Orihuela lawyers speak out against Turkey-EU agreement

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A GROUP of 40 Spanish lawyers gathered outside the Orihuela College of Lawyers in the early evening of Thursday March 17 to express their total rejection of the preliminary agreement which was recently made public between Turkey and the European Union and is likely to be approved in Brussels by the 28 member states.

Under the new agreement, undocumented migrants who have entered the EU will be sent back to Turkey in exchange for approved refugees, and Turkey will be compensated with financial aid and political concessions. 

In a statement, Secretary of the Orihuela College of Lawyers D. Federico Ros stated:

“Applying this measure indiscriminately to all, without differentiating between different cases, would mean a radical and blatant violation of international and European law. 

The Geneva Convention for Refugees, the European Social Charter, the European Convention on Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and the Constitution of the Member States, in other words all of the legal organisations that make the EU a bastion of Human Rights, would amount to nothing if a measure of this nature were passed.

The cited laws call for an ordered, dignified and personalised study of every application for international protection, like those which the thousands of human beings calling at the doors of the EU have submitted. This is perfectly possible in a Europe with more than 500 million people, in which the admission of refugees, regardless of the number, is only a small contribution to the overall identity of the EU. 

Any measure of collective expulsion is radically prohibited by the International and European system of Human Rights. 

The Rule of Law, which defines the European Union, signifies that the law must work to limit and control political conduct, so that politicians must comply strictly and rigorously with the law at all times.

The pre-agreement made public is such a violation of International and European law that we, the lawyers of Spain, are appealing to all the world, in the name of the law, for all legal systems to express a radical outcry against such an attack on international human rights.”

4 COMMENTS

  1. Granting asylum to individuals whose lives are threatened is a tradition but accepting entire populations from other continents has little or nothing to do with the present laws. These require a person to seek asylum in the first country they enter. Given that the majority of Syrians or others pass through Turkey before they reach Europe they become illegal migrants subject to deportation. The millions in the camps in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon do not ask for asylum and are treated as temporary refugees until it is safe to return home. Note that the other major Muslim countries do not seem to want to help their neighbours. Those entering Europe are looking for passports, nationality with the aim of living in Europe for the rest of their lives demanding where they want to live.
    This is neither legal nor acceptable and will lead to the destruction of Europe

  2. This is the deal: All “irregular” refugees (ie. those whose passports and id. were destroyed in their bombed-out homes) will be sent back. So, after risking their lives in desperate escape bids from their war-torn country they will actually be returned to even more life-threatening conditions. Turkey’s main holding facility is actually just over the border – inside Syria. This is verging on war-crime and may be illegal. It is definitely immoral. There is no deal to take refugees in the US, or Canada, or Australia etc. – each one bigger than the EU itself.

    For each refugee returned, one will be resettled in the EU. Priority will be given to those who have not tried to “illegally” enter the EU (ie. whose passports were not destroyed in the bombings) and the number is capped at 72,000. Worrying if you are refugee child number 72,001.

    Turkish nationals will have access to the EU Schengen passport-free zone by June. This will not apply to Britain. So a would-be terrorist will now bribe his way past Turkish officials into Europe and then travel freely, bombing as he goes, while a child without id. is returned. Prepare for more atrocities everywhere – including Spain.

    Turkey’s bid to join the EU will be “re energised” with talks due by July.

    2016 – the year the world took leave of its senses.

  3. I missed out a bit. Meant to insert a few words after “would-be terrorist” in the paragraph above.

    The sentence should have been, “So a would-be terrorist, on a fake Turkish passport provided by Daesh, will now bribe his way past Turkish officials into Europe and then travel freely, bombing as he goes, while a child without id. is returned. Prepare for more atrocities everywhere – including Spain.”

  4. Hi Peter. You make some fair points, but regarding your statement that it “has little or nothing to do with the present laws. These require a person to seek asylum in the first country they enter” ie. Turkey, there is one big practical problem with that. There are so many of them.

    Literally half the population of Syria has now left the country, and they are still coming in huge numbers every day. It is simply not practical for Turkey to hold all of them indefinitely. It does not have the resources. Its economy would be  under severe strain and it is becoming politically unstable enough already. It also has a desperately bad record on human rights. The decent thing to do would be to relocate them to other countries all over the world. As I mentioned some of these countries are bigger than the EU itself. However such a solution is not even being considered at present. Shocking, considering the USA in particular started it by sponsoring the rebels to wage war and then joined in the bombing.

    Treating them as “temporary refugees” and returning them after the war is over is not practical either. After it is over (whenever that happens) Syria will have to be rebuilt, restoring its infrastructure to a point where people could come back. People need homes, electricity, water, sanitation, food, roads, communications and a functioning economy. Achieving this will take decades.

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