Athens, January 7, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Olga Mavrou
Greek Coast Guard reacted to Turkish media reports that the drowning of many refugees in the Turkish territorial waters the last days was due to the decision of Greek authorities to send back to Turkish coasts the small boats of the migrants. The statement of the Coast Guard emphasises that “in the area of the tragic incidents, as far as it concerns the Greek territorial waters east of Lesvos, “there were patrolling two boats of Frontex and according to their reports there had no involvement whatsoever”.
The statement also states the fact that everybody must do their best to combat organised networks and prevent the embarking of refugees to unsafe vessels especially in harsh weather conditions such as prevailing at the time of the event. And that in the area of Lesvos last week under especially harsh conditions (winds of 6-8 Beaufort) 2,156 refugees were exposed to mortal danger and were rescued by Greek authorities and Frontex “in a tireless effort to guard the country’s sea borders and at the same time safeguard human life with absolute commitment to legality and in full respect for fundamental human rights”.