The group “Human Rights Watch” accused Greek authorities on Tuesday of violently forcing back migrants who tried to illegally enter Greece from neighboring Turkey.
The organization issued a statement urging Greece to investigate the allegations immediately, Human Rights Watch says it heard about the allegations in interviews with 26 migrants in Greece and Turkey.
They described twenty-four incidents of forced deportations across the Evros River from Greece to Turkey.
“People who have not committed a crime are detained, beaten, and thrown out of Greece without any consideration for their rights or safety,” said Todor Gardos, European researcher at HRW.
“The Greek authorities should immediately investigate the repeated allegations of illegal pushbacks,” he added.
According to the report, all of those interviewed reported “hostile or violent behavior” by Greek police and other unidentified officials wearing uniforms and masks without recognizable insignia.
Twelve people said police, or unidentified officials accompanying the police, stripped them of their possessions, including money and personal identification, which were often destroyed.
Judith Sunderland, the Associate Director of Human Rights Watch, tweeted that “Chances are, even today, Greek police working with masked men will detain, beat, and push back into Turkey women, men, and children migrants and asylum seekers.” A link to video of the incidents is contained in her Tweet below.
— Human Rights Watch (@hrw) December 18, 2018