Footage of the Turkish Coast Guard intervening in an attempt by the Greek Coast Guard to push back irregular migrants has been recorded by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
The April 2 footage captured by the National Defense Ministry shows Greek Coast Guard boats forcing some 20-25 asylum-seekers in inflatable boats north of the Greek island of Rhodes into Turkish territorial waters, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
It then shows Turkish Coast Guard units coming to the aid of the asylum-seekers and bringing them ashore.
Turkey has accused Greece of large-scale pushbacks and summary deportations without access to asylum procedures, which is a violation of international law. It also accuses the European Union of turning a blind eye to what it says is a blatant abuse of human rights.
Pushbacks are considered contrary to international refugee protection agreements that say people shouldn't be expelled or returned to a country where their life or safety might be in danger due to their race, religion, nationality or membership of a social or political group.
On March 3, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said that Greece's practice of pushing irregular migrants back to Turkey amounts to a clear violation of the 1951 Refugee Convention, the European Convention on Human Rights and European Union law.
Most recently, at least three people died and one more was missing after the Greek Coast Guard dumped a group of asylum-seekers into the Aegean Sea, Turkish authorities said last month.
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