Asylum seekers descend from a large fishing vessel used to transport them from Turkey to a Greek island. October 11, 2015. Credit: HRW
The Action Group for Palestinians of Syria (AGPS) has raised concerns over the fate of 11Palestinian and Syrian migrants, including Palestinians from Syria, Palestinians from the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip, and Syrian nationals, who have gone missing west of the Turkish seashore, onboard a Greece-bound vessel, since March 27, 2019.
According to a Thursday report by AGPS, the names of missing persons 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 (child), Mohamed Nafe’ Taeemeh, and Tareq Balout, all from Syria—figure on the list.
AGPS said that 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.
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, the same source added.
The human rights monitor quoted the refugees’ families as appealing to the concerned institutions to work on revealing the condition and whereabouts of their missing relatives.
Turkey and Greece have served as major launch-off points for migrants fleeing Syria, among other war-stricken zones, onboard “death boats” bound for Europe. Dozens of Palestinian refugees have died on the migration route.