67 migrants pushed back by Greece rescued

67 migrants pushed back by Greece rescued

BALIKESİR - İhlas News Agency
67 migrants pushed back by Greece rescued

Turkish Coast Guard teams have rescued 67 irregular migrants pushed back by Greece in two operations conducted off the Aegean province of Balıkesir.

Initiating an operation upon notification that there was a group of irregular migrants in two rubber boats off the coast of Ayvalık district, the teams rescued 49 irregular migrants, who were determined to be pushed back into Turkish territorial waters by the Greek forces.

Setting out to sea once again with the second notice, Coast Guard teams rescued another group of 18 migrants in a rubber boat off Ayvalık.

Taken to the shore, the illegal migrants were handed over to the Regional Directorate of Migration Management.

Greece has pushed back nearly 42,000 asylum seekers between 2020 and May 31, 2022, according to a report published by Türkiye’s Ombudsman Institution.

“Some 98 percent of the pushbacks involved torture and ill-treatment, and 88 percent of the 8,000 asylum seekers who came to the Greek border were beaten up,” the report said.

The report stated that 53 irregular migrants in 2021 and 33 others in 2022 lost their lives, either drowned or froze to death, due to pushbacks.

In all pushback incidents that resulted in the deaths of irregular migrants in 2021 and 2022, migrants were thrown into to the sea either handcuffed or without life jackets, the report added.

The U.N.’s special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Felipe Gonzalez Morales, had earlier shared the report saying that “in Greece, pushbacks at land and sea borders have become de facto general policy.”