Save Shabbir and #StopTheDeal between the EU and Turkey
This is more than a man’s story. This is a chance to save a man’s life and end the shameful refugee deal between the EU and Turkey. We need you to make it possible.
Shabbir is 40 years old, an electrical engineer by trade. He is married and has two small kids. Shabbir lived in a town in Pakistan, where he ran a car rental business. One day last December 2015, a local group of Islamic extremists attacked Shabbir’s neighbour, a Christian. Shabbir came to his defence. And this simple act changed Shabbir’s life irrevocably.
For helping a Christian, he was labelled a heretic and forced to flee his town. Several members of his family and close circle have now been murdered by the extremists. His wife and children have gone into hiding. Today, after a horrific journey on which his father also perished, Shabbir lives in a state of limbo in Lesvos, Greece, where he has been since March 2016. He is now at risk of being deported under the terms of the EU-Turkey deal. If Shabbir returns home, the extremists will almost certainly try to kill him.
A team of volunteers in Spain and Greece, headed by the eminent Spanish former anti-corruption prosecutor Carlos Jiménez Villarejo, is working to save Shabbir. On November 29, 2016, they filed a legal action to the European Court of Justice, annul the EU-Turkey Agreement and prevent Shabbir and thousands of others from being deported. If this case is successful, it will do much more than save a man’s life: it could shatter the EU-Turkey deal once and for all.
Sign this petition and support Shabbir’s case. Help us save Shabbir and end this disgraceful deal.
On March 2016, the controversial EU-Turkey deal came into effect. It set out that any “new irregular migrants” – a euphemism for refugees and asylum-seekers – arriving in Greece from this date onwards would be returned to Turkey. This is a disgraceful deal that sends a frightful message to the rest of the world: that men, women and children who managed to survive a perilous journey and the horrors of war, persecution and extraordinary vulnerability, are not welcome in Europe.
It doesn’t have to be this way. As DiEM25 we are standing behind a unique legal action that could blow this deal up, potentially improving the lives of millions of people seeking to come to Europe in desperate need.
Sign this petition and join us. Together we can stop this shameful deal.
More information on what you can do to #StopTheDeal is here.
- President of the European Parliament
- Donald Tusk
- EU Presidency
- Jean-Claude Juncker
- European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship
- High representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
- Executive Director, Frontex
- Executive Director, EASO
On November 29, the European Court of Justice was presented with an Action for Annulment on behalf of Mr. Shabbir Iqbal, a refugee who, after a perilous journey, is currently in Greece at risk of deportation.
The Action asked the Court to review the legality of the March 18, 2016, EU-Turkey Agreement (the act), including the provisions therein for the “returns” to Turkey of all “irregular migrants or asylum seekers” arriving on the “Greek islands” after March 20, 2016. The action seeks to annul the act in its entirety.
We, the undersigned, believe the ECJ must rule in favour of this Action, not only on the grounds of its solid legal merits and substantial supporting evidence, but also because the members of our Union’s highest Court must ensure that all laws and treaties fully comply with European and International Law in both letter and spirit.
With this Action, the Court is being asked a simple question: Does the EU-Turkey Agreement serve its purported aim “to end irregular migration from Turkey to the EU”? Or is it a perverse and surreptitious mechanism for EU member states to neglect their responsibilities toward refugees and asylum seekers reaching our shores, turning their backs on human life and violating both the letter and spirit upon which our common space was founded?
We submit the same question to you, the representatives of the EU’s highest institutions, and appeal that you step forward and stop this infamous ‘Agreement’ at once.
Of the many proceedings the ECJ is asked to hear and determine, this might be one the most critical ever: Its decision will have far-reaching consequences for the future of our Union and the credibility of its institutions.
Thus, we urge you to act immediately to stop this Agreement. We call upon you to restore the EU’s humanist roots, its obligation to respect and protect all migrants’ human rights, irrespective of their status, and to put an end to unnecessary suffering by acting before the ECJ overrules your regretful pact with Turkey.
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