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European Court of Human Rights orders Greece to guarantee adequate living conditions and access to medical care to three of Fenix's clients residing in Kara Tepe-Mavrovouni Camp in Lesvos

MYTILINI, LESVOS - On 19 July 2021, Fenix Humanitarian Legal Aid submitted an urgent request for interim measures to the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of our clients A.A., M.A. and M.N.A., to stop the inhumane and degrading treatment to which they are subjected to by the Greek authorities, and to order the Greek government to guarantee their access to medical care and adequate accommodation compatible with their medical condition.

A.A. is a survivor of torture in his country of origin. A.A. suffers from bladder atony and is obliged to perform catheterism inside the camp. Due to the poor sanitary conditions in Kara Tepe - Mavrovouni Camp, the risk of infection is very high. The Public Hospital in Mytilene recommended a specific treatment that can only be performed in the Public Hospital in Athens.

M.A. is a 5-year-old child, survivor of war violence. M.A. experiences multiple cognitive and development concerns, in addition to mobility limitations and incontinence. The medical condition of the applicant has deteriorated in the absence of the appropriate and required medical assessment and treatment in Lesvos, especially after the fire in Moria, an experience that the applicant found extremely scary and stressful resulting in selective mutism. The Public Hospital in Mytilene ordered urgent assessment and treatment by the Pediatric Hospital in Athens.

Finally, M.N.A is a 10-year-old child, survivor of war violence. M.N.A is unable to walk and suffers incontinence. The Public Hospital in Mytilene stated that further assessment and treatment is needed at the Pediatric Hospital in Athens.

Even though their geographical restriction was lifted in February 2021 due to their severe medical conditions, they were not transferred to the mainland for the required medical assessment and treatment.

Yesterday, 21 July 2021, the European Court of Human Rights issued a decision of interim measures under Article 39 of the Rules of the Court, ordering the Greek Government to "guarantee to the applicants living conditions compatible with Article 3 of the Convention having regard to their state of health and to provide them with adequate healthcare compatible with their state of health."

Fenix expresses a deep concern about the living conditions in Kara Tepe-Mavrovouni Camp and the impossibility to access the necessary medical care and appropriate accommodation even for the most vulnerable refugees. Fenix emphasizes that there are many refugees living under inhumane and deplorable conditions in Kara Tepe-Mavrovouni Camp, without access to the medical care they need and are entitled to.

Our clients were forced to live under inhumane and degrading conditions incompatible with Article 3 of the Convention for over 18 months since their arrival in Lesvos on 1 January 2020: first in a makeshift tent in Moria Camp, then on the streets of Mytilini after the fire and finally in Kara Tepe-Mavrovouni Camp.

The intervention of the ECtHR should not be required for the Greek government to comply with its obligations under domestic and international law.

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