Sunday, August 29, 2010
UNHCR appreciates Ministry of Citizen Protection decision for Iranian asylum seekers on hunger strike
Saturday 28 August 2010
ATHENS – Taking into account the imminent danger for the health and life of the Iranian asylum seekers on hunger strike outside UNHCR’s premises, the Ministry of Citizen Protection decided yesterday to activate the backlog Appeals Board of Presidential Decree 81/2009, “for humanitarian reasons and on an exceptional basis [...] despite the long-standing position of the Government that the existing asylum procedure is inapplicable, ineffective and outdated”.
UNHCR appreciates this decision motivated by strong humanitarian considerations. However, it sees the activation of the backlog Appeals Board of the old Presidential Decree 81/2009 only as a very temporary and emergency measure until the adoption of the new Presidential Decree that will establish a transitional asylum process in Greece and which UNHCR expects will guarantee a fairer and more efficient examination of all pending asylum applications. UNHCR urges the authorities to pursue the immediate adoption of the new Presidential Decree without delay, as well as the immediate promotion of the draft Law for the establishment of the new independent civil Asylum Service.
For further information, please contact:
Stella Nanou, Public Information Assistant, tel: +30/ 6937934515, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: http://www.unhcr.org/ (English)