A group of people who arrived in Karfas, Chios south east this morning, contacted Aegean Boat Report, asking for assistance. They where afraid that if police found them, they would send them back to Turkey.
In cooperation with the new arrivals, Aegean Boat Report managed to get documentation by video and pictures, that clearly stated that they where in fact on Chios, and also of the people involved. Information received was that there were 25 people in the group that arrived.
ABR also contacted the local newspaper Astraparis, to try to document their arrival on the island, so that they didn’t end up in a life raft in the Aegean Sea. Journalists and associates from Astraparis did not observe the new arrivals in the area, it’s highly likely that police had already picked them up. The only sign of their arrival, was the rubber boat found on the shores of Karfas.
Port police on Chios was not willing to give any information on this incident, but after the local newspaper had published the story, with pictures, there was an official statement from The Minister of Migration and Asylum, Notis Mitarakis, confirming that 16 people had been found and taken to the quarantine site in Lefkonia. Where the remaining 9 people is is difficult to say, but perhaps information from the arrivals wasn’t accurate regarding the number.
If this statement from the minister had been given, if there was nothing published in the media, is difficult to say, but very questionable. In previous cases where people have arrived on the islands, with no press coverage to make local awareness, arrivals seems to have magically disappeared, only to find themselves floating in the Aegean Sea.
A previous incident of arrivals on Chios was only two days ago, when 10 people arrived in the evening in Agia Ermioni. There are several local witnesses, but port police say there was no arrivals, and basically saying that the locals are lying. On Thursday morning 06.00 Turkish coast guard picked up 10 people outside Cèsme, Turkey, that claimed to have been on Chios, only to be forced back in the sea by the Greek Coast Guard. But perhaps all this is only a coincidence…
Aegean Boat Report believe that without witnesses and documentation, people arriving on the Greek Aegean islands, will become victims of illegal immediate deportation, without being able to apply for asylum, and that this common practice is implemented after a direct order from the Greek right wing government.
Aegean Boat Report will, when information is available on new arrivals, try to involve press and locals, to make awareness. And by doing so, try to force local authorities to stop putting people’s life at risk. It will be difficult to commit a crime, while people are watching, taking pictures, and denying it afterwards.
We must find a way to stop this illegal inhuman practices, once and for all!!!
Pictures of the boat at the shore is by Astraparis.