Masked guards pushing migrants back to Turkey in Aegean – DW

There is an increase in attacks by masked coast guards, who are pushing migrants back to Turkey in the Aegean sea, according to an investigative report by Deutsche Welle Turkish published on Monday.

The DW report follows a June 4 video, which went viral, showing refugees scream when a boat carrying asylum seekers was attacked by several unknown men in the middle of the open sea.

“Mom, mom we will die,” a young person was heard screaming in the video shared by AlarmPhone, an independent organization that offers an emergency hotline for migrants in the offshore.

The organization is trying to exert pressure on the authorities to promptly take action and rescue asylum seekers by forwarding their calls to the nearest coast guard units.

“There were five masked men. One was steering, two hit us with sticks, and one destroyed our boat and our engine with a knife. The fifth just watched,” DW quoted an Afghan migrant from the boat as saying.

Although DW said the video records were verified, the investigation added that it was “hard to prove” whether the involved men were Greek cost guards, adding however that Greek security forces disregard the safety of the migrants.

“The masked men do not wear uniforms and their boats are unmarked,” it said.

The inflatable boat belonged to the Greek coast guard vessel, which was deployed off Lesbos the same day, DW said.

The United Nations has called on the Greek government to launch an investigation into the incidents occurring nearly every day.