"Asylum seekers waiting" in the Greek islands

"Asylum seekers waiting" in the Greek islands

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The Greek NGO AITIMA has issued a new report (Greek only) on asylum procedures in Greece, with particular emphasis on violations occurring in the Greek islands following the Euro-Turkish agreement.

In its report entitled "Asylum Seekers on Hold", AITIMA noted that many problems are common both in the mainland and on the islands, including:

Long delays in asylum procedures in phases I and II;
Lack of accurate information on asylum procedures. AITIMA said that "this problem is serious, especially in the islands"
Lack of adequate legal assistance, particularly during the initial proceedings
"Those who were lucky enough to reach the Greek islands" after March 20, 2016, "found themselves in a more difficult situation," AITIMA added.

AITIMA said that:

Asylum-seekers stranded in the islands suffer from "controversial residence restrictions"
The islands are being converted into detention centers for persons returning to Turkey
Asylum process: delays up to eight months while asylum applications, particularly in the islands, were observed along with "arbitrary prioritization of specific nationalities"
Acceptance: After the Euro-Turkish agreement, "asylum procedures in the islands" were reduced to two-thirds of the cases "in evaluating the acceptance of applications on the basis of whether Turkey is a safe country." According to AITIMA, these actions are often limited in standards.