Respect for Human Rights should Prevail over Use of Force
Following yesterday’s fire in Moria, on Lesvos, which destroyed the Reception and Identification Centre, 31 civil society organizations call on the Greek Government to immediately provide assistance to people who lost their shelter. Those affected, among them many children and at-risk groups, must be carefully transferred to safety on the mainland.
The transfer of at-risk groups, including unaccompanied children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, people with medical and mental health conditions, and older people should be prioritized. People who tested positive for Covid-19 should be given safe housing for the quarantine period, healthcare, and hospitalization if necessary.
Moving people from Lesvos to mainland Greece requires finding urgent solutions to address the fact that many current housing facilities for refugees and asylum seekers are at full capacity. We urge the Greek authorities to work on a coherent plan that maximises all available resources including those from the EU and we renew our call to European leaders to share the responsibility for the reception and support of asylum seekers now more than ever.
In these difficult times, it is of outmost importance that respect for human rights is at the centre of the response to the fire at Moria, and that authorities do not resort to use of force or inflammatory language, but take appropriate steps to de-escalate any risk of violence.
Boat Refugee Foundation
Equal Rights Beyond Borders
Fenix – Humanitarian Legal Aid
Greek Council for Refugees (GCR)
Hellenic League for Human Rights
Hellenic Platform for Development (Ελληνική Πλατφόρμα για την Ανάπτυξη)
Humanitarian Legal Aid
Human Rights Watch
International Rescue Committee (IRC)
Legal Centre Lesvos
Médecins Sans Frontières
Network for Children’s Rights
Refugee Legal Support (RLS)
Refugee Rights Europe (RRE)
Refugee Support Aegean (RSA)
Refugee Trauma Initiative
Symbiosis-School of Political Studies in Greece
Terre des hommes Hellas
The HOME Project
The Hellenic League for Human Rights is following up with great concern the development of the case of Vassilis Dimakis and demands from the leadership of the Ministry of Civil Protection to find an immediate solution to his legal request for access to education without further risk to his health and life. Vassilis Dimakis, who remains in solitary confinement in the basement of the Korydallos Women’s Prison without the necessary educational means (computer, internet connection) in order to attend his classes at the University, announced on May 24 that he resumes his hunger and thirst strike and that he interrupts even the communication with his lawyer.
In the case of the detained student, the deprivation of his educational rights takes place in derogation from the principle of legality and essentially constitutes the imposition of an additional penalty. Democracy, however, cannot and should not be vindictive. The penitentiary policy of a state governed by the rule of law should not be implemented in terms of human degradation and should not be governed by retaliatory logic. The rights, as rules of individual and collective protection, should be applied for all.
We demand from the competent Ministry to respect the rights of the prisoners, implement the current legislation and make every effort to protect the life of Vassilis Dimakis.
Open letter signed by 121 Organizations
Collective Statement on the situation of refugees in Greece
“Protect our laws and humanity!”
Open Letter by 256 Organizations
Athens, 21 January 2020
Athens, 15 January 2020
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