People who fetch up at the borders between Greece and Turkey are treated as if they were less than human, in unaccountable operations for which the European Union must take responsibility
|'Attention Frontex: permanent murderers of immigrants'. Flickr / John Georgiou. Some rights reserved.|
At midnight on 19 January, twelve refugees (nine children and three women) drowned during a push-back operation in the Aegean Sea. Survivors said their boat was near the Greek Island of Farmakonisi when coastguards intercepted it. The boat capsized when the coastguards towed it at high speed toward the Turkish coast. Rather than save the drowning refugees, however, the coastguards beat them so that they would not leave the sinking boat.
This tragic incident is perhaps one of the most savage to have occurred at the Greece-Turkey borders (Aegean Sea coast and Evros land/river Region) but it is hardly isolated. UNITED for Intercultural Action has reported 952 deaths at the borders between 1994 and 2010. Since 2010 the toll has increased, with more than 300 deaths counted. The real numbers are probably much higher, because not every case is reported. In recent years most of the dead, among them many children, have been refugees from Syria and Afghanistan fleeing war and conflict.