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Tuesday, Feb 27, 2024

Greece Asked To Launch Probe After Video Shows Migrants Abandoned At Sea

Greece Asked To Launch Probe After Video Shows Migrants Abandoned At Sea

In the video, refugees are shown being driven in a white van to a remote spot on the Aegean island before being forced into a high-speed inflatable boat.
The European Commission has called on Greece to begin an investigation into reports of 12 migrants being allegedly abandoned at sea by the Greek coast guard. The news was first reported by New York Times based on video footage depicting the forcible expulsion of asylum seekers, including a baby, who had sought sanctuary in the country.

The group of migrants was later rescued by Turkish Coast Guard boats and is now in a Turkish detention center. The chances of asylum are very slim in Turkey, the Times reported.

''My services have sent a formal request to Greek authorities that this incident be fully and independently investigated. It is necessary that proper follow-up is taken by Greek authorities, also based on the new independent monitoring mechanism,'' the European commissioner for migration, Ylva Johansson, said on Twitter.

''The European Commission stands ready to take formal steps, as appropriate,'' she added.


In the video shot on April 11, the refugees, described as Somalis, Eritreans, and Ethiopians, are shown being driven in a white van to a remote spot on the Aegean island before being forced into a high-speed inflatable boat.

''We didn't expect to survive on that day. When they were putting us on the inflatable raft, they did so without any mercy,'' Naima Hassan Aden, a 27-year-old from Somalia told The Guardian.

However, the Greek government has consistently denied the mistreatment of migrants reaching its land. Notably, it is illegal under domestic, EU, and international law to deny migrants seeking asylum at the border.

“For years, activists and journalists have dug into claims that the Greek authorities are illegally pushing migrants out of Greece's borders, but hard evidence has been fragmentary. The government has consistently denied mistreating asylum seekers and points to the fact that it shoulders a disproportionate burden of managing new arrivals to Europe,”New York Times said in a statement.

''But the video, provided by an Austrian aid worker, Fayad Mulla, who has spent much of the past two and a half years working on the island and trying to document abuses against migrants, may be the most damning evidence yet of the Greek authorities' violation of international laws and E.U. rules governing how asylum seekers must be treated,” it added.
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