Asylum seekers descend from a large fishing vessel used to transport them from Turkey to a Greek island. October 11, 2015. Credit: HRW
Concerns have been raised over the fate of 11 Palestinian and Syrian migrants who have gone missing west of the Turkish seashore, onboard a Greece-bound vessel, since March 27, 2019.
The names that figure on the list are Palestinian refugees from Syria Mohamed Marwan Tamim, Mohamed Dhafer AlNajar, along with Raed Mabrouk, Ziad Radi, Mohamed AlHasasna, and Ahmad Sa’id from Gaza.
Four other names—Amar Yaser Amouri, Mohamed Yaser Amouri (minor), Mohamed Nafe’ Taeemeh, and Tareq Balout, all from Syria—figure on the list.
There have been conflicting reports about the migrants’ condition and whereabouts. Unverified sources said a number of migrants have been detained by the Turkish police while others said they drowned off the Aegean coast.
In late April, the body of Palestinian refugee Mohamed Ismail AlBheisi was spotted off the Aegean coast. Palestinian media sources quoted Palestine Ambassador in Ankara, Fayed Mustafa, as stating that the Turkish Foreign Ministry updated the embassy on AlBaheisi’s death southwest of Turkey.
Turkey and Greece have served as major launch-off points for migrants fleeing conflict zones and economic hardship, onboard “death boats” bound for Europe.
Human rights sources have kept record of the death of dozens of Palestinians at sea, trying to reach European destinations.