On 29 June 2017, Macedonian Young Lawyers Association (MYLA) submitted written observations as a third party intervention to the European Court of Human Rights in the case A.A. and Others v. f.Y.R. Macedonia (Application No. 55798/16).
The case was initiated by 8 applicants from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan who were pushed back to Greece by the Macedonian authorities on 14 March 2016, who claim that their return amounted to collective expulsion without an examination of individual circumstances and without access to an effective remedy, in breach of Art 4 Protocol 4 and Article 13 of the Convention.
The applicants were part of the so called “March of Hope” which occurred on 14 March 2016, when at least 1500 refugees and migrants set out from the refugee camp in Idomeni, Greece and crossed the border into Macedonia near the village of Moin. Later that night, nearly all refugees and migrants who entered the country as part of this group were returned to Greece by the Macedonian authorities.
The applicants are represented by Mr. Carsten Gericke, with the support of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights and Pro Asyl. A summary of the application and further information about the case can be found in the ECCHR’s Case Report.
Considering the systematic practices of push-backs of refugees conducted by the Macedonian authorities outside of any procedure prescribed by law and in disregard of fundamental rights and freedoms ofrefugees enshrined in national and international law identified by MYLA in 2016 and 2017, the aim of the written observations is threefold.
First, the intervention provides an overview of the guarantees prescribed by Macedonian law in deportation and return procedures. Second, it presents a factual account of the events that occurred on 14 March 2016 near the village of Moin involving the Macedonian authorities as witnessed by MYLA’s lawyers present at the site. Third, it highlights MYLA’s findings regarding the systematic practices of push-backs of refugees/migrants conducted by the Macedonian authorities since 2015.
The full text of MYLA’s third party intervention can be found here:MYLA Third Party Internvention AA and Others v MKD (29.06.2017)