Category: Pushback and Human Rights Violations
Number of people: 6-11
On Sunday the 21st of March in the afternoon, the Alarm Phone shift team receives a call from a relative, alerting us to a group of six travellers who had crossed the Greek-Turkish land border. At 16.12 CET, we send an email to the responsible authorities as well as UNHCR, informing them about the situation of the travellers, asking for their assistance and that the travellers be brought to a place of safety where they could claim asylum.
Among others, we call the regional center for integrated border management. However, all authorities contacted either refuse to share information or report to know nothing about the distress case.
The next day, however, the brother of the travellers informs us that the group had been pushed back to Turkey.
After talking to his brother, he gave us the following testimony about what had happened to the travellers: When my brother was on the Greek side, it was very cold and it rained without end. They waited two days until they were found by the Greek police, most probably in Soufli or another village nearby. I don't know what the place is called. First they walked to the village but nobody helped them and the police did not come either. All of a sudden the police came. Maybe someone from the village called them. The police picked them up and took their cell phones. They took everything away from them and they didn't have anything with them anymore. And then they pushed them to the Turkish side. On the Turkish side, the Turkish police pushed them back to Greece. They were pushed back and forth 2-3 times. And at the end the Turkish police left the scene. There was no more police and then they went into Turkey. They reached a village, took a cab and went back to Istanbul. That was the whole story.