Athens, January 24 (EFE). – At least 2,157 migrants were forcibly returned from Greece between April 2020 and October 2022, according to the first report of the Mechanism for Registration of Forced Return Incidents, launched this Tuesday by the Hellenic National Committee for Human Rights (EEDA).
The mechanism recorded 50 forced returns of migrants from Greece during that period, incidents described in individual interviews with 43 alleged victims, according to a report presented at a press conference in Athens.
Of the 58 testimonies collected by the Mechanism, 88% indicated the use of violence during the return, and 65% indicated that violent acts were committed by people in uniform.
In total, it is estimated that at least 2,157 people were victims of the recorded events, including people from vulnerable groups, as well as registered asylum seekers and persons with recognized refugee status.
“It is the right of each country and the EU to protect its borders, but there are also international and national laws that must be respected,” said Gianluca Rocco, head of mission at the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Press conference..
EEDA President Maria Gavanel noted that although a mechanism has been created to record testimonies to protect human rights in real events, it is “neither the police nor the judiciary”.
“The final proof of what is happening should be sought by the prosecutor’s office and the court,” he added.
According to the report, most of the alleged victims come from countries with the highest rates of asylum applications, such as Syria, Turkey and Palestine.
According to the collected testimonies, in 20 registered cases, among the perpetrators of return were foreign nationals who spoke the languages of the victims.
Last summer, amid revelations by NGOs and international media about alleged back-flows of migrants by Greek authorities to Turkey, the European Commission asked Greece to set up an independent mechanism to investigate the cases.
Source: El Diario