In the morning of Thursday, November 10, a boat carrying 33 people landed west of Gavathas, Lesvos north west.
The flimsy rubber boat had started out from Turkey in cover of darkness, 33 people packed into this small boat, people with hopes for a better future, away from war and persecution, to finally be able to be safe, or it was at least what they had hoped for.
After arriving people fled to the Woodson in the surrounding area to hide from Greek authorities, fearing that if they were found they would be illegally returned to Turkey.
At 09.00 they contacted Aegean Boat Report and asked for assistance, they wanted help so that they could be taken to a camp, and be able to apply for asylum, but they were afraid of Greek authorities and Police, since they had been violently pushed back several times in the past.
The group provided pictures, videos and geolocation data, there was no doubt that this group also had arrived on Lesvos.
We provide them with the necessary means, so that they themselves could act, what happened afterwards is not clear, since we lost contact with them shortly after. The last thing they said before they went offline was that they would contact organizations on the island, if they actually did, we don’t know.
Due to the fact that this group arrived on a weekend, means that they would have had problems finding an organization who would respond on the phone, even do they were given numbers who usually works, these numbers are mostly only operational on weekdays, during daytime.
What we do know is that this group never made it to any camp, they were found by authorities and removed from the island. This is what usually happens when Greek authorities finds people who has arrived, and there is no organization to intervene.
At 20.05 Thursday November 10, 33 people was found drifting in two life rafts outside Dikili, Turkey, families, old people, women, children, even small babies was forced into these two rafts without life jackets. [ ▻https://www.sg.gov.tr/izmir-aciklarinda-33-duzensiz-gocmen-kurtarilmistir-11-11-22- ]
From pictures sent to us while they were on Lesvos, we can clearly see that they had belongings, bags. When they were found drifting in the rafts outside Dikili 10 hours later, they had nothing, what little they had left in life was stolen from them, bags, papers, money and phones, taken by the same people who forced them back out to sea, the Greek coast guard.
From pictures and videos received while on Lesvos, compared to pictures and videos from the time they were rescued by Turkish coast guard outside Dikili, there is absolutely no doubt: it is the same group.
For normal people, it’s actually quite difficult to comprehend, that a European country, a member of the European Union, would force families, small children, women, old people who can barely walk, back out to sea in the middle of the night, throw them into life rafts and leave them helplessly drifting. When we also know that these atrocities are supported by the European Border And Coast Guard Agency FRONTEX, and handsomely funded by The European Union, it just gets totally incomprehensible.
Why would anyone do such a thing, and why would nobody try to stop it? it’s not as if nobody knows, everyone knows what is being done at Europes borders, it’s not a secret, not any more. EU border agency Frontex and Greek authorities, has been proven to have been involved in hundreds of refugee pushbacks in the Aegean Sea, investigated by EU’s own Anti-Fraud Office, OLAF, and what has so far been done about this, absolutely nothing.
Since March 2020, we have registered 1.826 pushback cases in the Aegean Sea, performed by the Hellenic coast guard, involving 48.486 men, women and children: 642 of these cases was performed by using rescue equipment/life rafts, 16,754 people have so far been found drifting in 993 life rafts in the Aegean Sea.
Almost 1000 life rafts with families, men, women and children who tried to seek safety in Europe, close to 17.000 people, have been found drifting in the Aegean Sea, and so far nobody has bothered to try to do anything about it, if that’s not deafening, noting is.
Just imagine if just one of these life rafts, just one, had been found drifting in the English Channel, placed there by the British authorities, there would have been a political outcry demanding answers, heads would have rolled, huge investigations would have been undertaken. For the almost 1000 life rafts found drifting in the Aegean Sea the last three years, close to 17.000 victims, not one single official investigation has been carried out, not one.
We all know who is responsible, question is, why is nothing done to try to stop it?