On October 4th, 2018, the deportation of three migrants from Lesvos to Turkey – who did not get the possibility to exhaust their legal remedies in Greece – was stopped at the last minute.
Only three weeks later, on October 25th, the same three men were yet again transferred from the pre-removal prison of Moria camp to the police station prison of Mytilene in order to be deported.
The police carried out the transfer although several lawyers, and after pressure of independent activists, also the Ombuds Office had been involved to halt the deportation three weeks before to ensure the right of the three men to file a subsequent asylum application.
Today, lawyers again successfully managed to intervene in the deportation process – after having been informed by activists who witnessed the transfer of the three men. 9 men – who probably did not have a lawyer to assist them at the last minute – were deported to Turkey.
The renewed attempted deportation is telling. It confirms the serious lack of transparency, missing controls of deportation lists and the authorities’ focus to carry out returns instead of guaranteeing basic rights to migrants on Lesvos Island.