Europe

Top Greek court hears Syrians' bids against return to Turkey

Greece's supreme court has heard the appeals of two Syrian refugees against their planned deportation to Turkey, a case that could affect thousands trapped on Greece's islands under a year-old European Union deal with Turkey.

The two men, aged 21 and 29, reached Greece's eastern island of Lesbos in July 2016, four months after the agreement designed to stem uncontrolled migration flows came into effect.

Their bids for asylum in Greece were rejected.

Under the March 20 agreement, migrants should be returned to Turkey, which is deemed a safe country for refugees, unless they can convince authorities that they merit asylum in Greece instead. Rights groups have criticized the deal.

The supreme court in Athens on Friday heard arguments by lawyers. A new hearing is planned for next Friday.