The UN refugee agency is deeply concerned by the discovery of almost 100 naked men on the Greece-Turkey border and has called for an investigation.
“However, we still do not have access to the group and first-hand information about what happened. We understand that the group will be transferred to the Reception and Identification Center in Filacchio in the coming days, where we hope to have access to them. We condemn any cruel and degrading treatment and call for a full investigation,” the statement said.
We recall that mutual accusations were exchanged between Greece and Turkey over the incident with the migrants.
Yesterday, Greek police said they had rescued a group of 92 illegal refugees who were found naked and whom Athens believes had crossed illegally into Greek territory from Turkey.
Today, however, Ankara denied being involved in the incident.
Since you can’t find a single case of human rights violations by Turkey, you are just trying to paint the image of your own cruelty as if Turkey did it, Turkish Deputy Interior Minister Ismail Çataklu tweeted.
He called on Greece to stop “manipulation and dishonesty”.
Greece is one of the main routes to the European Union for refugees from Africa, the Middle East and other countries, although the flow has declined since 2015-2016, when more than one million people crossed the country to other EU countries.
In March 2016, the EU reached an agreement with Turkey to stem the flow of refugees to the bloc and for Ankara to accept Syrians fleeing the war in its country in exchange for billions of euros.
Turkey currently hosts around 4 million Syrian refugees, as well as around 300,000 Afghans. She said she would not accept any more migrants.
In just one year, Greece stopped more than 150,000 migrants from crossing its border
Since the beginning of the year, over 154,000 migrants have attempted to enter Greece illegally.
In the month of August alone, about 50 thousand illegal migrants were returned from the border and were unable to enter the country, according to Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis.
He stressed that he does not want Greece to become a gateway for illegal migration to European countries, reported AFP.
The government in Athens has already announced that its priority is border control and will extend the 40km border fence on the land border with Turkey by another 80km.
With this intention, the ruling Greek conservative party wants to secure re-election in the upcoming elections next year.
The patrols along the Maritsa River, from where hundreds of migrants directed by the Turkish border authorities have entered in recent months, are to be increased, the Greek media reported.
Thermal cameras and an additional 250 border police officers will be deployed along the border.
The authorities in Greece are convinced that the migrants are being used by Ankara to pressure the European Union. According to Athens, these are not refugees from areas with military operations, but economic migrants – from Africa and the Middle East, who are trying to reach Central Europe through Greece.
Source: Archive, EPA/BGNES