Category: Pushback and Human Rights Violations
Number of people: 46 (16 children)
On Wednesday the 14th of April 2021 at 09.14h CEST, the Alarm Phone shift team is contacted directly by a group of around 50 travellers, including 16 children, in distress in the Aegean sea north of Lesvos. At the time, their position is in Turkish waters. However, the travellers report being pushed back by the Hellenic Coast Guard earlier.
We immediately inform all authorities about the distress. At 10.38h CEST we reveive an email from the Turkish coastguard, informing us that they had rescued the travellers and were bringing them to Çanakkale, which they confirm to us on the phone.
Later, we speak to the travellers again, and they recount the events of the pushback. They tell us that the Greek authorities had pushed them back. In doing so, they have dragged one of the travellers onboard their boat, beaten him severely and then thrown him back in the water. The rest of the travellers then rescued the person from the water.
Videos and photos shared by the people confirm and complement their story and show a vessel of the Hellenic Coast Guard on scene.