Greece Denies Coast Guard Brutality Amid Migrant Crisis

Greece has rejected allegations from a BBC report claiming its coast guard prevented migrants from reaching shore, leading to numerous deaths from 2020 to 2023. The Greek government asserts there's no evidence supporting these claims, stressing ongoing investigations. Relations with Turkiye and migrant safety remain contentious issues.

PTI | Athens | Updated: 17-06-2024 22:13 IST | Created: 17-06-2024 22:13 IST
Greece Denies Coast Guard Brutality Amid Migrant Crisis
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Greece on Monday firmly denied allegations from a BBC report accusing its coast guard of violently preventing migrants from landing on its shores, actions allegedly resulting in numerous deaths.

The report detailed that 43 migrants drowned, including nine allegedly thrown into the sea, in 15 incidents near Greece's eastern Aegean Sea islands from 2020 to 2023. These findings were reportedly based on interviews with eyewitnesses, media, charities, and the Turkish coast guard.

However, Greek government spokesman Pavlos Marinakis refuted the claims, stating, "Our understanding is that what is reported is not proved." Marinakis emphasized that every complaint is thoroughly investigated, and the findings are publicly disclosed. He reiterated that Greece's border forces have saved hundreds of thousands of migrants from perilous sea crossings.

Despite these denials, the country's reputation was further tarnished by a June 2023 incident where a fishing vessel with about 750 migrants sank off southwestern Greece, leaving only 104 survivors. The coast guard's alleged mishandling during a towing attempt was blamed for the tragedy.

The BBC also highlighted a Cameroonian man's claim of being picked up by masked men, including policemen, thrown into the sea with two others who drowned. Another Syrian man alleged similar mistreatment off Rhodes.

Marinakis reiterated the government's position: "It is wrong to target the Greek coast guard. We monitor every report and investigation, but I repeat: What is mentioned in the BBC report is in no case backed up by evidence."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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