Greek PM denies refugee pushback claims

The New York Times on August 14 said Greece was “abandoning” migrants at sea for the Turkish coast guard to rescue. (File/AFP)
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Updated 20 August 2020

Greek PM denies refugee pushback claims

  • Based on its research, the Times said more than 1,000 asylum seekers had been “dropped at sea” since March
  • Rights groups including the UN refugee agency have repeatedly called on Greece to investigate pushback claims

ATHENS: Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has denied renewed claims of illegal pushbacks of asylum-seekers at sea and accused Turkey of peddling “misinformation” about his country’s “tough but fair” border management.
“If there’s any incident that needs to be explored, if there’s any exaggeration at any given point, I’m going to be the first to look into it,” Mitsotakis told CNN late Wednesday.
“Greece is a country that respects the rule of law, we’ve granted asylum to tens of thousands of people,” the PM said.
The New York Times on August 14 said Greece was “abandoning” migrants at sea for the Turkish coast guard to rescue.
It said it had interviewed survivors from five such episodes, and cited additional evidence from independent watchdogs, two academic researchers and the Turkish coast guard.
Based on its research, the Times said more than 1,000 asylum seekers had been “dropped at sea” since March.
Mitsotakis said the reports “essentially originate from Turkey.”
“Some of these reporters who do these types of exploratory journalism should be more careful in checking their sources,” he said.
“These types of reports are also an insult to our coast guard (which) has saved literally tens of thousands of refugees and migrants at sea, and our islands have always provided shelter to those in greater need,” Mitsotakis said.
Rights groups including the UN refugee agency have repeatedly called on Greece to investigate pushback claims.
Athens has repeatedly denied it is illegally sending back asylum seekers.


Bomb kills two policemen in Afghan capital

Updated 16 January 2021

Bomb kills two policemen in Afghan capital

  • Two policemen were killed and one wounded
  • The two warring sides are currently in the Qatari capital Doha discussing the agenda items of the talks

KABUL: A roadside bomb targeting a police vehicle in the Afghan capital killed two policemen Saturday, officials said, as violence continues unabated in Afghanistan despite peace talks between the Taliban and government.
The vehicle carrying the policemen was struck by the bomb in the center of the capital on the road to the prestigious Kabul University, police spokesman Ferdaws Faramarz said.
Two policemen were killed and one wounded, Faramarz said.
Violence has surged across the country in recent months, especially in Kabul which is also rocked by a new trend of targeted killings that has sown fear in the city.
The bloodshed comes even as the Taliban and government negotiators engage in peace talks to end the nearly two decade war in the country.
The two warring sides are currently in the Qatari capital Doha discussing the agenda items of the talks.