expulsiones de refugiados y retiren el acuerdo con Turquía (change.org, link)
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