In detail, the Coast Guard stated:

“The Officers of the Hellenic Coast Guard, as responsible for guarding the maritime borders of Greece and the European Union, operate around the clock with efficiency, a high sense of responsibility, professionalism, and absolute respect for human life and human rights, in accordance with international and EU law.

Their actions in the maritime domain adhere to the country’s international obligations, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS Convention), and the International Convention on the Search and Rescue at Sea (SAR Convention).

Throughout the refugee/immigrant crisis, the Hellenic Coast Guard has rescued hundreds of thousands of migrants. Specifically, from 2015 to 2024, the Coast Guard – Hellenic Coast Guard has rescued 251,543 third-country nationals who were in danger at sea, in a total of 6,185 incidents. The international community has recognised the flawless execution of this noble mission.

With regard to allegations of illegal acts, including alleged pushbacks, violent behaviour, and/or instructions in this direction, we must underline that the operational practices of the Hellenic Coast Guard fully comply with the applicable international and national legal framework as well as with the highest moral duty of saving human life at sea. Therefore, we categorically reject accusations of illegal activities of any kind.

In case of alleged deviations from appropriate behaviour, the mechanisms of internal investigation and disciplinary control are activated, independently or in parallel with the judicial proceedings or investigations conducted by other competent authorities. The Hellenic Coast Guard fully cooperates with these Authorities, providing all available data and information. All complaints received have been evaluated for the sufficiency of their elements regarding the assessment for further internal investigation of the case or not.

Reports, statements, or ‘testimonies’ taken outside the framework of the above institutional procedures lack the necessary impartiality and guarantees of official procedures.

Additionally, we want to emphasise that equating effective border control with ‘pushbacks’ is a narrative that feeds criminal networks that exploit migrants in the worst possible way. These networks apply criminal practices, boarding migrants on overloaded and unseaworthy ships, in most cases without life jackets, during the night hours and under adverse weather conditions, putting their lives at risk from the very first moment of boarding and throughout their journey to Europe. In this regard, journalistic reporting and condemnation of such criminal practices can play an important role in raising awareness in countries of origin and among migrants about the dangers of these journeys, which can lead to tragic incidents.”


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