Greece installs 'powerful sound cannons' to deter illegal migrants

Greece installs 'powerful sound cannons' to deter migrants
Greece installs 'powerful sound cannons' to deter migrants
*Image Credit: Evros Online

In addition to the new border fence in Evros, powerful sound cannons have been set up in Alexandroupolis, alongside the Maritsa river, to stop migrants entering the EU illegally.

According to the Associated Press, the long-range acoustic devices, fitted to armoured trucks, are capable of unleashing a blast as loud as a jet engine over the Turkish border.

They emit powerful sound waves which may cause pain and shock to the human body.

Police Maj. Dimonsthenis Kamargios, head of the region's border guard authority, said: "Our task is to prevent migrants from entering the country illegally. We need modern equipment and tools to do that."

Observation towers are also being fitted with long-range cameras, night vision, and multiple sensors.

However, the European Union has expressed concern about Greece's use of the sound cannons, raising questions on whether the device contravenes the 27-nation bloc's laws on fundamental rights.

European Commission spokesman Adalbert Jahnz said the EU's executive branch will be seeking information from Athens about its use.

"Measures must be proportionate and respect fundamental rights, including asylum rights and the principle of non-refoulement," he added.

Illegal migration flows into Greece significantly decreased from 2019 to 2020.

“From 72,000 in 2019, they decreased to about 15,000 in 2020 and have been reduced to just 2,500 in the first four months of 2021,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said last month.

Minister of Immigration and Asylum, Notis Mitarachi also revealed that the aim of reducing illegal migrant flows into Greece is to end the country being a “gateway for smuggling networks.”

*More on GCT: Overcrowding in Greece’s migrant camps eases
GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.