Greece Turns Back On Refugees, Abandons Over 1000 Of Them At Sea
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India, 19 Aug 2020 9:09 AM GMT | Updated 19 Aug 2020 11:23 AM GMTcheck update history
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Experts are of the opinion that the Greek government's hostility towards the migrants during the pandemic has been far more 'systematic and coordinated'.
Greece has been reportedly expelling migrants, sailing them out of its shores and abandoning them at sea around the border of its territorial waters.
According to The New York Times, over a thousand refugees were left stranded in motorless boats in the middle of the sea.
At least 1,072 refugees were abandoned at sea by Greek officials in 31 separate incidents based on the evidence from three independent watchdogs, two academic researchers, and the Turkish Coast Guard.
A 50-year-old Syrian teacher, Najma al-Khatib while narrating her ordeal said that on July 26, masked Greek officials took her and 22 others including two babies from a detention centre on the island of Rhodes while it was dark outside.
She said that all of them were abandoned in a rudderless, motorless lifeboat before they were rescued by the Turkish Coast Guard. "I left Syria for fear of bombing — but when this happened, I wished I'd died under a bomb," she told The Times.
However, the Greek government has denied any "clandestine activities" having taken place.
"Greece has a proven track record when it comes to observing international law, conventions and protocols. This includes the treatment of refugees and migrants," said a government spokesman, Stelios Petsas.
The report further said that for several years, the Greek officials have been accused of tracking and expelling migrants and experts are of the opinion that the hostility towards the migrants during the pandemic has been far more 'systematic and coordinated'.
It further added the pandemic has provided optimal opportunity to close off borders "to whoever they've wanted," as attested by the hundreds of migrants being denied the right to seek asylum even after landing on Greek soil and being forbidden to appeal their expulsion via the judicial system.
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