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Greek PM says migrant ‘push back’ inquiry underway, AFP reports

May 24, 2023 at 8:43 pm

Leader of the ruling New Democracy (ND) party and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis arrives at the headquarters in Athens after preliminary official results released on May 21, 2023, Greece [Ayhan Mehmet – Anadolu Agency]

The Greek government is investigating claims of migrant push backs at the Aegean Sea following the emergence of video footage showing Greek coastguard units forcefully putting migrants on a black inflatable life raft and setting them adrift, Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis said, AFP reports.

According to the report, the footage, published Friday by The New York Times, shows what appear to be masked men on April 11 accosting migrants — including a baby — who had arrived in Greece by boat and bundling them in a van.In the video, the migrants are then taken out into the Aegean Sea, transferred to an inflatable raft and set adrift.

Turkish coast guard boats are seen rescuing them around an hour later, AFP added.

The report says the UN High Commission on Human Rights and the EU Home Affairs Commissioner, Ylva Johansson, have demanded a full investigation.

The Greek government has rejected the accusations, and Mitsotakis said that what was shown in the video was “completely unacceptable practice”.

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