Another disaster in the Aegean, 11 people drowned, 7 of them children, after a pushback performed by Greek authorities.
Yesterday at 00.10 the Turkish coast guard received an email from Greek authorities that a group of people was drifting inside Turkish waters, in need of rescue.
Turkish coast guard found 3 life rafts carrying 66 people, drifting on the coast of Marmaris, north of Rhodes. They later learned, after interviewing the survivors, that a life raft carrying 18 people was missing.
A second rescue operation was launched involving, 1 Coast Guard Helicopter, 1 Coast Guard Aircraft and 3 Coast Guard vessels were immediately dispatched to the scene of the incident.
7 people was found clinging to a semi-submerged life rafts, 6 others was found drowned, amongst them 5 children, two of them infants, and a woman.
The fourth rafts was carrying 18 people, according to survivors, 5 people are missing, two babies and 3 adults, all believed to be drowned. Nationality of the rescued, drowned and missing is not known.
According to the survivors, they initially set off from Lebanon on Saturday for Italy, but ran out of fuel off the coast of Rhodes island. They called the Greek coast guard, that responded to their call for help, but instead of taking them to land, they forced them into four life rafts, and left them drifting close to Turkish territorial waters.
Warning, graphic content
The Greek Coast Guard and the Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum, Notis Mitarachi, was quick to deny any involvement, claiming also this to be Turkish propaganda, an attack on Greece. He pointed out that this happened in Tyrkish waters, and that Turkey should do more to prevent people from leaving the country.
Notis Mitarachi is well aware of his own police, that these four life rafts, killing 11 people, 7 of them small children, was deployed from a Greek Coast Guard vessel, on his orders, still he’s pointing towards Turkey, using also this tragedy for political gain.
There is after years of documentation and investigations by international press, organization and EU bodies, into the pushbacks in the Aegean Sea, no doubt that Greek authorities is responsible, yet they still continues to deny any involvement, as if it haven’t been proven enough, playing everyone for a fool.
European politicians, especially from the European Parliament, seems totally incapable or unwilling to take actions against a member state, that systematically violates international laws and human right in an industrial scale, unprecedented in Europe since the Second World War.
Instead of immediately acting on these atrocities, European politicians are acting deaf blind and dumb, pretending to know nothing and hoping it will blow over, it won’t. Since March 2020 over 40.000 people have been pushed back in the Aegean Sea by Greek authorities, and numbers are rapidly increasing.
For these atrocities the Greek government isn’t condemned, actually quite the opposite. The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, cheered them on, calling them “the shield of Europe”, EU funds have been poring into Greece to support their efforts in keeping the borders closed, and Frontex, the European Border and coast guard agency, has the highest number of officers ever deployed, in Greece, supporting the Greek authorities in pushing back refugees.
It’s quite obvious that someone is responsible, and some Greeks are still clinging to the idea that the refugees themselves deliberately did this, to be rescued in Greek waters and taken to land in Europe, or that Turkish authorities are responsible to make Greece look bad in the eyes of the world.
Greek authorities are assuring everyone that they are following international laws, and not pushing back refugees in the Aegean Sea, when it’s obvious for anyone to see, that they are responsible. But still EU is sitting on their hands, letting this continue, even supporting Greece in their crimes. European values and human rights seems only to apply for European, white Christian people, the rest, they are expendable and have no longer any human value.
How many children needs to die before something is done?, yesterday 7 drowned, is that enough?, or do you need pictures as well?, small dead babies, tangled up in ropes from the life raft, the last they knew in this world was the brutality of the Greek coast guard, what would it take to make you act?, how brutal dose it need to be before you wake up?
If EU had been serious about its values, it would immediately launch infringement proceedings agains Greece, this seems not to be the case.
Our deepest condolences to the families and friends who have yet again lost their loved ones at the boarder of Europe, in pursuit of safety.