Systematic push backs of refugees at the Greek border 

Pro Asyl’s report “PUSHED BACK” reveals systematic push backs of refugees in the Aegean Sea, from Greek Islands and at the Greek-Turkish land border.

The majority of the victims are refugees from Syria – men, women, children, babies, and people suffering from severe illness - trying to enter Europe to seek international protection or to reunite with their families. While the EU publicly repeats its commitment to stand by Syrian refugees, their fundamental human rights are being violated at the European border.

According to the interviewees’ eyewitness accounts, it can be estimated that over 2,000 persons were pushed back, given the make-up of the groups they travelled with. The PRO ASYL report accuses the Greek government, the border police and the coastguard of these practices, and raises the question of wider European complicity.

Report "PUSHED BACK - systematic human rights violations against refugees in the aegean sea and at the greek-turkish land border" (pdf)

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Greek Coast Guard drowned refugees near Farmakonisi during push-back attempt 

Source: Infowar English version source:
Translator: Eleni Nicolaou

Eyewitnesses accuse the Greek Coast Guard of drowning migrants off the coast of the island of Farmakonisi on January 20th, 2013. 9 children and 3 women died!

As UNHCR reports: “According to survivors’ testimonies, the Coast Guard boat towing their vessel was heading, at high speed, towards the Turkish coast, when the tragic incident happened amid rough seas. The same witnesses said people were screaming for help, since there was a large number of children on the boat”.
International organisations have condemned, several times, the refoulement policy against migrants entering Greece without papers.
Video showing how the survivors arrive with coast guard escort while being in a devastated state

UNHCR has requested explanations in the past from the Greek authorities about the mysterious “disappearance” of dozens of migrants by the Greek police, under circumstances that caused an international outcry against the Greek government.
In other cases, residents of peripheral islands have denounced that migrants surrendering to the port authorities, in order to be transferred to reception centres, never arrive there.
The full announcement of the UNHCR:
“UNHCR expresses its concern for the continued loss of human lives at sea, on the occasion of the incident in Farmakonisi.
A fishing boat with 28 people onboard (25 Afghans and 3 Syrians), including many women and children, was overturned and sank in the early hours of Monday, Jan. 21, 2014, in the sea area of Farmakonisi. 16 of those on board were collected by the Coast Guard. A woman and a 5 year old child were found dead near the Turkish coast, while 10 more people (2 women and 8 infants and young children) are missing.

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12 November 2013

With reference to the report issued on November 7th 2013 by the German NGO Pro-Asyl, titled “Pushed Back – Systematic human rights violations against Refugees in the Aegean Sea and the Greek-Turkish land border”, the UNHCR Regional Representative for Southern Europe, Mr. Laurens Jolles, stated the following:

UNHCR is concerned over reports of asylum seekers and migrants being forcibly returned (“push-back”) from Greece to Turkey, as published by the German NGO ‘Pro Asyl’. The numbers and scale of the alleged incidents, which reportedly also involve persons fleeing Syria, raise serious concerns.


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Dance-Banoptikon performance @Embros Theater, Athens Greece 

Dance-Banoptikon performance @Embros Theater, Athens Greece from Personal Cinema on Vimeo.


The dance group dancevacuum, in collaboration with Personal Cinema presents the performance DANCE-BANOPTIKON.
Concept-Choreography: Vicky Vasilopoulou.
Dancers: Artzi Barouxi, Marianna Kallia, Abdul Nazari, Omar Rose, Vicky Vasilopoulou.
Saturday, 21 December 2013, 10pm, at FREE SELF-MANAGED THEATER EMBROS
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Refuge, 18 stories from the Syrian Exodus 

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Dance - Banoptikon. Dancevacuum & Personal Cinema @ Embros Theater, December 21, 2013 

Photos: Alexandros Manopoulos

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