Category: Pushback and Human Rights Violations
Number of people: 49 (18 children)
On 1 March 2020 at 3:24h CET, we inform the Hellenic Coast Guard of a boat in distress between Skala Mistegnon and Panagiouda carrying 49 people, including 18 children. The people on board tell us that they were attacked twice by people wearing masks on a speedboat. The masked people destroyed the engine of their boat and took the petrol. They report that the Turkish Coast Guard observed the incident, but failed to intervene.
We inform the Hellenic Coast Guard about this incident at least nine times by phone and email. With no help in sight, the people in distress start to row toward Lesvos with their hands.
At 14.30h we learn that this boat is in the port of Thermi on Lesvos. Fascists had insulted the people on the boat, preventing them from disembarking. A journalist covering their arrival at the port of Thermi is harassed and faces intimidation.
Eventually, the Hellenic Coast Guard pulls the boat toward a different location. The authorities have, over a year later, still failed to confirm the rescue of the 49 people to us.