17/11: 54 people stranded on the Greek side of the Evros river

<b>Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 17th of November 2020</b>
<i>Case name</i>: 2020_11_17-AEG725
<i>Situation</i>: 54 people stranded on the Greek side of the Evros river, 49 people return to Turkey
<i&…

<b>Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 17th of November 2020</b> <i>Case name</i>: 2020_11_17-AEG725 <i>Situation</i>: 54 people stranded on the Greek side of the Evros river, 49 people return to Turkey <i>Status of WTM Investigation</i>: Ongoing <i>Place of Incident</i>: Aegean Sea/land border between Greece and Turkey <i>Summary of the Case</i> At 23:07h CET on the 17 November we were contacted by a relative of someone among a group of 54 travelers. The group were from Syria, Iraq and Lebanon and was stranded on the Greek side of the Evros river. When we spoke to the group we discovered that they had previously been pushed back from Greece to Turkey and then returned by the Turkish authorities to Greece. They were now stranded. They explained that there were 41 men, nine women, and four children. Three of the women were sick as were two of the children. They had no food and they wanted to apply for asylum. They asked us to contact the authorities. Despite making several attempts we were unable to contact the Soufli border patrol police, but eventually we were able to ring the Soufli police department. We passed on the information. We followed up with email in both English and Greek, copying in the UNHCR and other NGOs. We then put out a <a href=”https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1328859628915077123” target=”_blank”>tweet</a>: We received a call for help from 50 people from Syria, Iraq & Lebanon that are stranded on the Greek side of #Evros landborder. They are exhausted & the food ran out. 3 women & 2 children are sick. They want to apply for asylum. We informed the Border Patrol station in Soufli. We called for updates throughout the night but were unable to get any information. In the morning we received an email from the Greek Council for Refugees. It informed us that the border patrol had not arrested many people in the area and that they were going to ask them for an update. Shortly after midday the police told us that they had picked up five Syrians, but we could not establish if they were part of the group we were looking for. Just after 14:00h CET we were able to get back in contact with the group. They had managed to return to Turkey, presumably to seek medical assistance. We put out the following <a href=”https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1329083293833199619” target=”_blank”>tweet</a>: The people told us that they returned to Turkey. The following day we learnt from Greek Council for Refugees that the five people picked up by the border control were in fact five from this group.

This post was originally published on Watch the Med.


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