Refugees fall into the sea after their dinghy deflated some 100m away before reaching the Greek island of Lesbos on 13 September. Photo: Reuters
Dozens of Palestinian refugees continue to risk their lives onboard Greece-bound boats, fleeing war-torn Syria among other tension-stricken countries, a human rights monitor has reported.
The Action Group for Palestinians of Syria (AGPS) said 85 Palestinian refugees from Syria have disembarked on such Greek Islands as Chios, Samos, and Mytilene.
A report published last month by the online news portal of weekly German magazine Spiegel said that Greece deported about 60,000 migrants to Turkey between 2017 and 2018.
"Push back" of asylum seekers is considered illegitimate under European and international law. Governments are required to seriously assess the asylum status of new migrants rather than forcing them back to another country.
Last year, AGPS released a shocking report about a group of migrants who were discovered by villagers in Turkey's northwestern Edirne province in a run-down and naked state, after they were reportedly beaten up and stripped of their clothes and belongings by Greek police.
The migrants, including Yemeni and Palestinian refugees, were found while walking in open fields by locals of Kiremitçi Salih village in Uzunköprü district on the eastern bank of the Maritsa River forming the border between Turkey and Greece. Live snapshots showed all migrants with visible signs of battery on their backs and all over their bodies.
The incident was the latest string of events involving police violence against migrants fleeing war-ravaged zones. Similar incidents have also taken place on the Aegean, where coast guards have been accused of deflating migrant boats and re-routing them back to Turkish territorial waters.
Based on the accounts of the illegally deported migrants, Greek police officers are also accused of confiscating migrants' valuable possessions and torturing them, before pushing them back on the border, in violation of international law.