Migrants are still arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos – despite an EU deal to deport them back to Turkey if they fail to gain asylum, Sky News reports. That deal came into force on Monday, with two boats carrying migrants who had been sent back travelling to Dikili on the Turkish coast.
Under the deal, non-Syrians are being taken to a detention centre while their asylum claims are considered. If those claims fail, they will be deported to their country of origin.
Sky’s senior correspondent Michelle Clifford, who is on Lesbos, said: “Overnight we saw refugees arriving here, being off-lifted onto Lesbos, and many of them arrive in a very precarious position physically.
“There are real worries about their long-term care in these detention camps, and if they are returned to Turkey.” Medics working on Lesbos told Sky News that some of the migrants were suffering from hypothermia or had other illness and injuries which needed treatment.
And aid organisations are concerned about conditions in the detention camps. “The UNHCR is saying they’re not satisfied that these migrants inside the camp are getting the legal representation they need,” Clifford said.
“They’re not having their asylum claims processed accurately, and if they’re appealing, they’re not having that dealt with accurately, either.” The Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has told parliament that 78 Syrians have already been sent to Germany under the new deal.
And two Syrians were among the dozens of mostly Pakistani migrants who were on the ships that arrived at the Turkish town of Dikili on Monday. Under the deal with the EU, Turkey is supposed take back all migrants and refugees who enter Greece illegally, including Syrians.
In return, the EU is taking in thousands of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey, and giving Turkey money, early visa-free travel and progress in talks over its EU membership. The deal has been criticised by the United Nations, aid organisations and human rights groups.