Asylum seekers should not be returned to Greece

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A boat person whose face is twisted in pain walks towards a first aid tent in the port of Los Cristianos on Tenerife Island. UNHCR/A.Rodriguez

European Union (EU) nations are being advised not to return asylum seekers to Greece in a new UN report.

The country has seen a dramatic increase in refugee and migrant arrivals by sea.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) points to multiple gaps and concerns regarding the asylum process in the Hellenic Republic.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

The main problems of Greece's asylum system include difficulties in accessing the asylum procedure, the report says.

Despite the efforts of the authorities to process a backlog of some 37,000 appeals under the old procedure, the backlog remains.

William Spindler of UNHCR has more.

"The report's recommendation that asylum-seekers should not be returned to Greece extended the advice first made in 2008. As well as applying to returns done bilaterally between countries, the recommendation also applied to transfers done under the European Union's Dublin regulation, which determined the country in which an asylum claim was processed."

The risk of arbitrary detention, push-backs of people at the border, xenophobia and racist violence is also highlighted in the study.

In 2014, 65 incidents were recorded involving physical attacks in public places because of the skin colour and ethnicity of migrants and refugees.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1'01''


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