6 November 2015

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has ruled that the conditions in which an Iraqi asylum applicant A.Y. was held in detention at the Tychero border post amounted to ‘inhuman and degrading treatment’ which violated Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It also found failures in the procedures for registering his asylum claim, which meant that A.Y. was at risk of deportation to either Turkey or Iraq throughout his detention.

A.Y. is an Iraqi national who left Iraq because he had cooperated with the American forces and had received threats from extremists. He was arrested in October 2010 after entering Greece and was detained at the Tychero border post. A deportation order was made for his return to Turkey, which was delayed as the Turkish authorities refused to admit him. The attempts from ECRE member, the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR), to have his asylum claim registered were rejected. He later requested release from detention on the basis that the GCR could offer him accommodation, he could not be removed, his asylum claim was pending, and that the poor conditions of detention were worsening his asthma. He was released in January 2011.

This follows a line of ECtHR cases in which detention centres in Greece have been criticised as failing to meet minimum human rights standards, such as Mahammad and Others v. Greece, Aarabi v. Greece, AL.K. v. Greece, A.E. v. Greece, F.H. v Greece and Tatishvili v. Greece   

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This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 6 November 2015. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.