Dozens of Lawyers throughout Greece and Greek organizations active in the field of human rights, are deeply concerned about the detention of Mr S.Z., a Syrian lawyer, from Aleppo in Northern Syria, who was forced to abandon his embattled country of origin, because of the well-founded fear of persecution against him for his abundant actions he developed with dissidents within the context of his legal practice. This fact, combined with objectively documented and widespread violence in Syria, which, among others, specifically targets against lawyers and human rights activists, indicate the need for immediate recognition of international protection for him and in the barring in any way of refoulment to his country of origin.
However, the above Syrian, detained shortly after his date of entry into Greek territory, had been hopeful then at having access on safe ground for (the protection of) his life and had rushed to request the granting of international protection at the Asylum Service but his application was not accepted - in fact was not even recorded – because of the systemic deficiencies and blatant violation of the state's international obligations.
Specifically, he was not given a "number" necessary in order to file a request for international protection because, as he states characteristically, he was told in the waiting area: "those before you have used them all up". He then attempted to leave the country with a forged document but was arrested. The sentence imposed on him was suspended on September 25, 2013. Instead of being released, though, an adminisrtrative decision for his detention was issued, the contents of which have not been known to him even up to this day. His raised objections against this together with his request for international protection, were not taken into account, and a subsequent deportation act was then issued against him on Saturday, September 28, 2013 by the Athens Immigration Police Directorate.
This, certified by the relevant authorities’ action, was addressed to him in the Greek language. He is held in an unhealthy, airless basement devoid of sun, police detention cell in Athens pending an expulsion order against him, in conditions not at all in line with international standards of respect for human rights.
The above true facts expose Greece irreparably, taking into account immense expressed interest of the international community on the issue of Syrian beneficiaries and applicants for international protection on EU territory, which raises grave issues of the violations of domestic provisions, European and international legislation of which Greece anything but, is being empowered to act derogatively.
Due to the above, The relevant Minister is being asked
Questions to the relevant Minister 1. Which steps will be taken in order to ensure access of asylum seekers to the asylum procedure and registering the identity of all those who approach the relevant department? Note that in Article 4 of the presidential decree 114/10 which incorporates the EU requirements of access to the procedure, this country guarantees that: "Every foreigner or stateless person has the right to apply for international protection. The relevant authorities receiving an application shall ensure that each adult can exercise the right to apply, provided they would appear in person before the said authorities". 2. Does he intend to lift the detention of the Syrian lawyer, which takes place under "abnormal" circumstances with intention to deport, which is an illegal and impossible to take place aim? 3. Does he intend to continue detaining foreigners in Police cells, ie places not designed for detention of more than 48 hours? 4. Does he intend to revoke the decision for the expulsion of the Syrian international protection seeker? 5. When is his international protection request expected to be discussed, which was reminded to the authorities by his appeal dated October 4, 2013, referred to as having been submitted together with his objections a day before his deportation order was issued? 6. Since it's been proven that his twin brother is living with a refugee status visa in the UK, will access to the Embassy of the United Kingdom be given to him, under the Dublin II Regulation (Article 4§4) in order for the authorities of that State to examine his asylum claim and also be responsible for providing reception conditions until his transfer to England? 7. Does he intend to ensure that asylum applications of all Syrians receive a rapid, thorough and fair examination? 8. Does he intend to consider granting temporary protection to all Syrians, as it automatically happens in other European countries, including Germany? 9. Does he intend to terminate the detention of Syrians, for reasons related to immigration, given that any immediate deportation to Syria is in practice infeasible, immoral and condemnable?
The questioning Parliament Member Maria Yannakaki