Over the last three years 54.000 people have been pushed back in the Aegean Sea in over 2.000 cases by Greek authorities, despite the mounting evidence against them, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, continue to deny Greek involvement in these atrocities.
Evidence is recorded by UN bodies, NGOs and investigative journalists. However, Mitsotakis refuted the ever mounting evidence of systematic pushbacks, saying Greece fully respects fundamental rights and doubling down on often repeated claims that such allegations are orchestrated by Turkey.
UN bodies and human rights groups have repeatedly condemned Greece’s illegal practice of pushing back refugees, saying it violates human rights and international law by endangering the lives of vulnerable people, including women and children.
Pushbacks are contrary to international refugee protection agreements, which dictate that people should not be expelled or returned to a country where their life and safety might be in danger due to their race, religion, nationality, or membership in a social or political group.
A concerning trend in Greece of criminalisation of civil society organizations, who continue to expose Greek authorities, and the use of smear campaigns to restrict migrant rights defenders from operating.
So far almost 1.100 life rafts has been picked up by Turkish coast guard in the Aegean Sea, carrying 18.500 men, women and children, who have been illegally removed from Greek islands by authorities.
In January 2023 Aegean Boat Report have registered 66 illegal pushbacks in the Aegean Sea, performed by the Hellenic coast guard, 1.881 people, children, women and men, have been denied their right to seek asylum, their human rights have been violated by the Greek government.
25 of these pushback cases was performed by using rescue equipment, where 583 people, children, women and men was placed in a total of 36 life rafts, and left helplessly drifting at sea.
We have put together a video showing the 36 life rafts that was found drifting in the Aegean Sea in January, carrying almost 600 people.
How this have been allowed to continue for all these years, still ongoing every single day, supported by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency FRONTEX, funded by the European Commission, is reprehensible, these are the “European values” we are trying to protect.
European politicians have for far to long been looking the other way, while these crimes against humanity have been performed in our name, at our borders. They are even to this day, still debating “if” this is actually taking place, and if so, who is responsible.
The “if” and “who” has already been documented and proven without a doubt, the evidence is overwhelming, now it’s time to put the people responsible on trial for crimes against humanity, and restore our good name and reputation, our values.