Greece Blacklisted For Asylum Rocord

Germany joined with Norway in suspending the return of asylum seekers to Greece because of that nation’s horrible record in treatment of those seeking help from being returned to lands where they may face death or imprisonment. Karl Kopp, speaking for Pro Asyl, a German human rights organization, told the Athen News: “It’s all about the problems faced by those who are transferred back to Greece. They are homeless. They have problems gaining access to the asylum department and so on.” The asylum approval rate in Greece is the lowest in Europe and less than one percent of applications are approved.

Efthalia Pappa, who works with asylum seekers for the Catholic Church, said authorities investigating asylum claims “don’t seem to care if someone has been tortured or why they are seeking international protection.” In many cases asylum seekers are forced to sign a statement saying they came to Greece for economic reasons even though they don’t know what they are signing. In fact, usually there is no interpreter present to assist these refugees. German human rights groups charge the Greek coastguard with abusing and even torturing people they pick up on the high seas.

As thousands flee poverty, war, and hate, they reach the shores of Europe only to encounter lack of interest in their plight. The European Union is economically booming, the question is it also booming in human rights?