More than a thousand of Syrian refugees have been camping outside the Parliament in Athens to protest against their intolerable situation in Greece. Because of the Greek laws on asylum and a very strict policy, Syrian refugees can scarcely have access to asylum procedures.
According to the UNHCR, of the 152 asylum applications by Syrian nationals, examined during 2012, 50 were rejected and in only 2 cases was refugee status or subsidiary protection granted. The UNHCR therefore recommended in 2013 to "afford protection to asylum seekers from Syria in accordance with the provisions of the 1951 Geneva Convention or other form of complementary protection (subsidiary protection)."
Unfortunately, the situation has not showed any positive development since then. The Syrian refugees who arrive in Greece, are not only denied the access to a fair and transparent asylum procedure but are only prevented from leaving the country. Men, women, children and elderly people are therefore stuck in inappropriate detention facilities, or homeless, without any access to medical care, school or social support.
Since the 24 November 2014, this group of Syrian refugees have been protesting against this inhumane treatment and the denial of their basic rights as refugees.
A Greek MP, Yiannis Michelogiannakis, has recently joined them, after two protesters died.
Posted by Flavie Fuentes