The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) condemned the Greek authorities’ inhumane treatment of asylum seekers. It stressed that the sinking of boats carrying asylum seekers off the Greek coast amounts to a war crime and violates the 1951 Refugee Convention with regard to the treatment of arrivals in transit countries.
SOC’s member Ayman Al-Asimi pointed out that the Greek security forces are committing crimes against asylum seekers, citing the many reports talking about the Greek coast guard’s sinking of boats carrying asylum seekers, which led to the death of dozens.
Al-Asimi added that asylum seekers who made it to European countries spoke of dozens of cases that were not reported or documented by human rights groups. He said that these painful stories make it imperative that the United Nations and UNHCR assume their responsibilities and take immediate measures to protect asylum seekers and prevent the recurrence of these tragic incidents.
Al-Asimi called on the United Nations, international organizations and the European Union to take immediate, urgent action to rescue asylum seekers and protect them from the Greek authorities’ brutal, inhumane treatment.
Anadolu Agency said that six asylum seekers, among them four children, died when their boat sank off the coast of Ayvacik in the northwestern Canakkale province.
Anadolu Agency cited a survivor as saying that they were intercepted by the Greek Coast Guard in the vicinity of Mytilene Island and that their inflatable boat was punctured by Greek Security Forces, and pushed back at a point close to Turkish territorial waters.
(Source: SOC’s media department)