Greece violates migrant rights, forces 42,000 refugees out  – Middle East Monitor

The Turkish authorities published a report prepared by Turkiye’s Ombudsman Institution on Friday stating that Greece had violated the rights of tens of thousands of refugees attempting to enter its territory through Turkiye.

The Turkish authorities noted that the Athens authorities had forced about 42,000 asylum seekers to return to Turkiye by land and sea since 2020, while many have been subjected to inhuman treatment.

The report was titled “Pushbacks and Drowning Human Rights in the Aegean Sea” and highlighted Greece’s violations against migrants.

Irregular migrants pushed back by Greece - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Irregular migrants pushed back by Greece – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

The report indicated that the pushbacks included 41,523 migrants, from 2020 to 31 May, 2022.

It also pointed out that Greek officers sometimes handcuffed migrants, do not provide them with life jackets, and at times threw them directly into the sea.

The report also indicated that the practices against migrants who were forcibly pushed back by Greece through the Meric River convey the extent of the ugliness of the violations.

According to documented materials, 98 per cent of the pushbacks involve torture and ill-treatment.

The report stated that the percentage of children subjected to violence, harassment or exploitation or who witnessed such practices reached 68 per cent.

The report asserted that there is evidence that Frontex (European Union (EU) Border and Coast Guard Agency) supported these actions by Greece or turned a blind eye in many cases.

The report called on the EU to consider human rights and international protection laws in all its decisions and practices relating to migration, migrants and border control, and to abandon the policy of preventing migration at all costs, focusing instead on combating its causes.

READ: Yemeni migrant family throw into sea by Greek border crew

The report also stressed the need for Greece to cease the systematic practices of pushbacks and deal with migrants in a dignified manner.

It stressed the need for Athens to reverse its policy of denying the pushbacks and conduct independent and impartial investigations into the allegations.

On the other hand, the report suggested that Turkiye should work towards establishing an international commission to investigate cases of pushbacks.

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