Under a deal signed by the European Union and Turkey, many of the Syrian refugees may be forcefully asked to leave for Turkey. Moreover, leaders from the European Union including Jean-Claude Juncker, have asked Greece to speed up their deportation processes and were happy over the aid packages that have been put in place to help provide healthcare, debit cards and education facilities to asylum seekers and refugees.
The European Stability Initiative, a Brussels based think-tank, has raised concerns much like Amnesty International and has criticized the deal, which is still very fragile. Due to lack of staff, not every refugee is being screened on time and being returned, while those who have been stranded for months, face pressure from governments to move away from makeshift camps. Greece is not receiving the same numbers of refugees like before when daily averages topped 200,00. The deal provides Turkey with 6 billion euros in cash to retake refugees and provide support and assistance to them. However, Turkey has been criticized by aid agencies for not living up to all international laws and abusing refugees through illegal detentions.
Managing director for a risk consultancy in Europe at the Eurasia Group, Mujtaba Rahma said, “The EU-Turkey deal isn’t going anywhere. Despite all the noise and bluster, the Turkish government is happy with the concessions they have and will extract from the EU, and the EU believes the agreement has helped bring down refugee numbers.”
Greece returned eight asylum seekers and refugees on 20 October 2016 to Turkey, without looking into their documentation, legal status, and asylum requests. Greece told those refugees that they are being transferred to Athens, but they were escorted to Adana.
Amnesty International’s Europe Director, John Dalhuisen has raised serious concerns over this treatment of refugees. “The Greek authorities and the EU have repeatedly insisted that all Syrian refugees arriving in the country are having their asylum claims properly assessed, but the evidence we have now seen clearly strongly suggests otherwise. These refugees have been betrayed by a system which not only failed to offer them the protection to which they were entitled, but failed to consider their protection needs at all.”