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Good Night Kyriakos, EU Loves You

A group of approximately 30 people that arrived on Kos during the night, was found and arrested by police at first light this morning. Instead of taking them to a quarantine facility, they were taken to Kos port, and back to sea by the Hellenic coast guard(HCG).

Exactly what boat they used to transport them away from Kos is so far not determined, from what little footage we received, we can only be sure that the vessel was grey. From the video we can see some distinguished details on the boat, and for a investigative journalist it would be possible to find this boat on Kos. Unfortunately local Journslist on most of the Aegean islands are more interested investing their own bellybutton, than anything related to disappearing refugees, Kos is no different.

To geolocate the video from the typography of the mountains in the background shouldn’t be to difficult, and will prove that what is on the video is the south east side of Kos.

What on the other hand is quite interesting in this very short video, is that the people are, for some reason, sitting under a white tarpaulin. It could of course be that the kind and caring officers of the Hellenic coast guard wanted to protect the people from the harsh weather, before throwing them into life rafts, but doesn’t sound very likely. We believe that people were placed under this white tarpaulin so that local spectators couldn’t see what the coast guard was transporting, since the boat was heading out of Kos harbor at 10.00 Greek time. But if locals now remember that they actually observed this vessel from HCG, and wondered what they were transporting, under this white tarpaulin, here’s the answer, people.

Usually the Hellenic coast guard is quite thorough when removing especially phones from people they are planing on pushing back, this time they they overlooked at least one. Aegean Boat Report received videos and location data when they were taken out from Kos harbor by HCG, later a second video and location after they had been abandoned in two life rafts, helplessly drifting inside Turkish waters south east of Kos.

From voice messages sent to Aegean Boat Report after they had been left drifting in the life rafts, it is quite clear who was responsible.

This is unfortunately happening every single day in the Aegean Sea, so far this year over 14.000 people have been pushed back by the Hellenic coast guard, on direct orders from the Greek government, a government who still denies any involvement in pushbacks, but admits “turning people in boats around in Greek waters, and sending them back to Turkey”, as if it’s something different than a pushback, it’s not.

But the Greek government doesn’t stop by only pushing boats back at sea, they also remove people who already have arrived on Greek islands, robbing them of all belongings, money, papers and phones, before taking them back to sea, and force them into life rafts, leaving them helplessly drifting. Since March 2020 almost 450 life rafts have been found drifting in the Aegean Sea carrying close to 8000 people, nobody seems to wonder how this happened.

These actions by the Greek Government is of course illegal, not only according to international laws, but also a violation of international human rights and the law of the sea. The EU commission seems happy with the Greek effort on being the “shield of Europe”, and continues pouring money and Frontex resources into Greece, to support their efforts on keeping Europe “safe from these invaders” of men, women and children seeking safety in Europe.

Artwork By Yorgos Konstantinou

The case from Kos will be updated as soon as more information is made available for Aegean Boar Report.

Update 25.11.2021

At 13.10 Yesterday the Turkish coast guard picked up two life rafts drifting south west of Karaada, Bodrum, the same life raft that was deployed by the Hellenic coast guard a few hours earlier.

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