12 refugees die during alleged push-back operation off Greek island

20.01.2014 / 02:00 / Farmakonisi Isl. (Gr) - Didim (Tr)

From Pro Asyl and ECRE press release: "Nine children and three women died when their vessel sank near a Greek island early Monday morning while being towed by the Greek Coast Guard.
According to the survivors, the Greek coast guard vessel was towing the boat toward the Turkish coast at high speed when the boat capsized. Survivors tell that they were crying out for help, given that a large number of children and babies were on board.
In contrast to the survivors’s accounts, the Greek Port Authority has alleged that due to bad weather conditions the Coast Guard had launched a rescue operation to tow the boat toward the Greek island of Farmakonisi. According to the Greek authorities, during the operation a large number of those on board gathered on one side of the boat, which resulted in its overturning and sinking.
“It is highly likely that this action by the Greek coast guard was an illegal push-back operation rather than a rescue at sea " said Karl Kopp, Director of European Affairs of Pro Asyl.
In a report published in November, Pro Asyl detailed how refugees attempting to cross the EU’s external borders with Turkey are systematically pushed back from Greek territorial waters, the Greek islands and from the land border. The Pro Asyl report specifically outlined violations that had occurred on or in the proximity of Farmakonisi."
Last update: 13:37 Jan 27, 2014
Credibility: UP DOWN 0
12 refugees die during alleged push-back operation off Greek island 12 refugees die during alleged push-back operation off Greek island
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