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Joint Press Release: M.S.S. v Belgium and Greece

24 January 2011

Judgment delivered by European Court of Human Rights

A Grand Chamber of 17 judges of the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that returning asylum seekers to Greece for their claims for international protection to be processed in that country is a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Greece does not have and has not had for several years proper reception conditions or asylum determination procedures that European law requires.  Many of those seeking international protection have been unlawfully retained or returned to face prohibited ill treatment as a consequence.

We welcome the Court's judgment and look forward to seeing significant improvements in the treatment of asylum  seekers across Europe as a consequence of it.

The AIRE Centre and Amnesty International contributed an intervention to the litigation in this case.  For more information see Amnesty and AIRE's joint statement.

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