Freedom News

Illegal pushbacks cause more Aegean deaths

The bodies of three people have been recovered following the sinking of a migrant boat off the coast of the Greek island of Symi. So far, it seems that one woman and seven men were saved. The search continues.

Aegean Boat Report has published a disturbing video showing a pushback carried out by masked Greek coastguards on 24th September. Having approached the rubber dinghy, they removed the petrol tanks, leaving the boat with no fuel. They then left the boat to drift back to Turkey. No one on the boat had life jackets. One woman on the video cries out as the coastguard vessels abandon them: “We have children, pregnant women. They just took the fuel, took everything and left.”

Another video shows a pushback on 6th October to a group of 47 people from Afghanistan. This time, the group were taken on board, taken back into Turkish waters and forced into two life rafts. In the distressing video, you can hear children screaming and crying with fear. The Greek coastguards are committing crimes daily and have never been held accountable.

“It’s actually an incredible achievement, 2.600 registered pushback cases since March 2020 in the Aegean Sea, involving over 70.000 people, and Frontex, with all its technology and resources, has never seen or reported any illegal activities by Greek authorities; it’s just unbelievable.”

~ Aegean Boat Report


These two groups of people survived the ordeal, which completely violates the human rights of those on board. Many will try to make another journey, risking their lives again to reach safety. Some might not make it. This does not seem to concern the masked crew of the coastguard vessel, nor Frontex, nor the Greek government nor any of the EU member states.

This article first appeared in Are You Syrious?

Image: Still from a video shared by Aegean Boat Report of an illegal pushback conducted by the Greek coastguard, recorded in the Aegean in September.

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