Fifty irregular migrants ill-treated by Greek border police were saved by Turkish military personnel on the Maritsa (Meriç) River, Turkey’s National Defense Ministry said in a statement Friday.
“50 irregular migrants who had been maltreated and kept without food and water after their belongings were taken were illegally deported to Turkey by Greek personnel. The immigrants were saved on the Meriç River, where they had been left,” the statement on Twitter said.
The ministry also shared some videos of the migrants speaking of mistreatment by Greek personnel.
Turkey and Greece have been key transit points for asylum-seekers aiming to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.
Pushbacks prevent asylum-seekers from making claims for protected status and, if practiced indiscriminately, can constitute a violation of core European Union human rights laws and the 1951 Geneva Conventions.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) in March stated that reports from 2020 recorded multiple incidents in which Greek coast guard personnel, sometimes accompanied by armed masked men, intercepted, attacked, disabled and pushed back boats carrying migrants.