On the 13th of June 2023, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled in its judgment H.A. and others v Greece, no. 4892/18 and 4920/18. The case concerned, inter alia, the living conditions of 67 third-country applicants staying in the Moria hotspot and inability of two applicants to reunite with their family member in Germany due to significant delays in asylum applications registration in Greece.

The ECtHR first removed 43 cases of the register as these applicants did not maintain contact with the lawyer leading to the Court’s conclusion that they lost interest in their proceedings or no longer wanted to pursue their applications. The Court then ruled that living conditions were inhuman and degrading due to the overcrowding, resulting difficulties of such overcrowding and acute lack of basic necessities. The ECtHR also held that the applicants had no effective remedies. Hence, Greece violated Articles 3 and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

The ECtHR further found no violation of Article 8 ECHR. The Court highlighted that the applicants declared their wish to apply for asylum on 26 October 2017, their application was registered on 20 December 2017 and that the restriction on leaving the island was lifted on 3 January 2018. The Court also noted that their application for family reunification was rejected in Germany because the German authorities had questioned their family ties. Accordingly, the alleged delays could not give rise to a violation of Article 8 of the Convention and so the complaint was manifestly ill-founded.

Based on an unofficial translation from within the EWLU team

The AIRE Centre, ECRE and the DCR submitted a third-party intervention in this case.