Migrants ask EU court to overturn Turkey deal

08.06.2016

Two migrants have filed the first cases with the EU's top court seeking to overturn the bloc's controversial migration crisis deal with Turkey, sources close to the matter said on Tuesday.

The European Union signed a deal with Ankara in March under which Turkey agreed to take back all migrants arriving from its shores onto the Greek islands, including Syrians fleeing the conflict in their homeland. But rights groups have criticised the pact as failing to offer sufficient protection to refugees.

"It's the first," one source close to the cases said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak on the record, adding however that there were likely to be "problems of admissability."

The arguments in the two applications were not disclosed. But the EU has been anticipating legal challenges to the migrant deal, particularly over the asylum application processing system set up in the Greek islands to manage such applications quickly.

Earlier this month the European Court of Human Rights – which is not linked to the EU – was asked by a gay Syrian man to block his deportation from Greece under the deal.

Migrant arrivals to Greece have fallen sharply since the deal took effect on 20 March. But Ankara has threatened to abandon the deal if its citizens are not granted visa-free travel to most of the EU.

Brussels has conditioned the visa waiver on Ankara narrowing its anti-terror laws – a step Turkey has adamantly refused to take.    (AFP)

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