ECtHR rules Greece should not remove 7 Turkish asylum seekers who fear pushback

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has ruled that seven Turkish asylum seekers –- including a child –- who crossed from Turkey to Greece on Monday morning and were afraid of being pushed back “should not be removed,” Turkish Minute reported, citing the TR724 news website reported on Monday.

The asylum seekers are facing imprisonment in Turkey on trumped-up terrorism charges as part of a crackdown launched by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the aftermath of a coup attempt in 2016.

The Strasbourg court on Monday indicated interim measures to the Greek government, saying the seven Turkish asylum seekers “should not be removed and should be provided with food, water and adequate medical care, as needed,” until further notice.

The court may, under Rule 39 of its Rules of Court, indicate interim measures to any state party to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Interim measures are urgent measures which, in accordance with the established practice of the court, apply only where there is an imminent risk of irreparable damage.

“… failure of a Contracting State to comply with a measure indicated under Rule 39 may entail a breach of Article 34 (effective exercise of the right of individual application) of the Convention,” the court said.

According to the article, the ECtHR may receive applications from any person, nongovernmental organization or group of individuals claiming to be the victim of a violation by one of the “High Contracting Parties” of the rights set forth in the convention or the protocols thereto and they undertake not to hinder in any way the effective exercise of this right.

The court’s decision of interim measure came after an application submitted by ASSEDEL (L’Association européenne pour la défense des droits et des libertés), a Strasbourg-based non-profit.

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