Cabinet of Commissioner Yiva JOHANSSON – Home Affairs

The Hague, 20-10-2022


Her Excellency Mrs. Yiva Johansson

Cabinet of Commissioner Yiva JOHANSSON – Home Affairs

Dear Mrs. Johansson,

The Federation of Afghan Resident organizations in Europe isextremely shocked by the news and images published by Greece on finding at least 92 refugees stripped of their clothes near its borders. As many of these refugees has been Afghan citizen, the Federation of Afghan Resident organizations in Europe (FAROE), is deeply concerned about the decline of norms and values of our civilization to the degree of stripping those individuals from their clothes who are coming to ask for protection. Can we still be proud of these norms and values?

The World shares our concerns. UN refugee agency (UNHCR) says “it is deeply distressed by the shocking reports” of 92 people found at the Greek-Turkish land border stripped of their clothes. It is not yet clear which country’s authorities have committed this awful act.  Greek minister of immigration NotisMitarachi blamed Turkey on Twitter for this cruel act. Turkish under minister Catakli blamed Greece for this degrading act and accused Greek authorities of “manipulation and dishonesty”.  Greece’s Citizen Protection Minister TakisTheodorikakos said on Sunday that refugees’ accounts suggested that they have been taken to Greece by the Turkish military police.This blame-game can only complicate the problem. Only a serious investigation by a third party, namely the UNHCR will pour light on the perpetrators of this cruel en degrading act.

Stripping refugees from their clothes and offending their human dignity, is in itself a unique happening in EU external borders until now. But we should not forget that in the past years, acts of similar negative weight has taken place in our external borders, especially by Greece police and a part of Frontexagents. These acts give courage to border authorities of countries sharing a border with EU, to violate international law, as they see some EU member states and EU border posts are also doing that. Human life have been put at risk by actions such as Push Backs and migration control dogs. Ofcourse we understand the goal of Home affairs is to prevent human trafficking. We are also keen to this goal, as the prime victim of human trafficking is the migrants. But observing the fundamental rights and freedoms of asylum seekers should be a principle obligation for a European organization such as the FRONTEX. Federation of Afghan Resident Organizations in Europe will try to contribute as a pressure group to observe the application of EU asylum policy. This will help your cabinet to look with a critical eye to the deeds of Frontex and apply chicks and balances to the performance of border posts on national level.

Asylum seekers stripped out of their clothes are victims of grave violation of their human dignity. As an organization coming up for their rights, FAROE is eager to know wither Turkish border military was behind violating the human dignity of the 92 Afghan and other asylum seekers or the Greece border guard. Only an independent and objective investigation can find the right answer for this question. That is why we ask your Excellency to take the measures needed for execution of such an investigation. This will be the first step towards our goal of seeking justice for these victims.

With kind regards,

On behalf of Mr. A. Daliry, chairperson of FAROE,

Faquiri, head of the FAROE committee for external relations