Refugees sue Macedonia

Dhaka,  Monday,   2016-09-16
Published : 16 Sep 2016, 13:19:12

Refugees seek damages from Macedonia over police expulsions

Eight refugees have taken legal action against Macedonia for forcing them back into Greece after a mass border crossing earlier this year, according to rights groups.

The Germany-based migrant advocacy group Pro Asyl said on Thursday it helped the refugees submit the complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in France on Tuesday.

"They were pushed in an informal way into Greece and they did not even have a chance to ask for protection," Karl Kopp, Pro Asyl's spokesperson for Europe, told the Al Jazeera, describing the refugees as "victims of a collective pushback operation".  

Pro Asyl identified the claimants as two women and six men originating from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

"It will be possible for them to get financial compensation, but the main idea is to prevent others from suffering the same kind of violence in the future," Kopp said, adding, however, that the court process could take a few years.

The German-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) also aided the refugees in submitting the complaint.

Approximately 1,500 refugees attempted to cross into Macedonia from Greece on March 14 this year before being met by forcible expulsions.

The refugees had been stranded at the tent city of Idomeni on the Greek side of the border.

- TM
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