Greek opposition calls for probe into BBC migrant death report

Greece's largest opposition party is demanding an investigation following a report by "BBC” which revealed that the Coast Guard had caused dozens of migrant deaths over three years, citing eyewitness accounts.

Nine migrants are said to have been deliberately thrown into the water.

Syriza's head of immigration policy said: “We demand an in-depth investigation, we demand answers, we demand accountability.

"We care about all human life and we cannot get used to the loss of human life," said some of the Greek opposition's comments.

Giorgos Psihogios told the BBC that his left-wing party had been demanding responsibility for the coastguard incidents for years, following many reports from international institutions and organisations.

He accused the government, which his party called "anti-Greek", "Erdogan's agents" and "provocateurs" for asking these questions.

A government spokesman insisted that the BBC's claims had not been proven, but stressed that any complaint would be investigated and conclusions drawn.

A BBC team showed footage previously published by the New York Times showing 12 people being loaded onto a Greek Coast Guard ship and then left on a dinghy.

The Greek government has long been accused of forced returns - pushing people back to Turkey from where they crossed, which is illegal under international law.

But this is the first time the BBC has calculated the number of incidents in which casualties are claimed to have occurred as a result of the actions of the Greek coast guard.

The 15 incidents analyzed – from May 2020-23 – resulted in 43 deaths. Initial sources were primarily local media, NGOs and the Turkish Coast Guard.

 

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