El Pais wrote that the Greek police stole more than two million euros in money or valuables from illegal immigrants who were sent back to Turkey.
El Pais, one of Spain’s leading newspapers, wrote in a research report carried out in collaboration with Greek news site Solomon, that Greek police stole more than €2 million in money or valuables from illegal immigrants returned to Turkey in the period 2017-2022.
El Pais newspaper, in its story titled “Migrants Robbed by Greek Security Forces at European Borders,” reported the experiences of illegal immigrants crossing from Turkey to Greece.
The newspaper confirmed that in the research conducted in cooperation with the Greek news site Solomon, illegal immigrants, various NGOs, foundations, experts and residents on the Maritsa River border were interviewed in the past six months.
The Spanish newspaper wrote that more than 20,000 irregular migrants were returned to Turkey by the Greek security forces across the Meriç border in the period 2017-2022.
In the news that drew attention to the fact that 374 cases were recorded during the transfer of these migrants from Greece to Turkey, it was reported that 232 of them were identified as theft.
“The results of the investigation clearly reveal that the theft was committed by the Greek authorities.” The report used the phrase, “Migrants who enter Greece irregularly, which is the eastern border of the European Union, have no asylum applications or arrest records, and those people who are taken to the police station, military barracks or empty warehouses, are dealt with with violence.”
The report indicated the following:
Before the irregular migrants were sent to Turkey by rubber boats, their money and property were taken from them. According to the data collected, it is estimated that in the past six years, Greek security forces have seized between 2 and 2.8 million euros in funds or valuables such as mobile phones, rings, earrings, bracelets and watches from migrants. If we take into account information that is not registered with NGOs operating in the region, this amount may be much higher.
Looting began as an isolated initial incident, then turned into a systematic tactic.
Spanish journalists asserted that the looting of illegal immigrants initially started as “individual incidents” but later turned into an “organized tactic”, “When you confiscate their phones, you destroy any evidence that they are there. You make their lives more difficult when you take their money. When You leave them naked, you humiliate them, you demoralize them. According to Eva Koss, a researcher with the Association for Human Rights of Greece, this is part of a strategy to deter them from trying again.” he wrote.
Hope Barker, spokeswoman for the NGO Border Violence Monitoring Network, said in her assessment, “We can’t talk about the case of a few malicious people because in recent years this has been a systematic operational practice. Cell phones sometimes malfunction and sometimes they’re asleep, but always What sleeps money. He defended his opinion.
In the information provided, it was also noted that in 2017, only 11 percent of the incidents that occurred during the sending of illegal immigrants from Greece to Turkey were related to the theft of their money, while this rate increased to 92 percent in 2022.
On the other hand, it was reported that the demands of Cuban citizens Lino Antonio Rojas Muriel and Judith Pérez Alvarez, who crossed from Turkey to Greece via the Meriç River in January 2022, were not registered, moreover they were treated badly.
“Not only did the Greek police ignore asylum requests, but they also transferred these people to UNHCR and took their mobile phones and backpacks,” the report said. expression was used.
Speaking to the newspaper, Rojas Morel said: “One day after he went to the commissioner, he was searched again before being illegally sent to Turkey with migrants of other nationalities. The chief of police took my 375 euros and put it in his pocket.” Pérez Alvarez said, “The cops were obviously looking for money. They even looked at my underwear.” He said.
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