End Pushbacks Now
1 March 2020 - 31 Dec. 2021: 7,530 arrivals. 25,544 illegal pushbacks
Four men died on Friday 19 March 2021, as the direct result of Greek government operatives illegally pushing people back from the Aegean islands.
A further three people - two women and one boy - died as a result of the same practice on 30 July 2021, and on 14 September, one young man and a young woman from Cameroon were killed in an incident in which a survivor reports they were beaten and thrown into the sea by the Greek coastguard.
The four men who drowned on 19 March had been set adrift with three others in the Aegean Sea in a life-raft identical to those used by the Greek government for illegal push-backs. All seven had been cuffed with plastic hand restraints.
From 1 March to 31 December 2020, 3,973 men, women and children were registered as new arrivals at refugee camps on the Aegean islands. But in the same period, 9,741 people were pushed back via sea routes in 324 incidents carried out by the Greek government.
From 1 January to 31 December 2021, 3,567 men, women and children were registered at the island refugee camps. In the same period, in 627 pushbacks, 15,803 men, women and children – entirely against their will, and in direct breach of international law - have been forced into engineless life rafts and set adrift (in fact, it is increasingly clear that the number of pushbacks may be far, far higher).
This means that since 1 March 2020, 77.2 per cent of all men, women and children attempting to reach Greece have been illegally prevented from landing, or forced out, without being allowed to apply for asylum. In 2021, that number actually increased, to 81.6 per cent.
It is time for this disgraceful, unjustifiable and illegal activity to end.
We call upon all individual MEPs and all parts of the EU to pay attention to, and strongly oppose, the ongoing practice of pushbacks in the Aegean Sea.
E-mail a letter to your MEP/s to request they campaign to end this atrocious practice - and share this link with your friends!
There is only so much any of us can do alone. But together, there is nothing we can't achieve.
December 2021: 465 registered arrivals, 1,331 men, women and children pushed back. Pushback rate: 74.1 per cent.