Criminalising the Refugee: “Border Crisis” On the Greek-Turkish Border

Event date
1 December 2022
Event time
13:30 - 16:30
Oxford week
MT 8
Venue
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Speaker(s)
criminalising the refugee

This event gathers NGO representatives in the field of refugee protection in Greece as well as scholars of borders and crimmigration, aiming to discuss events on the Greece-Turkey border through the prism of human rights law, migration studies, and criminology.

Through two panel discussions, this event will disseminate the main findings of the research project: “Emergency justice and criminalisation of illegal entry: a border criminology approach”. This was funded by the RHC and conducted by Dimitris Koros. The project explores conditions at the Greek-Turkish borders from February to March 2020, a period which attracted significant news attention due to police violence against people irregularly crossing the Evros river border. This event will unpack this specific ‘border crisis’, including the deployment of criminal justice mechanisms, and the instrumentalization of refugees as ‘pawns’ in international politics. The study, and this event, therefore aspire to offer a critical criminological understanding of the Greek border penality in times of ‘crisis’.

Research centre for the humanities

The event is organised by the Research Center for the Humanities (RCH, Greece) and Border Criminologies (UK).

1:30-1:35: Welcome

1.35-1.50pm: Introduction: Dimitris Koros Scientific Associate, Law School, Democritus University of Thrace: Emergency (in)justice: criminalisation and victimisation. Main findings of the research project”

Panel 1: 1.50-2.50

Each panelist will give a 10 min presentation, followed by discussion.

Chair: Dimitris Koros

  • Vasilis Kerasiotis, Attorney at Law, HIAS Country Director, “Criminalization of irregular entry: punishing refugees for EU's failed externalization policy
  • Thomas Charalampidis, Attorney at Law, ARSIS Child Protection Lawyer, “Delivering justice in an era of exception. Μinors accused of illegal entry in Greece in March 2020. Children or invaders?”
  • Alexandros Konstantinou, Attorney at Law, Head of Legal Research, Greek Council for Refugees, “The concept of instrumentalisation and fundamental rights”
  • Anastasia Chalkia, Ph.D., Criminologist– Course coordinator/instructor, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, “Crimmigrating International Protection: European policies on migration and asylum in relation to current armed conflicts”

10 min break

Panel 2: 3-4pm

Each panelist will give a 10 min presentation, followed by discussion.

Chair: Victoria Taylor

  • Stefanos Levidis, Dimitra Andritsou, Forensic Architecture/Forensis, “Investigating border violence in the Evros/Meriç and the Aegean Sea”
  • Natasha Ntailiani, Attorney at Law, Head of Legal Team, Legal Centre Lesvos, “Violation of human rights of migrants and refugees and criminalization of human rights defenders in the era of COVID: the example of Lesvos in spring 2020”
  • Vasilis Tsianos, Professor of Sociology, Kiel University of Applied Sciences and Nicos Trimikliniotis, Professor of Sociology, Social Sciences and Law, University of Nicosia. Racial B/Orders: Violence, State Crimes and the Politics of Enmity at the Edges of Europe”
  • Maria Ioannou, Assistant Professor, University College Groningen and Maria Avraamidou, Lecturer in Media and Communication, Erasmus University, Rotterdam- “Innocent” Hashtags? Antimigrant debates on Twitter around #IStandWithGreece and their affinity to European border politics"

Chair: Dimitris Koros

4-4.30: Final discussion: A way forward? The future of refugee protection at the border. A final discussion between panelists and the audience envisaging ways forward for the future of protection.

Speakers/titles/short bios:

  • Vasilis Kerasiotis, Attorney at Law, HIASCountry Director

-“Criminalization of irregular entry: punishing refugees for EU's failed externalization policy

- Vasilis Kerasiotis is a Lawyer at the Supreme Court, registered with Athens Bas Association, specialised in refugee law and human rights law. He has collaborated with NGOs involved in the support of refugees and is dealing with cases before the supreme courts and the European Court of Human Rights (case Chowdry and 42 others vs Greece). In the last 5 years he is operating in Lesvos as the Country Director of international NGO HIAS, which provides support to asylum seekers and refugees in all stages of asylum procedures as well as in civil and penal courts.

  • Thomas Charalampidis, Attorney at Law, ARSIS Child Protection Lawyer

-Delivering justice in an era of exception. Μinors accused of illegal entry in Greece in March 2020. Children or invaders?”

-Thomas Charalampidis was born in Serres in 1972. He graduated from the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Theology, both in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Attorney at Law enrolled in Thessaloniki Bar Association since 1997. In professional collaboration with “ARSIS-Association for the Social Support of Youth” since 2003. Currently collaborating as a child protection lawyer for unaccompanied third country minors. Postgraduate studies in Philosophy of Law and Legal Reasoning. In theology his special fields of interest are Contextual Theology and Liberation Theology. A trainer and speaker in various training sessions and an active participant in various congresses and seminars in Greece and abroad. 

  • Alexandros Konstantinou, Attorney at Law, Head of Legal Research, Greek Council for Refugees

-“The concept of instrumentalisation and fundamental rights”

Alexandros Konstantinou is a lawyer specialsing in Human Rights and Refugee Law. He holds a Master's Degree in Human Rights (Master 2 recherche) from the University of Strasbourg (Strasbourg III - Robert Schuman) and a Master's Degree in Sociology of Law from the University of Athens. Since 2011 he has been working as a member of the Legal Unit of the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR). Currently he is coordinating GCR’s Detention Team and he is the Head of GCR Legal research. He has also worked with the National Commission for Human Rights and the office of Secretary General for Migration. He has been an invited speaker in several conferences and trainings and among others he has published papers and studies with regards refugee protection in Greece. Since 2017, he is a member of the Greek National Commission for Human Rights. 

  • Anastasia Chalkia, Ph.D., Criminologist– Course coordinator/instructor, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens

-“Crimmigrating International Protection: European policies on migration and asylum in relation to current armed conflicts”

-Dr Anastasia Chalkia is a sociologist and holds a Ph.D. in Criminology from Panteion University (Athens, GR). She is a course coordinator and instructor at the interdepartmental MSc in Media and refugee/migration Flows (NKUA & Aegean University). She works as a Human Rights Researcher at the Greek National Commission for Human Rights. She is the editor of three collective volumes and the author of several papers published in Greek and English.

  • Stefanos Levidis and Dimitra Andritsou, Forensic Architecture/Forensis,

-“Investigating border violence in the Evros/Meriç and the Aegean Sea”

-Stefanos Levidis is a researcher and visual practitioner. He is a project coordinator at the research agencies Forensic Architecture and Forensis, where he oversees the work on migration and border violence. His PhD dissertation, undertaken at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths University, and titled 'Border Natures', interrogates the entanglement of border defence strategies with the natural environment at the external borders of the EU, with a focus on the Greek case. 

-Dimitra Andritsou is an architect and researcher. She has been working with Forensic Architecture (FA) since 2019, and is currently the research coordinator of FA’s Berlin based sister agency, Forensis, where she undertakes advanced spatial and media research. Dimitra graduated in 2017 from the School of Architecture of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and in 2019 she completed with distinction the MA in Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London.

  • Natasha Ntailiani, Attorney at Law, Head of Legal Team, Legal Centre Lesvos

-  “Violation of human rights of migrants and refugees and criminalization of human rights defenders in the era of COVID: the example of Lesvos in spring 2020”

- Anastasia Ntailiani is a Greek Lawyer registered with Athens Bar Association.

She is based in Athens Greece. As a lawyer, she has worked in several fields of law (such as criminal, admistrative and corporate law). In the last six years she works as a lawyer with the Legal Centre Lesvos, an NGO based in Lesvos providing free legal aid and legal representation to migrants and refugees in Lesvos and holds the position of Head of the Legal Team.  In her work with Legal Centre Lesvos, she has been involved inter alia in legal representation at all stages of the asylum procedure, representation in criminal and administrative procedures and litigation before the European Court of Human Rights as well as in administrative tasks within the organisation.

  • Vasilis Tsianos, Professor of Sociology, Kiel University of Applied Sciences and Nicos Trimikliniotis, Professor of Sociology, Social Sciences and Law, University of Nicosia.

Racial B/Orders: Violence, State Crimes and the Politics of Enmity at the Edges of Europe

-Prof. Dr. Vassilis Tsianos is Professor of Sociology at the University of Applied Sciences, Kiel. He has published numerous books, including, most recently, the co-authored monographs “Mobile Commons, Digital Materialities and the Right to the City. Migrant Digitalities and Social Movements in Three Arrival Cities − Athens, Istanbul, Nicosia” (Palgrave Macmillan Pivot Series Mobility and Politics, 2015); “Escape Routes. Control and Subversion in the 21st Century” (Pluto Press, 2008); and the co-edited “Racism in Post-migrant Society. Movements” (Journal for Critical Migration and Border Regime Research, 2016); “The Art of being Many. Towards a New Theory and Practice of Gathering” (Transcript, 2016); “Empire and the Biopolitical Turn (Campus, 2007); as well as a book on Turbulent Margins: New Perspectives of Migration in Europe” (Transcript, 2007). Vassilis Tsianos is Chairman of the Board of the Council for Migration, member of the Expert Commission "Agency for Fundamental Rights" (FRA) of the European Union, founding member of the Network Critical Migration and Border Regime Research (kritnet).

-Nicos Trimikliniotis is Professor of Sociology, Social Sciences and Law, at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Nicosia. He heads the team of expert of Cyprus team for the Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU. He is also a practicing Barrister. He has researched on integration, citizenship, education, migration, racism, free movement of workers, EU law, discrimination, constitutional and Labour Law. He is the National Expert for Cyprus for the European Labour Law Network. He is part of the international team on world deviance, which produced Gauging and Engaging Deviance 1600-2000, Tulika press (2014) and its’ sequel Scripts of Defiance (2017). 

  • Maria Ioannou, Assistant Professor, University College Groningen and Maria Avraamidou, Lecturer in Media and Communication, Erasmus University, Rotterdam

-“Innocent” Hashtags? Antimigrant debates on Twitter around #IStandWithGreece and their affinity to European border politics"

-Dr Maria Ioannou is an assistant professor at the University College Groningen of the University of Groningen. Her research lies in the field of intergroup relations: prejudice and prejudice-reduction in particular. Prior to her appointment at the University of Groningen, she worked as a researcher in the civil society sector conducting research on social cohesion and reconciliation.

Dr Maria Avraamidou is a Lecturer in Media and Communication at the Erasmus University, Rotterdam. Her research interests have evolved around the media/migration and the media/nationalism nexus. In February 2022 she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in digital media and migration (https://www.media-inquiry.com/). Before taking an academic turn, she held professional posts with UNHCR and anti-racist NGOs and worked as a journalist at national media.

 

  • Dimitris Koros, Scientific Associate, Law School, Democritus University of Thrace

- “Emergency (in)justice: criminalisation and victimisation. Main findings of the research project”

- Dr Dimitris Koros studied Law at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and received his Master’s Degree (Crime, Law & Society) from the University of Manchester. He completed his PhD thesis in Penitentiary Policy at the Department of Social Administration and Political Science (Democritus University of Thrace). He is the author of “Discipline and it’s limits in the Greek Prison System” (2021, Nisos) and the editor of M. Foucault’s “Prison/Governmentality. Two texts” (translation and postface, 2017, Akivernites Politeies), and has published papers in Greek and foreign scientific journals. He is a Scientific Associate at the Law School of the Democritus University of Thrace and a Tutor-Counselor at the Hellenic Open University. Since 2013 he has been working as a lawyer for the Greek Council for Refugees.

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