Europe abruptly sealed off its borders along the so-called Balkan route in 2016, shutting down legal pathways facilitated during the 2015 ‘summer of migration’. The consequences were foreseeable: thousands locked in squalor along the border and the brutal enforcement of the closures.
A group of Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis now expect answers from the European Court of Human Rights. In 2016, they submitted a case to the court regarding their illegal collective expulsion from North Macedonia into Greece. The judgment will be published on Tuesday, 5 April.
No longer able to cross the border regularly, the applicants joined over 1.500 refugees on the 'March of Hope' and walked peacefully from Greece to North Macedonia on 14 March, 2016. After crossing the border, they were stopped by police who did not let them apply for asylum, but forced them back through a hole in the border without a chance to challenge their expulsion. They are supported in their case by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and PRO ASYL.
The panel will be moderated by Alexandra Bogos from the Border Violence Monitoring Network and will include the following speakers:
Hanaa Hakiki, senior legal advisor, ECCHR
Zoran Drangovski, program coordinator, Macedonian Young Lawyers Association
Marta Górczyńska, human rights lawyer, Polish Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights
The discussion will be held in English via Zoom. The link to access the panel discussion will be sent on the day of the event.
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