SAVE THE DATE: 17 MARCH 2016
PLEASE NOTE LOCATION CHANGE: FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION ZONE (NEXT TO THE EUROPEAN EXTERNAL ACTION SERVICE), RUE DE LA LOI, BRUSSELS
At 10:00am on 17 March, Amnesty International is organising a protest demanding the European Council Summit to stop trading away the rights and dignity of refugees in the EU-Turkey migration deal.
Amnesty International activists, supporters and employees will gather and place a life-jacket for each EU member state in the Freedom of Expression Zone on Rue de la Loi (next to the European External Action Service) in Brussels, with a stark warning displayed behind them. The 28 lifejackets will be displayed on tripods in front of an LED screen reading ‘Don’t trade refugees’.
This will form part of a larger pan-European protest, where soaking wet activists across Europe in life-jackets will be calling on their Heads of State and Government, and the European Council, not to back the migration deal with Turkey being discussed at the Summit.
28 life-jackets set up in front of LED screen demanding the EU not to trade in refugees, and speeches by Amnesty International representatives.
Thursday 17 March
10:00am (GMT+1): Activists gather and place life-jackets in front of LED screen
10:15: Speeches by Amnesty International staff
Freedom of Expression Space (next to the European External Action Service), Rue de la Loi, 1040 Brussels, Belgium
Iverna McGowan, Head of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office; Fotis Filippou, Campaigns Director for Europe (recently returned from Idomeni, Greece); Phillipe Hensmans, Director of Amnesty International Belgium (Francophone); Maria Serrano, Amnesty International Migration Campaign Coordinator; Irem Arf, Amnesty International European Migration Researcher; Eva Berghmans, Amnesty International Belgium (Flanders) Migration Policy Officer
Interviews available in English, French, Spanish, Dutch, Greek and Turkish.
Amnesty International is deeply concerned at the proposals made during the EU-Turkey Summit on 8 March.
The proposed EU-Turkey migration deal has set Europe on a dangerous course. The very principle of international protection for those fleeing war and persecution is under attack.
Amnesty International believes the proposed deal with Turkey shows an appalling disregard for the rights of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. The deal would initiate fast-track mass returns to Turkey, and a plan to resettle one Syrian refugee from Turkey to the EU for every irregularly arriving Syrian refugee returned to Turkey from Greece.
The protest on Thursday is linked to Amnesty International’s call on EU leaders to reject the proposed deal for fast-track collective expulsions to Turkey, and the dehumanising one-for-one Syrian refugee swap.
Each refugee and asylum seeker is a human being, not an interchangeable number to be traded. Rapid-fire mass returns fly in the face of the basic right every asylum seeker has to a fair hearing.
Amnesty International also does not accept that Turkey can be deemed a ‘safe country’ of asylum.
For further media enquiries and to book interviews in advance please contact Paul Creeney on +32 (0)2 548 27 73, by mobile on +32 (0)486 042 047 or by email at [email protected].