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25 Refugees On Ikaria Fear For Their Safety

A group of 25 people, 14 men, 3 women and 8 children, contacted Aegean Boat Report tonight, Thursday June 2, from the island of Ikaria, west of Samos, and asked for assistance, they are afraid that the Greek authorities will deport them back to Turkey.

They arrived on Ikaria two days ago, found by police and taken to an old decommissioned building next to the police station.

People have to sleep on the floor, no blankets or mattresses have been provided.

So far local police have not taken away any of their belongings, and that’s perhaps a good sign, considering the normal procedures when people are being pushed back. On the other hand a local police officer told the group that they will be taken back to Turkey in the morning by the Greek coast guard, and the group was forced to sign a document presented to them only in Greek written, no explanation on it’s contents or why they had to sign.

Some of the people in the group is in need of medics attention, especially two people with some kind of skin disorder, that at first glance seems similar to Monkeypox, an infectious viral disease that have recently been registered in several countries in Europe, no medical attention has been provided.

Locals in the area are well aware of the group and have kindly provided food and water for everyone, the group is grateful for the support given.

What will happen to this group is so far unknown, local police did not want to provide any information when Aegean Boat Report contacted them Thursday night, not even admitting that the group was present on Ikaria, and in police custody.

Hopefully this group will be transported to a place of safety, given the opportunity to apply for asylum in Greece, but from previous cases when people have arrived on Ikaria, we are worried on what lies ahead.

On August 5 last year a group of 14 people was removed from the island and pushed back in a life raft that was found drifting outside Didim, Turkey.

And on October 17 last year a group of 22 people was also removed from Ikaria, found drifting in a life raft outside Seferihisar, Turkey.

We request that the appropriate authorities immediately transfer all members of this group to the nearest reception centre and allow them to register for asylum. Let’s hope they won’t share the same faith as previous arrivals on this island.

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