Migrants have accused Greece of using violence and pushed them back out in the sea to prevent entering their country.

After reaching the Greek Island at lesbos a group of Afghan migrants claims that they have been ineptly tortured, by the Greek authorities at sea. They told the Associated Press(AP) a news agency that their hopes for a new life in Europe were ruined when Greek authorities rounded them up, mistreated them, shoved them into life rafts, and abandoned them at sea.

The journalists of Associated Press were traveling aboard a Turkish-government patrol boat that had been as part of an organized journey. They had spoken with migrants and got to know about their experiences, after reaching Lesbos. The boat had picked up the 37 migrants, including 18 children, in Aegean water on September 12.

©Picture alliance/AA/B.Akay

“They took our phones and said a bus will come and take you to the camp, but they took us and put us on a ship. They left us on the water in a very bad way on these boats.” Omid Hussain Nabizada said in Turkish.

Turkey, which hosts about 4 million migrants, has accused Greece of extensive pushbacks and summary expulsion without access to asylum procedures, which is against the international law. It also accuses the European Union for not batting an eye to what it says is a blatant abuse of human rights. The Turkish Coast Guards says that they have rescued over 300 migrants, who have been pushed back by Greek elements to Turkish waters, this month only.

Greece, located on the EU’s southeastern border, and has moved the pressure of migration flows from Turkey, denies the allegations instead the country, accuses Ankara of weaponizing refugees and migrants.

©Emrah Gurel/AP

In March, Turkey declared to open borders with the EU and to send the refugees and migrants to Europe. Thousands of refugees and migrants headed to the Greek border, which led to scenes of chaos. On the other hand, Turkey’s border with EU member Bulgaria was barely affected. Thus, Greece shuts it’s border gate and suspended asylum seeker application for a month, accusing the Turkey’s coastguard frequently escorts migrant smuggling boats towards Greece, and has provided videos to back its claims.

Human Rights Watch has accused Greece of pushing back the refugees and migrants across the land and sea borders with Turkey. Other rights groups and refugee organizations, including the UN refugee agency, have repeatedly called on Greece to investigate what they say are credible reports and testimony of such expulsions occurring.

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