We are perturbed and annoyed to once again be the subject of mischievous and entirely untrue claims from the Greek Minister of Migration Notis Mitarachis.
We feel we must state publicly that his comments about Aegean Boat Report, specifically the claim that we ‘work with’ and ‘help’ Turkish ‘people traffickers’ and the claim that we are ‘funded by the East’ are entirely without merit.
They are false.
We do not help Turkish traffickers. We have not, do not, and will never work with or assist people traffickers from any part of the world. The absolute best we can say about Mr. Mitarachis’ claim is that he certainly does not know it to be true (because it is not). In fact, we believe he knows that it is not, in which case what he said was a lie.
We are not ‘funded by’ the ‘East’.
Some of our grant funding has come from within Norway, where we are based. Norway is not ‘the East’. It is considerably further west than Greece, which we would hope Mr. Mitarachis knows. We were also given a grant by a donor in Belgium, and another from the UK. If it helps Mr. Mitarachis for us to do so, we are happy to note here that the UK and Belgium are further west than Norway, which is, as we have ascertained, some distance further west than Greece.
The rest of our money comes from private donations made through fundraising campaigns. These donations have come from all over Europe, almost all of which is also west of Greece.
Both claims Mr. Mitarachis has made about us are false, and it is impossible to believe that he does not know this. Deliberately spreading false information is lying.
Many of you will have noted by now that we were forced to make similar statements about similar claims made by Mr. Mitarachis almost two years ago. As we pointed out at the time, those claims, too, were entirely false.
Absolutely no action has been taken as a result of those claims.
But this deliberate smearing of us as an organisation, carried out simply because we work to expose Mitarachis’ law-breaking which results in deaths in the Eastern Aegean, is a waste of our time, a waste of Mitarachis’ time, and a waste of the time of the Greek public, for whom he peddles these petty, spiteful and baseless attacks.
We must request that he ceases his campaign against us immediately so that we can continue our work, and he can try to do far better than his so far woeful record in his own position.