The 32 migrants who survived their boat capsizing off Samos last week, an incident in which 22 people lost their lives and another seven have yet to be found, have arrived in Athens.
The migrants, 24 Somalis, seven Syrians and one Eritrean, were transferred to the Greek capital on the passenger ferry European Express. The government has suspended any deportation procedures for the immigrants for the next six months and is set to award them asylum status.
One of the survivors told reporters that the boat the irregular migrants travelled in from Turkey could only carry 24 people but that 60 had been put on board. The Somali man said that he had paid 2,000 dollars to be trafficked to Turkey and then smuggled to Greece.
The migrant said that the man captaining the boat appeared to be drunk and that the vessel started to take on board water after four hours at sea. He added that the Greek coast guard did all it could to rescue people and that the survivors had been treated well.
The European Express also carried the bodies of 12 of the drowned migrants.