Greece faces fresh calls to probe migrant deaths at its Turkish border
Greece and the EU are facing calls to probe the death of a Syrian man and a Pakistani man at the land border between Turkey and Greece.
It comes after a report from research group Forensic Architecture which described as “highly probable” that the Syrian man was shot by Greek soldiers.
These deaths occurred after Turkey opened its gates to Europe in March.
The European Commission says it’s not its role to investigate but considers that a probe is necessary.
“First it’s the responsibility of the Greek authorities to monitor the situation and to investigate this kind of reports because I hope they are also concerned about this,” Ylva Johansson, EU Home Affairs Commissioner told Dailyrater.
“I am also ready to look at whether we need new proposals on how we can make sure that member states monitor their borders in the right way.”
Athens is insisting that these claims are pure Turkish propaganda and that there is no evidence that Greek forces used live rounds.
“Greece right now is almost the only point of entry after the closure of Libya and Morocco, it’s the only point of entry to Europe for all the miserable people,” Michalis Chrysochoidis, Greece’s minister for civil protection told MEPs.
“When you are talking about deaths, please, the death of someone and most importantly the death of a young man is a very important issue and we cannot refer to that so easily. I heard claims for the existence of snipers but Greek Police doesn’t have snipers, weapons were never used, there were some simple police measures that were used.”
The UN Refugee Agency, UNCHR, is also urging Greece to probe multiple reports of pushbacks by Greek authorities at the country’s sea and land borders, possibly returning migrants and asylum seekers to Turkey after they had reached Greek territory or territorial waters.