BBC Investigation: Greek Coast Guard Actions Linked to Migrant Deaths

BBC Investigation: Greek Coast Guard Actions Linked to Migrant Deaths

BBC Investigation: Greek Coast Guard Actions Linked to Migrant Deaths

A recent BBC investigation has revealed alarming allegations against Greek authorities in the Mediterranean, suggesting their involvement in the deaths of dozens of migrants. The report, released on June 17, documented gripping narratives from asylum seekers and witness testimonies, painting a grim picture of the Greek coast guard’s actions.

Findings of the BBC Investigation

The BBC report and accompanying documentary, “ Dead Calm: Killing in the Med?” underscore several disturbing incidents. Allegations range from masked men abducting and throwing migrants into the sea to Greek authorities forcing asylum seekers and their children onto rafts and abandoning them in open waters. In total, the report attributes 43 deaths to the Greek authorities, accusing them of both direct violence and negligence.

    The documentary focuses on a tragic migrant ship disaster off the coast of Greece on June 18, 2023. Over 600 migrants drowned when their vessel capsized. Witnesses and court documents suggest the vessel may have sunk after Greek special forces attempted to tow it out of Greek waters. While some migrants blame traffickers for the disaster, many also accuse Greek forces of contributing to the vessel’s capsizing and subsequent abandonment of survivors.

Greek Government and Coast Guard Reactions

The Greek authorities have strongly disputed these allegations. A government spokesperson dismissed the BBC’s claim as unproven but assured that every complaint would be reviewed. The spokesperson stressed the coast guard’s efforts, stating they “save dozens of human lives every day” and criticized the targeting of the coast guard in these allegations.

   Conversely, Greece’s main opposition party has demanded a thorough investigation following the report. The party’s immigration policy chief underscored that calls for accountability from the coast guard have persisted for years.

Migrant Arrivals and Deaths in the Mediterranean

Greece has been a significant entry point for migrants attempting to reach Europe, with thousands arriving each year. The journey across the Mediterranean remains perilous, with many migrants facing deadly conditions. In 2023 alone, over 600 migrants drowned in a single incident off the Greek coast, highlighting the ongoing Migrant crisis.

Europe’s Migrant Crisis

The European migrant crisis has seen millions of people fleeing conflict, persecution and poverty in search of a better life. The Mediterranean has been a central route of these journeys, often resulting in tragic outcomes. Human rights groups have long accused Greece and other European countries of violating international and EU laws that guarantee asylum rights.

   The BBC report sheds light on the broader issue within Greek authorities’ handling of migrants. A particularly chilling account involved a Syrian refugee whose boat called for help after stalling. Instead of rescuing them, the Greek coast guard allegedly placed the refugees on a raft with the leaking valve, which eventually sank, killing eight children.

Calls for Accountability

The BBC investigation also featured a former Greek coast guard senior officer reacting to a video showing migrants, including children, being forced onto a small raft and abandoned at sea. While initially denying the allegations, the officer privately admitted that such actions were “obviously illegal” and “an international crime.”

   The report has intensified calls for accountability and transparency regarding the treatment of migrants by Greek authorities. As the international community watches closely, the Greek government faces increasing pressure to address these serious allegations and ensure the protection of human rights for all migrants.

The BBC investigation has started a notable clamor and underscored critical issues in the handling of migrants by Greek authorities. While the Greek government maintains its stand, the demand for thorough investigations and accountability continues to grow, echoing the broader challenges of the European migrant crisis.

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About Wrighter

Wrighter covers news across the global on Human Rights, Migrants Rights, and Labor Rights. Wrighter has vast experience in writing and is a doctor by profession.

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