Greece released a video on Wednesday that apparently shows Turkey’s Coast Guard violently pushing a boat full of migrants toward the Greek islands of the Aegean.
The video was released by Greek Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarakis who claims that it was shot by a migrant who was eventually rescued by the Greek Coast Guard.
As can be seen in the video, the boat is full of migrants shouting and pleading with officers aboard the vessel of the Turkish Coast Guard, some of whom are using sticks to push the migrants away.
Mitarakis did not reveal where and when the incident occurred.
Footage from Turkish coastguard violently pushing forward migrants to Greece, in violation of international law and the EU joint statement. This video was filmed by a refugee who was saved by 🇬🇷. It is further proof of the instrumentalization of migration flows by 🇹🇷 #migration pic.twitter.com/sXG74VxBYo
— Νότης Μηταράκης – Notis Mitarachi (@nmitarakis) October 5, 2022
Mitarakis said the incident shows Turkey’s disrespect for international law and the agreement between the EU and Ankara signed in March 2016, which among other things, stipulates that Turkey would take any measures necessary to stop people traveling irregularly from Turkey to the Greek islands.
“This is further proof of the instrumentalization of migration flows by Turkey,” said the minister.
Turkey accusing Greece of migrant mistreatment is “preposterous”
In September, Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis responded to accusations made against Greece by Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan during a speech at the UN General Assembly during which he said that Greece commits crimes against humanity in its treatment of migrants and refugees who try to cross the Aegean Sea.
Mitsotakis explained that Greece has rescued tens of thousands of people who were at risk at sea while defending its borders as it is obligated to do but also respecting fundamental human rights.
He underlined that “accusing Greece of crimes against humanity on the question of migration is simply preposterous,” and added that it is Turkey that has been “weaponizing migrants, very openly and very publicly” for the last two years, pushing them toward the borders of Greece and Europe.
Greece has been accused by international bodies and media of conducting an illegal policy of migrant pushbacks, an allegation that Greece has persistently denied.
In March 2022, a months-long investigation by Greece’s national transparency watchdog found no basis for reports of migrant pushbacks by Greek authorities.
In a statement, the independent National Transparency Authority (NTA) said the allegations of what it called “informal forced returns” of asylum seekers by masked men “were not confirmed.”
“Upon completion of the examination process and the laboratory examination of the relevant material, no supporting evidence emerged,” the statement added.
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