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Press Release: Enforced Disappearances Report to UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances

Date 1 September, 2020
Category Press Release

For the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, the Border Violence Monitoring Network releases its seminal report to the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearance regarding the use of illegal pushbacks by the Greek government. 

BVMN has consistently documented the disappearance of refugees and migrants from Greek territory, including the illegal pushbacks of 1196 persons. BVMN is increasingly concerned of the disappearance and pushbacks of refugees and migrants from humanitarian distribution sites, refugee camps and pre-removal centres in Greece. The illegal pushback and disappearance of refugees and migrants is systematically followed by the statewide dismissal of credible evidence and the perpetual refusal to open a free and fair investigation into the whereabouts of the missing. 

The Border Violence Monitoring Network joins numerous other organisations including; The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in calling for a complete stop to all practices of pushbacks and disappearance from Greek territory. Further to this, today we are calling on the United Nations to formally request that Greece explains the persistent policy of illegally pushing back and disappearing refugees and migrants from its territory who are seeking safety and international protection. 

The report to the United Nations asserts that:

  • Despite the ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances (ICPPED) and its subsequent integration into Greek domestic law, the Greek government has failed to meet its obligations under the ICPPED
  • The continuous use of illegal pushbacks and disappearance of refugees and migrants from Greek territory as documented by the Border Violence Monitoring Network and partner organisation Mobile Info Team is unlawful and in contradiction to the obligations set out under the Convention.
  • The use of pushbacks and collective expulsion, specifically to Turkey, is a further breach of the ICPPED due to the substantial risk of human rights abuses and enforced disappearances that victims of illegal pushbacks and disappearance by Greek authorities to Turkey face.

To find out more, download the extended report here: BVMN Extended Report the 19th Session for the Committee on Enforced Disappearances