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“Floating wall” to stop refugees puts lives at risk, says Amnesty International

The plans of the Greek government to build floating fences to prevent refugee and migrants arrivals from Turkey have triggered sharp criticism by Amnesty International. A statement issued on Thursday says that the floating fences will put people’s lives at risk.

In response to a government proposal to install a 2.7 km long system of floating dams off the coast of Lesvos to deter new arrivals of asylum seekers from Turkey, Amnesty International’s Research Director for Europe Massimo Moratti said:

“This proposal marks an alarming escalation in the Greek government’s ongoing efforts to make it as difficult as possible for asylum-seekers and refugees to arrive on its shores and will lead to more danger for those desperately seeking safety.

This proposal marks an alarming escalation in the Greek government’s ongoing efforts to make it as difficult as possible refugees to arrive on its shores.
Massimo Moratti, Amnesty International

“The plan raises serious issues about rescuers’ ability to continue providing life-saving assistance to people attempting the dangerous sea crossing to Lesvos. The government must urgently clarify the operational details and necessary safeguards to ensure that this system does not cost further lives.”

Background

The floating dam system is described as one of the measures adopted in a broader attempt to secure maritime borders and prevent arrivals.

In 2019, Greece received almost 60,000 sea arrivals, almost doubling the total number of sea arrivals in 2018. Between January and October, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) recorded 66 deaths on the Eastern Mediterranean route.

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4 comments

  1. “….more danger for those desperately seeking safety” says Amnesty. Is Turkey not safe then? The thousands who holiday there every year clearly think it is! These are not people ‘desperately seeking safety’, these are economic migrants looking to get around the normal immigration rules. I notice that Amnesty have no suggestions on how to insist that other European countries take their share of economic migrants off Greece’s hands, European countries who seem happy to turn their backs and pretend that it’s just a Greek problem.

    • This comment should never have been published! The claim that refugees from Afghanistan, Syria, iraq etc are “economic migrants” is a far right trope and totally unacceptable. The Greek courts will decide who is a genuine refugee, not ignorant commenters on social media.

  2. Bravo Greece, this is a good idea and the only solution to stop the endless flood of masses of migrant men coming to the country and Europe. Turkey is a safe country and thus even the UN regulations do not cover those migrants as being entitled to asylum.

    In these countries there are enough Christians being persecuted, and those only are the ones which would be entitled to asylum and also those would integrate. There is no reason to accommodate those who flee their own system just to impose it on the countries where the go to.

    Every country just like every house owner, has the right and the duty to protect its borders.

  3. The biggest flood is of malakies from uninformed bigots.