According to a comprehensive investigation by The New York Times, a distressing incident involving masked individuals affiliated with the Greek government unfolded, resulting in the mistreatment of a group of 12 refugees from Somalia, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. The refugees left safe Turkey to embark on a perilous journey to seek asylum on the Greek island of Lesbos.
Upon their arrival in Greece on April 11, the group recounted to The Times that masked men forcefully removed their hijabs, confiscated all their belongings, including cash and cell phones, and confined them inside a van for an extended period. Subsequently, the refugees were taken out to sea on a speedboat and transferred to a vessel belonging to the Greek Coast Guard, accompanied by six individuals wearing dark blue uniforms.
The Times investigation further revealed that the Coast Guard boat transported the refugees to the outskirts of Greece's territorial waters, where they were abruptly abandoned on a small inflatable raft. Drifting into Turkish territorial waters, the group was eventually rescued by Turkish authorities. Currently, they find themselves in a Turkish detention center, awaiting a determination on their asylum status. Unfortunately, the likelihood of obtaining asylum in Turkey was reported to be slim.
The Times verified the authenticity of the ordeal through a video shared by Austrian aid worker Fayad Mulla. Despite multiple requests for comment, Greek authorities remained unresponsive to The New York Times. Similarly, Greece's Ministry of Migration did not provide an immediate response to Insider's request for comment.
Naima Hassan Aden, a 27-year-old Somali refugee, shared her harrowing experience with The Times, expressing the group's profound fear and recounting the lack of compassion demonstrated by those involved. "We didn't expect to survive on that day," she said, referring to the distressing moment when they were placed on the inflatable raft.
The incident took place on 11 April, according to the publication.