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Greece Accused of Not Rescuing Migrants Stranded on River Islet

EVROS – The Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) said it had asked officials to help 46 migrants, including 10 children, stuck on an islet on the Evros River on the border with Turkey but hadn’t received a reply.

Turkey’s pro-government newspaper The Daily Sabah said the group made the plea but that it was ignored, the area being highly patrolled and where a migrant woman was shot dead recently under mysterious circumstances.

In the case of another group of 37 people, Greek authorities last week said they were unable to locate them and all contact was subsequently lost, the GCR said, according to the paper.

The organization said that it had alerted authorities to rescue at least 230 asylum seekers from Syria, Turkey, Afghanistan and Iraq in the Evros area this year but that in some cases there was no response.

Turkey is allowing human traffickers to keep sending refugees and migrants during an essentially-suspended 2016 swap deal with the European Union, people who had gone there fleeing war, strife and economic hardship in their homelands.

Turkey is holding some 4.4 million of them but many still try to reach the EU through Greece, especially five islands near Turkey’s coast, and across the Evros River region where a wall has been extended to keep them out.

In at least three cases, GCR said it had information that asylum seekers from Turkey and Syria had been sent back to Turkey without being given a chance to apply for protection, the paper also said.

While Turkey has allowed human traffickers to keep operating, there haven’t been any sanctions at the same time the government blames Greece for pushing back people who weren’t allowed to be sent. There was no report Greece’s government had been asked to respond.

 

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