Applaudin Pushbacks!

The Mayor’s of Mytilini, Chios and East Samos issued a joint statement expressing their gratitude towards the coast guard, who bravely is defending the maritime borders, with weapons, against defenseless refugees, unarmed children, women and men, seeking refuge. Is this something people should be proud of, and who in their right mind would applaud these inhuman and illegal actions?

PRESS RELEASE

Joint Declaration of Mayors“The Mayors of Mytilene, Stratis Kentelis, Chios Stamatis Karmantzis and Eastern Samos George Stantzos, feel the need on behalf of all the islanders of their Municipalities affected by immigration, to express their gratitude and public gratitude to each and every one of the officers of the Coast Guard who serve in our islands, for the bravery, conscientiousness and self-sacrifice that they show every day during the execution of their mission’s, guarding the sea borders of our homeland and preventing successfully the landing of illegal immigrants on our islands.”

“Successfully preventing the landing of illegal immigrants”, they have already been processed, before they arrive, and found to be not entitled to seek asylum, pushed back by any means possible, without due process.

These right wing Mayor’s is not only encouraging the Greek coast guard, but also applauding them, for breaking Greek and international laws, violating human rights and risking people’s lives at sea. People who are selected to office, and encourage others to break laws, should be removed immediately, they are not fit to govern, they are a danger to society.

The Greek coast guard is systematically removing anyone trying to reach the Greek islands, even people who arrive on the islands has been sent back to Turkey, this is well documented. HCG is acting on orders from the Greek government, to stop anyone who tries to cross from Turkey, by any means possible, even if it’s life treating.

There are numerous well documented cases where HCG is shooting towards defenseless refugees in rubber boats, driving dangerous close in high speed and taking off engines, leaving people helpless drifting in the sea. Even when children drowned as a result of the actions taken by HCG, when a patrol boat outside Mytilíni capsized a rubber boat, nobody was held accountable, there was no investigation, it was business as usual. The incident was filmed by HCG, but the video was never realest.

What these Mayors in fact is applauding, is major violations of the maritime law convention of the UN, international maritime law, the international human rights convention, the Geneva Refugee Convention, EU and national greek criminal law. If the international maritime law still would be executed, which is clearly not the case anymore since 2015, all the officers on these boats involved in these illegal activities would have faced trial at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg. It does not matter if the officers on these ships followed orders, since the orders are unlawful and they knew it. Therefore these officers, according to the law, would have to be stripped of their officer’s license, banned from working on ships for lifetime and face criminal charges for attempted murder. Instead during the last 5 years not one of these criminals was held accountable. There was not even one case brought before the court in Hamburg. It seems to be clear that the law does not apply for some of its most powerful members for half a decade now.

The Greek government is counting on that everyone is focusing on the battle against this virus, that they can do whatever they want without consequences, that Europe will look the other way. Hopefully Greek and international news will pick this up, demanding answer, someone needs to be held accountable. Even in times of crisis, we must stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing” (Albert Einstein)

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