Category: Pushback and Human Rights Violations
Number of people: 22-25 (6 women, 3 children)
We are informed about a boatin distress carrying 22 passengers including 6 women, 14 men and 3 children.
They pass us their GPS-location. We alert the Turkish coast guard who reports that they detected the boat and started a rescue operation. .
Later it turns out that the boat has been attacked, their engine removed, and towed with a rope back into to Turkish waters in an illegal push back by the Hellenic Coast Guard. There they were left adrift. A survivor of the attack reported the following:
On 8th of October we were on a boat trying to go from Greece to Turkey. We are refugees from Palestine and the Gaza Strip. We are trying to flee from hunger, siege and Israeli occupation and no one helps us. With us on the boat there were also refugees from Syria. All together 25 people, among us 9 women and 4 children. We were on our way to the island of Lesvos, to try to find a place of safety in Europe. We saw a white boat in front of us. It was an Italian ship, I think. Someone made pictures, so you can see it. This white ship did not help us. They were standing in distance from us and stayed there without helping us. We called by ourselves the Greek coast guard. When the Greek coast guard came, the white ship went away from us in the direction of Greece. The coast guard approached us with a grey rubber boat. There were 3 men with masks on the rubber boat and others we did not see. They were armed. They asked us to remain silent. They cut off the ship's motor and ordered us again to shut up, and then they came to pull the boat. We were dragged with a rope towards Turkey. Then they left us there. We contacted the Turkish coastguard, so that they would come to take us and also some groups to help us. Then we waited for about an hour and a half at sea before the Turks came. My friends were beaten and had their luggage and phones stolen in the past – you want changes, but nothing changes these days. Our people of Palestine suffer from all kinds of oppression and injustice in our country. So we need to immigrate. Hope the future will be better. We hope that in the coming days, immigration will be more easy.