The Council of Europe has urged Greece to stop doing so-called pushbacks, the illegal return of migrants at sea. Athens has always denied returning migrants arriving by boat from Turkey. The Council of Europe, which has 50 member states, works to promote unity within Europe and respect for human rights.
In a letter to the Greek cabinet, the Council’s human rights commissioner expressed “deep concern”. Dunja Mijatovic writes that since 2017 there have been “many credible allegations” of asylum seekers being illegally returned to Turkey or left at sea.
In the letter, sent on May 3 but made public only today, Mijatovic urged “to put an end to these practices and to ensure that independent and effective investigations are carried out”.
Of pushbacks are in violation of international law and humanitarian organizations have been protesting against him for years. Greek government denies having anything to do with it bring back the refugees On the high seas.
Greece’s ministers for asylum and migration, maritime affairs and civil defense now qualify the allegations as unfounded. “The measures taken by the Greek authorities at our maritime borders are being implemented in full compliance with international obligations,” he replied to the letter.
They say Greece has “saved thousands of people since the refugee crisis erupted in 2015 and continues to do so in the Aegean Sea”.