Migrant deaths last September bring pushback claims to the fore

Migrant deaths last September bring pushback claims to the fore

The deaths of two migrants, from Cameroon and Ivory Coast, last September has brought the issue of alleged migrant pushbacks by Greece back to the fore.

According to reports in The Guardian and Der Spiegel, the two migrants arrived in the eastern Aegean island of Samos last September from Kusadasi in Turkey but instead of being given the opportunity to apply for asylum, they were arrested by people who said they were police. 

They were then allegedly transported, along with another person, out to the open sea by a speedboat and thrown into the water. One managed to swim to the Turkish shores.

The other two men were found dead, drowned, off the coast of Aydin province.

Asked to comment on the issue during a regular press briefing on Thursday, European Commission officials noted that Greek authorities have an obligation to investigate all allegations of deportations and violence against asylum seekers.

The Commission’s deputy chief spokesperson Dana Spinant limited herself to saying that the Commission was in contact and cooperating with the Greek authorities, “both politically and technically” on the fundamental rights of asylum seekers

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