Pushback after 4 days on Rhodes: 30 travelers including a one-month-old baby left adrift
Mon Jul 27 2020
Category: Pushback and Human Rights Violations
Number of people: 30 (10 children)
On 27 July 2020 at 01:55h CEST the Alarm Phone receives a message about a boat in distress carrying 30 travellers, including 10 children, one of which is a one-month-old baby. We manage to reach the travellers by phone, who tell us they are in urgent distress and send us their position.
We immediately alert the Turkish Coast Guard, who seems to know about the boat already. Only at 3:30h, the Turkish Coast Guard informs us that they rescued the travellers, and soon after the travellers confirm to us that they were taken to Turkey.
We later learn from a friend of the travellers that the group had in fact arrived on Rhodos four days before the distress situation we were alerted to.
On Rhodos, according to this friend of the travellers, the mother of the new-born baby was hospitalised and the doctor advised that she stay in the hospital for at least a week. However, in the evening of 26 July, the group of travellers were told that they would be taken to another location in Greece. Following this, they were put on a bus, driven to the coast and forced to enter a rubber boat, which was then abandoned at sea.