In order to meet its strategic objectives of fighting violations of human rights, racism, fascism and criminalization of migration and solidarity in Greece and Europe, the Legal Centre Lesvos engages in advocacy and litigation before both Greek and international fora. In the context of this work, we aim to work in collaboration with solidarity campaigns and movements, to ensure the widest and long term impact of our work. In particular, we have developed litigation in the following three areas:
The LCL is engaged in litigation in representation of migrants who have been subject to systemic state violence and violations of migrants’ human rights as a part of broader, both legalised and clandestine, state policies of border maintenance. In this context we have represented victims of police brutality, torture, and summary expulsions or “pushbacks”. We have also produced extensive reports and legal analysis demonstrating that Greece is engaging in crimes against humanity against migrants.
The LCL has taken on criminal defence in cases of migrants or those in solidarity with them who are criminalised for political acts, or who are subject to abuse of state power or collective punishment. These cases have included representing alleged migrant ‘boat drivers’ charged with smuggling, migrants who are arbitrarily detained, and individuals arrested following migrant-led protests.
The LCL continues to advocate and litigate for migrants’ rights, and abolishment of the containment policy in existence in Lesvos since the EU-Turkey Statement of 2016, which has resulted in inhuman and degrading treatment in the camps on the island, and effective detention in “hot spot” camps. Through advocacy and representation of people unjustly trapped on Lesvos, we have advocated for freedom of movement, the right to health, and the right to seek asylum – all of which have eroded through the implementation of EU’s hotspot approach to migration management.
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