Rights groups blast new Greek asylum rules

1010 WINS Newsroom
October 29, 2019 - 8:48 am

Refugees and migrants take part in a protest outside an overcrowded refugee camp on the Greek island of Samos, on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. Overcrowding at island camps has continued to worsen despite an effort by the Greek government to move more asylum seekers to the mainland. (AP Photo/Michael Svarnias)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — International human rights groups and relief agencies have sharply criticized plans by Greece's government to toughen asylum procedures to try and manage a recent surge in arrivals of migrants and refugees.

The groups including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Doctors Without Borders said Tuesday in a series of separate statements and at a news conference in Athens that the proposed changes would restrict the right of refugees fleeing wars in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere from seeking international protection in the European Union.

Greek authorities are struggling to cope with a sharp rise in the number of arrivals over the summer months on its eastern islands, where EU-funded camps are suffering severe overcrowding and outbreaks of violence. The proposed changes are due to be voted in Greece's parliament this week.

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