18.6 C
Frankfurt am Main

Pushback cases in Aegean Sea increased by 57 percent in 2022: report

Must read

A total of 988 pushback cases were registered in the Aegean Sea last year, an increase of 57.1 percent over 2021, local media reported on Wednesday, citing a Norwegian nongovernmental organization.

The Aegean Boat Report, which monitors the attempts of migrants to cross the Aegean Sea as well as the human rights violations committed against them, including illegal pushbacks, said in its 2022 report that a total of 988 pushback cases were registered in the sea last year, involving 26,133 men, women and children who tried to reach safety in Europe.

According to the NGO, the number of people pushed back increased by 65.4 percent in 2022, compared to a year earlier.

“Over a third of them, 9,656 people, had already arrived on the Greek Aegean islands, arrested by police, forced back to sea and left drifting in life rafts, illegally deported by the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG), on orders from the Greek government,” the report said, adding that there has been no reaction from the EU on these illegal actions so far.

Almost 60 percent of all boats picked up by the Turkish coast guard in 2022 had been pushed back by Greek authorities, according to the report.

The number of boats that arrived in the islands increased by 164.8 percent last year compared to 2021, with 1,675 boats having been stopped on their way toward Greece and 52,163 people being arrested, the report said.

While 15,225 people were pushed back at sea in 583 rubber boats — engines or petrol removed and left drifting and in some cases even towed back to Turkish waters by the HCG — in 384 registered cases 9,656 people were forced into a total of 575 life rafts and left drifting in the Aegean Sea.

Noting that it is the legal right of people to enter a country with or without paperwork if they intend to apply for asylum, the NGO added that the Greek government has significantly increased the illegal pushback of refugees since January 2020, with some victims stating that they have been beaten by Greek officials before being forced back across borders or into the sea.

“The Greek government categorically denies any involvement in these atrocities, but the evidence against the Greek government is overwhelming, there is no doubt who is responsible,” the NGO said.

Liked it? Take a second to support Turkish Minute on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!
More News
Latest News