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NGO claims Greek authorities are ‘pushing back’ Syrian refugees

Migrants claim they were beaten on uninhabited island before being cast adrift in Turkish waters

In one incident, refugees say there were detained incommunicado and subjected to severe beatings on an uninhabited island after being apprehended by the Greek authorities before being set adrift in Turkish waters

refugees-greek-sea

File photograph of undocumented migrants on a rubber boat in the Aegean, September 2008 (Reuters)

Refugees attempting to enter Greece are being systematically, illegally and, in cases, brutally pushed back by the Greek authorities, in contravention of international law and with the complicity of the European authorities, a German-based human rights organisation said on Thursday.

In a lengthy report based on detailed interviews with refugees, Pro-Asyl said that push backs were occurring on the Greek islands and on the country’s land borders and that the majority of victims are Syrian refugees, including vulnerable groups such as children, babies and critically ill patients.

Describing the scale of the human rights violations and the brutality involved as “shocking”, Pro Asyl says it has interviewed 90 people who claimed to have been pushed back. The research for the report was conducted between October 2012 to September 2013 in Germany, Greece and Turkey. The organisation estimates that on the basis of the eyewitness accounts of the people it interviewed for the report, at least 2,000 refugees were pushed back from Greece’s land and sea border with Turkey.

Most of those interviewed by ProAsyl said they suffered abuse at the hands of the Greek authorities.

The report says that in the Aegean, in almost all cases, the officers involved in the push-back operations wore “black uniforms, carried guns and wore full face-covering masks”. In other cases, officers were “wearing blue uniforms”. In Evros they were described either as wearing blue, military green or dark green uniforms, accompanied by some people in plainclothes, and others wearing full face masks…

(Read the full report on Eleftherotypia’s website)

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One thought on “NGO claims Greek authorities are ‘pushing back’ Syrian refugees

  1. Pingback: Syrian(?) refugee little girl and family drown in Greece | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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