The Greek coast guard said it rescued more than 100 migrants near the island of Kos in the Aegean Sea on Saturday, May 8. In total, 106 people were brought ashore, including 14 women and 20 children.
In a statement on Sunday, May 8, the Greek coast guard said it had rescued 106 migrants in the Aegean Sea late on Saturday evening. The migrants were discovered "not far from the Turkish coast," reported the French news agency Agence France Presse (AFP), near the Greek island of Kos.
The migrants are reported to be from several different countries, said the Greek coast guard, without specifying which these might be. No one is missing, the coast guard added.
Half-sunken sailing boat
Those rescued had been on board a sailing ship when it sank late on Saturday evening, reported the German news agency dpa. That news agency added that the migrants are thought to be from "various Asian and North African countries," and that there were "20 minors" on board who had been taken to the registration center on the island of Kos. The Greek coast guard said all were healthy, reported the Greek City Times.
According to reports on Greek state radio, the migrants said they had set off from the Turkish resort city of Bodrum, famous for its beaches and nightlife. This is the first large group to have made the crossing by sea in several months, added dpa.
Allegations of pushbacks
In recent months, the Greek coast guard has stepped up patrols of the sea and most of the arrivals in Greece have made it over the land and river border with Turkey at Evros. Greece has also been repeatedly accused of operating illegal pushbacks at sea, including taking migrants who may already have arrived on an island and putting them to sea in life rafts, or forcing them to swim.
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These are charges that the Greek authorities have repeatedly denied. They also say they have conducted independent investigations into some of these allegations and found no evidence to support the charges.
However, human rights groups, and even the European anti-fraud agency OLAF have continued to question the treatment of some migrants and asylum seekers in Greece.
With AFP and dpa