Deportation Monitoring Aegean hat am 17.06.20 über die Ausschaffung mehrer hunderter Migrant*innen unter zustimmendem Schweigen der EU berichtet.
Since the beginning of March, various organizations working in Greece have denounced the collective expulsions of migrants from the Aegean islands and mainland Greece. Different methods are used: the violent boarding and return of boats which have already reached Greek waters, the return of people who have landed at the shore, the arbitrary arrest and the collective expulsion to Turkey of people already living in reception camps on the continent. In all cases, the expulsions have been accompanied by police violence and impunity. The sheer numbers involved demonstrate the Greek state’s determination to enact mass pushbacks of people on the move. As expressed by Dimitris Christopoulos, president until recently of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH),
“Obviously, these tactics are violating the Greek Constitution and customary international law, yet they seem to be tolerated by the EU since they serve the purpose of preventing further people from crossing the Aegean or the River Evros into Europe.”
This is a visible intensification of the violation of the rights of people on the move, along a path followed by the European Union for several years now, but which has accelerated in all border countries since the beginning of the year. The COVID 19 pandemic provides not only a sufficient smokescreen, but also a perfect excuse for the detention and expulsion of migrants.
Organizations such as Watch The Med – Alarmphone or Aegean Boat Report have been able to record 15 cases of boats illegally returned to Turkish waters between April 20 and June 2, affecting 333 people, including at least 28 minors. However, many of these returns are probably not recorded, suggesting there may have been many more.
Einen Tag zuvor hatte der Spiegel darüber berichtet, dass die griechische Küstenwache Migrant*innen auf der Ägäis auf die hohe See zurückschleppt und sie dort ihrem Schicksal überlässt:
The images show a young man with closely cropped hair and a smooth-shaven face. The motor of the small inflatable boat hums in the background as Naim smiles into the camera. He is originally from the Gaza Strip in the Palestinian Territories, where he studied law and got married. His wife is waiting for him in the Netherlands. Naim blows a kiss into the camera.
The next images of Naim are shaky — a 55-second clip made by Naim that clearly documents a crime. The footage shows him and the other refugees on two inflatable life rafts. The Greek Coast Guard had put them off of the ship and onto the rafts. The square-shaped platforms are little more than wobbly rubber rafts.
In the video, a Greek Coast Guard ship, 18 meters (59 feet) long, is dragging the rafts back toward Turkey. An additional ship stands by. Water can be seen pouring into Naim’s raft.
Then, as can be seen in the video, the Greek Coast Guard unties the tow rope, leaving the refugees to their fate in the middle of the sea. Sitting in a rubber raft that has no ability to maneuver on its own.
It is possible that Naim’s experience could be an isolated incident. It is conceivable that the Greek sailors simply lost their patience or that that particular ship was crewed by an especially nasty group. But that is not the case. Naim is apparently just one victim among many. There is a system behind the tactics he was exposed to. In a joint investigation with Lighthouse Reports and Report Mainz, DER SPIEGEL has forensically analyzed dozens of videos and compared them with geodata in addition to speaking with numerous eyewitnesses.