Third Party Intervention in ECtHR in Al H. and others v. Greece

The AIRE Centre, the Dutch Council for Refugees and ECRE have submitted a third-party intervention in the case of Al H. and others v. Greece (Application Nos. 4892/18 and 4920/18).

The cases concern the situation of vulnerable applicants from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Egypt, Eritrea and Ghana, who were restricted to the island of Lesvos by virtue of the EU-Turkey statement. The applicants complain that the living conditions in the Moria hotspot, as well as the detention of some of them in a “cage” for six days, violated Article 3 of the ECHR and that they lacked access to an effective remedy under Article 13 ECHR in this respect. Moreover, several applicants claim that the failure of the authorities to comply with legal deadlines for the registration of their asylum applications affected their reunification with family members in other European countries and, as a result, their right to respect for family life under Article 8 ECHR.

The intervention details how Contracting Parties to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) must ensure that the reception standards and procedures in reception facilities respect human dignity and are adapted to the specific needs of vulnerable applicants of international protection. The interveners also submit that a lack of adequate reception standards, including, inter alia, access to shelter, food, water and medical assistance, would result in a violation of Article 3 of the ECHR and of human dignity. Lastly, it is also stated that systematic delays in asylum procedures are not in line with international and EU legal standards and worsen the harmful impact of already lengthy procedures and result in the prolonged separation of families.

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