Greece: Attacks on Boats Risk Migrant Lives (Human Rights Watch)

By clandestina



(Athens) – Armed masked men have been disabling boats carrying migrants and asylum seekers in the Aegean Sea and pushing them back to Turkish waters, Human Rights Watch said today.

Human Rights Watch spoke to nine witnesses who described eight incidents in which masked assailants – often armed – intercepted and disabled the boats carrying asylum seekers and migrants from Turkey toward the Greek islands, most recently on October 7 and 9, 2015. The witnesses said that the assailants deliberately disabled their boats by damaging or removing the engines or their fuel, or puncturing the hulls of inflatable boats. In some cases, the boats were towed to Turkish waters.

Asylum seekers and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesbos after being rescued by volunteer Spanish lifeguards when their lives were put at risk by masked men in black uniforms in speedboats who rammed into their rubber raft and removed and threw the engine into the sea. Oct 9, 2015.

© 2015 Zalmaï for Human Rights Watch

“Disabling boats in the Aegean makes an already dangerous journey even more likely to result in death,” said Eva Cossé, Greece specialist at Human Rights Watch. “These criminal actions …read more

From:: Clandestine