Category: Pushback and Human Rights Violations
Number of people: 39 (4 women, 5 children)
On 31 August 2020, Alarm Phone is contacted by a boat with 41 travellers, including 2 pregnant women and three children, all from Africa. They get attacked two times at the border between Turkey and Simi, and Turkey and Rhodos. According to a survivor, in the second attack, heavy violence is used, also against a pregnant woman.
The people were panicking on the phone and are urgently asking for help - we immediately call the Coast Guard of Simi and Rhodos. The officer on the phone in Rhodos confirms that they know about the boat and its position. However, they refuse to rescue the people in distress.
We inform the responsible authorities with an updated position and reiterate that the people in distress are urgently calling for immediate rescue. In the meantime, the situation on board seems to deteriorate. The people report that the Hellenic Coast Guard cut their engine and told them "fuck you and go back". Water is entering the boat and they ask us to call the Turkish Coast Guard.
The Turkish Coast Guard announced a Search and Rescue operation. In the meantime, the people on the boat sent us a video showing a boat, presumably of the Hellenic Coast Guard, that points spotlight on them.
The Turkish Coast Guard confirm the rescue and say no one is missing.
One of the survivors details the gruesome attack in the following testimonial: