ARD: Many refugees lose their lives trying to reach Greece

According to Amnesty International only 0.9% of asylum applications get approved.


The reportage begins with the image of a corpse on a steep beach of Lesvos island, with the presenter Fritz Frey indicating that they he was an Afghan refugee who lost his life trying to reach Greece. This shows the “dark side” of Lesvos, an island that, as he points, is a favorite holiday destination for many Germans.

During the reportage there are videos – among others – showing pictures of the greek Coast Guard locates boats with refugees and it is also highlighted that the greek authorities treat them as if they are illegal immigrants and not refugees.

Giorgos Kosmopoulos from Amnesty International states in the reportage that given the really shost distance separating Lesvos from the turkish coasts, the passage to the opposite coast for many of the refugees means “security, protection and hope for the future”. However, they often have to confront terrible situations, such as their unnecessary ill-treatmeant by the authorities and their ‘push-back’ [turning migrants back across the border] to Turkey, where they have no hope.

Statements are also made ​​by navy lieutenant Antonios Sofiadelis, who states that “we must fulfill our duty to rescue people who are in the sea and to intercept those who attempt to come here illegaly” and notes that the guidelines are decided by the central administration and that it is a political issue.

The reportage also shows footage from the refugee reception center in Lesvos, which is visited by Rebecca Harms, the parliamentary leader of the Greens in the European Parliament. The reporter highlights the practice of putting into long-term detention unaccompanied minors with no known family members.

The MEP states that “as long as these refugees do not come to us, we tolerate the violation of human rights in a European country like Greece. We must guarantee that the human rights conventions and the relevant international standards apply also to those people. And this is something we have not been doing so far”.

The reportage ends with footage from Lesvos’s cemetary, where one can see makeshift improvised graves marked with only with numbers for the refugees that lost their lives while trying to reach Europe.

“Nobody knows their names”, the journalist notes and he asks “how many more must die on Europe’s doorstep”?


Translated from ‘To Vima’ newspaper, 24/07/2013, online at:


One thought on “ARD: Many refugees lose their lives trying to reach Greece

  1. Pingback: Refugees die, trying to reach Greece | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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