Category: Pushback and Human Rights Violations
Number of people: 21-24 (6 children)
We receive information about 21 people, among them 6 children, in distress in the north of Rhodes by a relative of people on that boat. We try to reach the travellers and as we aren't successful, we forward the case to the Hellenic Coast Guard at 01:50 CEST. During the night we call the Coast Guard in Rhodos as well as the Coast Guard in Symi.
We receive a new position from the people on the boat, which show them in Turkish waters. The people tell us that, while water was entering their boat, the Hellenic Coast Guard "tore up" their boat and left them adrift in Turkish waters. We forward the distress case to the Turkish Coast guard who at 05:20 CEST confirm that they are about to take the people on board to Turkey.
Later, we spoke to one of the travellers again, who reported details about the pushback and also slightly different numbers of people:
We were on a rubber boat with 24 people with 3 children and 3 km in front of the Greek coast our motor stopped working. We called the Greek Coastguard and they came. But the Greek Coastguard came and they have beaten us up heavily, took our phones and our private belongings and insulted us. They screamed at us and insulted us: „We don‘t want you here, we get money from the EU to let you drown, why are you coming here?“ Then the Greek Coastguard destroyed our boat and we were drifting and were in big danger. Then the Turkish Coastguard came and if the Turkish Coastguard would have been there 30 minutes later, we would have been drowned and died already. The Turkish Coastguard took us on a vessel, gave us food, water, juice and clothes and took us back to Turkey.