“Support our demands. Please, don’t leave us alone.”
The survivors and relatives of the victims of the Farmakonisi shipwreck are shocked as Greek authorities closed the investigations on the shipwreck of 20 January 2014, where eight children and three women died. Their vessel sank near the Greek island Farmakonisi while being towed by the Greek Coast Guard, which seems had been a pushback operation in breach of international law. As the investigation into the case has been closed a court procedure will not take place.
With this statement, the family members of the victims, including the surviving fathers and husbands, appeal to the European public. They demand clarification and justice for the dead:
Farmakonisi, 20.01.2014: Why?
We are very sad and shocked about the outcome of the so called investigation. The closure of the file is a slap in our faces.
The public prosecutor put the death of our love ones to archives. But our wives and our children are not a file, you cannot put them in the archives.
The Greek government promised a full investigation. The responsible politicians stressed, that they want to find out the truth. The outcome is a shame and humiliation for us. We want justice.
We demand a reopening of the investigations. The persons who are responsable for the death of our love ones have to be held accountable.
We appeal to the citizens of Europe, to the European institutions Support our demands. Please, don’t leave us alone.
Nothing will bring back our wives and kids. But without a reopening of the investigations and justice, the truth will be blurt and the human Rights violations in the aegean will go on. Many refugees died since the tragic event of farmakonisi.
We want justice.
Please, support us. Leave nothing undone to bring the death of our loved ones to justice.
Athens 31 July 2014
Family Ahmadi Family Azizi Family Safi
Read here background infos in english
avgi (in greek)
Migreurop published in May 2014 their new report “Frontex between Greece and Turkey”
In this report, FiDh, Migreurop and eMhrn present the results of an investigation in Greece and Turkey, which explored the specific nature of Frontex’s activities at the Greece-Turkey border and their impact on the human rights of migrants. By participating in the EU policy to combat irregular immigration, despite numerous reports of human rights violations, is the agency complicit?
read the full report here (in English)
(Sofia) – Bulgaria has embarked on a “Containment Plan” to reduce the number of asylum seekers in the country, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The plan has been carried out in part by summarily pushing back Syrians, Afghans, and others as they irregularly cross the border from Turkey.
The 76-page report, “‘Containment Plan’: Bulgaria’s Pushbacks and Detention of Syrian and other Asylum Seekers and Migrants,” documents how in recent months Bulgarian border police, often using excessive force, have summarily returned people who appear to be asylum seekers to Turkey. The people have been forced back across the border without proper procedures and with no opportunity to lodge asylum claims. Bulgaria should end summary expulsions at the Turkish border, stop the excessive use of force by border guards, and improve the treatment of detainees and conditions of detention in police stations and migrant detention centers.
Continue reading ‘HRW: Bulgaria: Asylum Seekers Summarily Expelled’
The European Union (EU) must sanction Greece for its failure to eradicate the routine and widespread practice of pushing back refugees and migrants arriving at its borders in search of protection, safety, and better futures in Europe, said an Amnesty International report published today.
Amnesty International’s report Greece: Frontier of hope and fear contains new evidence of the ongoing, persistent and shameful treatment by the Greek authorities of people risking their lives to find refuge in Europe. This is in direct violation of Greece’s international human rights obligations. The report calls on the EU to use its power to start legal proceedings against Greece for failing to uphold its obligations.
“The treatment of refugees and migrants at Greece’s borders is deplorable. Too often, instead of finding sanctuary, they are met with violence and intimidation. There are cases where they have been stripped naked, had their possessions stolen, and even held at gunpoint before being pushed back across the border to Turkey,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director. Continue reading ‘AI: Greece: Stop unlawful and shameful expulsion of refugees and migrants The practice of push-backs of migrants by authorities in Greece is routine and widespread’
by Paolo Martino
Saddam, Hamza and Omar have travelled for thousands of kilometers, passing through the wars of Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa and the Middle East. Once in Greece, close to the Europe they dream of, they have to spend months around the port of Patras attempting to board the ferries that cross the Adriatic Sea. The courage they show crossing the sea, however, has no relevance for the Italian port authority: spotted in the harbor during disembarkation, the migrants are forced to return to the same ferry and are immediately pushed back to Greece (technically “readmitted”), in violation of the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.
Riammessi (Readmitted)’s, the new ZaBit, première will be screened on November 14, at 11 am, during the presentation of “Porti insicuri”, report on the readmissions from Italian ports towards Greece and on the violation of migrants’ fundamental rights, organized by Doctors for Human Rights in collaboration with ASGI. On November 14, Riammessi (Readmitted) will also be visible online on the website www.zalab.org.
Watch the documentary “Readmitted”
Efymerida ton Sindakton published today a witness account of one of the Syrians who had disappeared on November 12th in Evros.
Read also respective announcement of UNHCR
We implored them for help, they threw us in the river
by Dimitris Angelidis
International report – catapults
The systematic and extended application of the illegal practice of readmissions has been registered in a series of reports by international organisms and organizations in the last years. Nevertheless the Greek authorities ostentatiously ignore the allegations, creating a regime of impunity which closes their eyes when it comes to massive violations of fundamental rights of migrants and refugees.
According to the report of Amnesty International “Frontier Europe” which was published in July, the Commissioner Malmstrom expressed her big concern for the allegations and stated that if they are proved or continue “it is possible to lead to a suspension or termination of a part of or of all Frontex operations in the Greek-Turkish borders”.
The commissioner could have been more strict in her statements, if they wouldn’t reflect Europe’s shift into a more conservative migration and refugees’ policy. “Migrants who manage to cross the European borders, are often victims of push-backs” reported on Monday three international organizations on a common press release with the Hellenic League for Human Rights, that accuses the EU for promoting practices that penalize migrants and invest in border control, instead of creating reception structures. Continue reading ‘Push-back of 150 Syrians in Evros: An eye-witness speaks out’
by Apostolis Fotiadis
ATHENS, Nov 20 2013 (IPS) – Human rights groups have circulated evidence in the last few days indicating that Greece, Italy and Egypt illegally detain and push back Syrian refugees.
The reports were issued by the German refugee aid organisation Pro Asyl, Medici per i Diritti Umani – MEDU (Doctors for Human Rights – Italy), the Italian human rights lawyers Association for Legal Studies on Migration (ASGI), and Human Rights Watch
Continue reading ‘IPS News: Syrian Refugees Illegally Pushed Back’
12 November 2013
With reference to the report issued on November 7th 2013 by the German NGO Pro-Asyl, titled “Pushed Back – Systematic human rights violations against Refugees in the Aegean Sea and the Greek-Turkish land border”, the UNHCR Regional Representative for Southern Europe, Mr. Laurens Jolles, stated the following:
UNHCR is concerned over reports of asylum seekers and migrants being forcibly returned (“push-back”) from Greece to Turkey, as published by the German NGO ‘Pro Asyl’. The numbers and scale of the alleged incidents, which reportedly also involve persons fleeing Syria, raise serious concerns.
UNHCR stresses the vital importance of permitting people to access territory to seek international protection. If practices to prevent this, which could put asylum seekers at risk, are taking place they should cease immediately. Continue reading ‘UNHCR: Statement about report on push-backs from Greece to Turkey’
Pushed Back – systematic human rights violations against refugees in the aegean sea and at the greek turkish land border
On the Greek-Turkish land border refugees are systematically refouled with brutal, shocking and systematic violations of human rights: ‘When they left us in the Turkish waters they made waves again and six of us – all men – fell into the sea. The Greeks saw that, but they didn’t help, they just left.’ PRO ASYL documents these systematic pushback in the report “Pushed Back – systematic human rights violations against refugees in the aegean sea and the greek-turkish land border”. With few exceptions, all documented pushback took place in the area of operations of Frontex. PRO ASYL raises the question of the involvement of Frontex on the human rights violations and calls: Frontex must end its operations in Greece.
Download Report (in English)
Summary (in German)
German state TV in “Report Mainz” uncovers the brutal methods of push backs Greece is implementing hiddenly on the sea border between Turkey and Greece.
watch the report here in german