The Germany director of Human Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned the EU-Turkey agreement that has begun returning migrants denied asylum in Greece to Turkey. Wenzel Michalski said his group did not have access to the Moria holding camp in Lesbos and were not allowed to speak to the migrants.
The Moria centre is where those who arrive are held until either their asylum claims are accepted or they are returned to Turkey.
"Our biggest concern is that these people don't have proper access to a fair asylum-seeking process, that it is a very careless, fast-track process and they are just mass returned without being heard individually, without having the right to appeal a negative decision," Michalski said.
HRW is on Lesbos to monitor the asylum-seeking process and to observe the returns of refugees and migrants to Turkey.
"What do they have to hide?" Michalski said. "The EU and Greece is doing something really disturbing and illegal and they're just treating refugees as human trash which should be cleaned away and this is a tragic development."
Several dozen refugees being detained at the Moria holding camp protested behind the barbed wire fence of the compound on Tuesday (5 April) against the deportations. Gathered by a barbed wire fence at the camp, migrants chanted: "If you deport us, we will die." On the wall of the sprawling gated complex, which was once an army camp, graffiti read: "No one is illegal".
Preparations were underway on Lesbos for a second round of returns to Turkey expected on 8 April. Frontex officers from countries, including Italy and Germany, were busy working at the island's port where two Turkish ferries that will carry the migrants are docked.