Greece denies that an operation to deport migrants led to the death of dozens

The Greek government confirmed that the death of dozens of migrants during deportation operations carried out by the Greek Coast Guard was “not proven in any way” in the investigation published by the BBC on Monday.

Government spokesman Kyriakos Mitsotakis confirmed during a regular press conference, “We follow every publication and every investigation, but I repeat: what was reported has not been proven in any way.”

Pavlos Marinakis added that the Greek Coast Guard “save dozens of lives every day” while many European Union asylum seekers try to reach Greece from Turkey during dangerous crossing journeys.

In Brussels, European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said that he was aware of “these terrible allegations,” and added, “The Greek authorities, like all European Union member states, must fully respect their obligations regarding asylum and international law.”

The BBC reported in an investigation published on its website on Monday that 43 migrants died after the Greek Coast Guard returned them to the Aegean Sea between May 2020 and May 2023. Among the victims, nine were deliberately thrown into the sea, according to the BBC.

The British channel counted fifteen incidents of violent deportation of migrants in contravention of international law during this period. Athens has always denied resorting to illegal deportations, despite investigations by international media and non-governmental organizations that have been documented with video clips.

Based on reports by local media, NGOs and the Turkish Coast Guard, BBC reporters were able to speak to eyewitnesses. Cameroonian narrated that after landing on the island of Samos in September 2021, he was arrested with other migrants by masked men who forced them, through beatings, to board a boat and left them at sea.

The bodies of his two companions, one from Ivory Coast and the other from Cameroon, were found on the Turkish coast, and the Cameroonian refugee’s lawyers filed a lawsuit against the Greek authorities on charges of murder.

Last year, after one of the worst migrant shipwrecks in the Mediterranean, which caused the death of more than 600 people, survivors filed a complaint against the Greek Coast Guard on charges of delay in providing assistance to them.

By Editor

Leave a Reply