According to the BBC, Dimitris Baltakos, a former Coast Guard officer, unknowingly left his microphone on while admitting to the practice of illegal pushbacks, which violate international law. This admission comes amidst witness testimonies detailing migrants being thrown overboard.

Witnesses accuse Coast Guard of brutal tactics

The BBC investigation cites eyewitness accounts from migrants who claim the Coast Guard directly caused their perilous situations. These accounts include allegations of migrants being forced back into the Aegean Sea after reaching Greek islands, as well as instances of deliberate drowning.

The BBC analysis pinpoints 15 incidents between May 2020 and May 2023, resulting in 43 reported deaths. In five of these incidents, migrants allege they were thrown directly into the water by Greek authorities.

Government spokesperson defends Coast Guard

Despite the BBC’s report, Mr. Marinakis maintained that the allegations “are not proven.” He emphasised the Coast Guard’s role in saving lives and pointed to successful collaborations with Turkey in dismantling smuggling networks.


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