Another refugee boat with 15 passengers got lost only three months after the tragedy that cost the lives of 21 refugees in December of last year on Lesvos island. Eight Syrian refugees a lost in the sea between Turkey and Lesvos. Six corpses were already found on the coast of the island. Relatives have arrived to look out for their beloved. One 17-year-old pregnant woman from Syria has been already recognised.
Last Friday the Greek coast guard had found already three of the corpses – of one woman and two children near Eressos beach. It seems the small boat got in distress only a few days earlier while the corpses were brought to the coast by the strong winds of the days. Saturday afternoon relatives of lost refugees reported to the police of Lesvos the disappearance of eight Syrians (two men, a woman, two minors and three children). They had started their dangerous journey in Dikili in Turkey but they never arrived. On Sunday another three corpses were found. Unfortunately the corpses are not to be recognised anymore since they were many days in the sea.
Meanwhile refugees continue to arrive on the island. On Monday 63 refugees were arrested my LEsvos police. Another 16 Afghans had spent some nights in the park of Mytilini city since the police was denying to register / arrest them. The local solidarity network “The village of all-together” supplied the homeless refugees with blankets, clothes and food.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL – PRESS RELEASE
20 March 2013
Refugees dying on dangerous routes to asylum in Europe
In a case highlighting the risks people take when fleeing conflict in their countries to seek refuge in Europe, the authorities of Lesvos continue their search for the bodies of asylum-seekers who had attempted to reach the Greek island.
Since last Friday, they have found the bodies of six Syrian nationals including a 17-year-old pregnant woman and a mother with her young children. They are now searching for the bodies of three more Syrian nationals whose families had reported missing to the island authorities after the nine attempted to cross from Turkey on 6 March 2013.
Lesvos is one of the main crossings for migrants and refugees trying to enter the European Union via the Greek mainland. Last December, 21 people (mostly Afghans) drowned close to the shores of the island, after the boat they were in capsized.
Since last summer, people fleeing the conflict in Syria have featured among those attempting the crossing, including many families with young children.
“As Greece is tightening the border controls in Evros, including the completion of a 10.5km fence last December, people take more and more dangerous routes. This was a tragedy waiting to happen,’’ said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Director of the Europe and Central Asia Programme.
“It is vital that the Greek authorities ensure protection to all asylum-seekers reaching the country. Instead, the Greek asylum system is grossly failing them. People who flee conflict, including many Syrians and Afghans who make it to the shores of Lesvos, are detained in police stations in overcrowded and poor conditions or in many cases left destitute to sleep in the streets.’’
“The Greek authorities should also take urgent measures to improve the reception conditions of those arriving at its shores and end the detention of asylum-seekers. In addition, Syrian nationals with no papers fleeing the conflict, must not be detained or issued with deportation orders and the authorities should proceed with a fair and effective examination of their asylum claims.”
“It is very painful to watch the same tragedy repeating in the shores of our own island,” said Efi Latsoudi, a local activist and member of the ‘Village of altogether’ – an initiative run by of volunteers who step in when state support for refugees and migrants is not available.
The bodies of 21 migrants were found on a beach on the Aegean island of Lesbos, December 15, 2012, after the sinking of their boat. A young Afghan of 16 years, one of only two survivors indicated that the boat had left the coast of Turkey, had thirty
people aboard, mostly Afghans, when it capsized because of bad weather. Efi Latsoudi, resident and volunteer Mytilene the charity Â« To Chorio tou Oloi Mazi Â», which helped the families of the victims in their efforts, discusses the moments of this drama, and the obstacles, and indifferenceof the authorities.
Continue reading ‘Snapshots of a human tragedy that continues, by Efi Latsoudi’
On January 21st, 2013 nine Afghans were found in the region of Mandra, Didimotixos in Evros (five women, two minor boys and one minor girl with one man). One of the minors – a 16-year-old – had died. Some of the arrested had to be transferred to the hospital, the rest of them was brought to detention.
The first two corpses were found on Sunday 13th of January at 9 o ‘clock in the morning by fishermen in two different beaches of the island Chios. A third corpse was found by the coast guard around 2pm at yet another beach. According to first information by the Coroner the persons died of drowning within the last 48 hours before being found.
At the meantime on Saturday 12th of January three migrants were found alive on the island Panagia Oinousson inside fish cages. They are from Palestine and Iran. As two of them reported they had tried to reach Chips island from Cesme in turkey in the night of Thursday. Their boat turned around and they swam for more than 10 hours to reach the island. It is yet unknown if there were more persons inside the same boat.
The interview was held by Ilias Maravas for EPA Aigaiou
I remember that I arrived at the shore. I looked for them but I couldn’t find anyone. Then I remember that I woke up in the hospital.
The only survivor of the refugee tragedy of Friday near Lesvos island is a 16-year-old from Bamiyan in Afghanistan. He had entered a dinghy with 28 other Afghans on Friday when after one hour the dinghy started getting into distress and water entered the boat. It turned around and they all fell into the sea.
Continue reading ‘Accounts of the only survivor of the ship tragedy nearby Lesvos on Friday 14th’
On Saturday 15th December in the early morning hours the coast guard found 18 corpses of migrant men and one survivor in Thermi, Lesvos. Until now 21 corpses have been found, two persons have survived (one is in Mytilini and one in Turkey) and seven are still missing. The survivor found first on the Greek side informed the authorities that they had started with a ship of 30 migrants from Turkey which capsized on Friday. the authorities try to locate the rest of the migrants in the sea now – among them two women and two children.
Only one 16-year-old survivor has been plucked out of the water and was hospitalised in the island capital Mytilene and another 17-year-old on the Turkish side. The young boy found in the sea near Lesvos told investigators most of those on board the boat which also carried women and children were from Afghanistan with only two persons from Turkey. Greek public television Net said two women and two children had been among the passengers. The group set sail from the western coast of Turkey on Thursday but ran into bad weather that sank their boat during the night, about two miles off Lesvos.
UPDATE: Two of the corpses were recognised by relatives living in Greece and Sweden respectively. One of the is a 17-year-old whose cousin came to recognise him from Naxos where he is living and the other is a 42-year-old whose brother came from Sweden to check for his whereabouts. Through the recognition of the 17-year-old it became known that there has been found another survivor on the Turkish side. The young survivor found in Lesvos left hospital on Tuesday 18 and was transferred to the detention cells of the coast guard.
Read the Press Release of MSF Mission on Lesvos:
Greece: MSF raises concerns after boat tragedy in Lesvos
Date Published: 19/12/2012 11:10
On the dawn of Friday 14th December, a boat sank near the coast of the Greek island of Lesvos where Médecins Sans Frontières/ Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has been providing medical and relief assistance to newly arrived migrants and refugees since October. It is believed that 28 migrants were on board. The death toll has so far risen to 21 while the coast guard is still looking for six missing people. There is only one survivor so far, an 18 year old male.
Continue reading ’21 dead migrants found on Lesvos Islands’ coast, two survivors – the rest still missing!’
At least 61 sans-papiers died when their ship sank near by the coast of Izmir, Turkey. More than 100 persons were trying to reach the Greek coast on that ship but they came into distress at sea in only 50 metres distance from the turkish coast. The fishing boat they were in struck some rocks and began taking on water, sinking soon afterwards. Among the passengers there were reportedly mainly refugees from Syria, Iraq and Kurdistan while the majority were women and children. 43 of them could be saved until now and 61 were found dead (among the dead are at least 20 children).
Migrant deaths in the Mediterranean
by Human Rights Watch
AUGUST 16, 2012
The mothers of young Tunisian men who disappeared without a trace after setting off in early 2011 on the dangerous voyage across the Mediterranean are still searching for their loved ones. In meetings with Tunisian and Italian officials, they are asking for help and for the truth. As one mother who travelled to Italy explained, “If I can’t find my own son, I will find at least one son. I want to be told what happened to them.” They hope their sons arrived safely, but the reality is that they may be among the thousands who have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean.
Continue reading ‘HRW releases briefing paper “Hidden Emergency: Migrant deaths in the Mediterranean”’