Jeddah 9th March 2020:
The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expresses concern over the reports in which the refugees, asylum seekers, including women, children, and families, arriving in precarious conditions in East Aegean Greece islands are harassed and physically attacked by the anti-migrant vigilante mobs. These mob attacks are partly fueled by the recent pronouncements of the Greek authorities to suspend its asylum system and push back most vulnerable asylum seekers, attempting to flee from their conflict-ridden homelands to secure their basic human right, i.e. ‘right to life,’ are violative of both the European Union and International human rights laws, it added.
Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides everyone “the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution’. In line with this universal human rights provision, the Commission endorses the Statement of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees of 2nd March 2020, urging the States not to suspend the reception of asylum applicants, who are protected under the1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. States also have the responsibility, in accordance with international law, of non-discrimination among refugees based on their religion while addressing their individual cases.
While stressing the respect for human rights as the only sustainable mean for both averting and resolving the refugee crisis in the long term, IPHRC urged OIC Member States, regional governments, relevant UN agencies as well as the international community to generously support and provide critical life-saving care and services to these refugees to avert the impending humanitarian catastrophe. It also urged the international community to undertake urgent measures to address the root causes of the refugee crisis, such as the need to address and resolve the conflicts in countries of origin that force individuals to flee their homelands.