Category: Pushback and Human Rights Violations
Number of people: 9
In the night from 9 to 10 September 2020, we receive a call from a relative of someone in a boat in distress in the Aegean Sea, reportedly in the area around Chios island. We are not able to establish direct contact with the group on the boat during the night and cannot verify the distress.
At 8:00h CET, we finally manage to speak with one of the travellers. He explains that the group has been pushed back by the Hellenic Coast Guard and is now detained in Izmir. They lost everything in the pushback including their phones.
Days later he gives us the following testimony:
The crazy thing was that when you heard from us on 9 September, we had spent already 4 days at sea. It was 4 days before that the Greeks attacked us. They took us to their big boat and we slept 4 days on that big Greek ship. We were brought inside the ship and they kept us inside the whole time. They did not give us any food only water from time to time and they locked us inside. We stayed all together in one room inside the ship. On the fourth day, they put us onto a life-raft and left us at the sea. I don’t know why they kept us for so long before they did this. I am stuck in Turkey since 2 years. It was not my first try to get out of Turkey, but all the many times before it was already the Turkish police on land or the Turkish coastguard at sea who stopped us. It was the first time that I managed to go ‘till Greek waters. And this time it was Greek people to take us and to send us back again. We are going to be crazy, the life as a black person here is too hard. We have to work for many hours and for money that we cannot survive with. We are stuck, because we come too late, now that every way is closed for us. If my testimony can help that maybe one day justice can come, then I will be very excited.