The boat was carrying 16 people , including those allegedly linked to the Gülen movement, which Turkey accuses of orchestrating the coup attempt in 2016. Six people including three babies were drowned after the boat sank off Ayvalık in northwest Turkey. Nine people were rescued by the coast guard, while one person is still missing.
Via Refugee Support Aegean – On 16 March 2018, a refugee boat sank near the Greek island of Agathonisi. Sixteen persons perished and at least three are missing. The survivors and relatives’ testimonies along with text messages sent to the Greek coastguard point towards a significant delay from the side of the Greek authorities in launching a search and rescue operation.
>From the early days of the tragedy, Refugee Support Aegean provides legal and psychological support to the shipwreck survivors and relatives of those who lost their lives. In this detailed case file, you can see how this tragedy unfolded.
Developments on the Greek Islands
In mid-April, after a court decision, the news that the restriction of movement to the mainland for all migrants arriving on the Greek islands from then on had been lifted made the headlines. Hopes were high of these developments among refugees and their supporters. However, the Greek government quickly issued an administrative decision only a couple of days later, reinstating the former policy, known as the “containment policy” that is responsible for the terrible conditions many migrants face.
Meanwhile, in the four-day trial against the #Moria35 in April, 32 of the 35 defendants were collectively convicted of injuring police officers. The process was politically motivated from the very beginning with almost no proof against the defendants. They were collectively convicted to a 26 months suspended prison sentence, though this penalty is temporarily suspended, since their lawyers lodged an appeal against the decision. V. H., who contributes to HarekAct, drawing on her insights on the situation of refugees on Lesvos and focusing on their detention and deportations, wrote a report about the trial, that we published on HarekAct (in German). Continue reading HarekAct Newsletter V – April, May, and June 2018
Via New York Times [abstracts] – In Turkey, the Coast Guard said that nine migrants, including six children, had drowned in an accident off the country’s Mediterranean coast.
The migrants’ boat capsized early Sunday morning near the town of Demre in the southern province of Antalya, according to the Turkish Coast Guard, which said it had recovered nine bodies and rescued four other migrants. A fifth was saved by a passing fishing vessel.
Via Ekathimerini (15.05.18) – Turkey’s coast guard says seven Afghan nationals died, including three children, while trying to cross into Greece, but that it managed to rescue 13 people from the sinking boat.
In a statement Tuesday, it said a rescue ship and helicopter were dispatched late Monday near the western province of Canakkale following a tip. A half-sunk 6-meter fiber boat was found.
Via W2EU Infomobile – On 24 of April 2018 one year had passed since 22 people among them two children lost their lives in the boat accident north of Lesvos. Rescue teams managed many hours later to rescue two women alive, one of them pregnant in the 8th month.
Sylvie and Joelle and the little girl Victoria, born in Mitilini just one month later, came again to Lesvos to remember this year. Together with the rescue teams of Refugee Rescue / Mo chara and with the activists from Watch the Med Alarm Phone and Welcome to Europe they returned to the place the rescued women and also the dead bodies had been brought one year ago.
Also the spotting teams who still care every night at the beaches to spot boats on the way from the Turkish to the Greek side, Lighthouse relief and The Hope Project, joined the invitation to the three women.
On 22nd of April we travelled with the survivors on the ferry to Lesvos. At the ships restaurant we introduced them and their story to the crew who have been really touched to have survivors on board. Continue reading Memorial to remember victims of shipwreck off Lesvos on 24th of April 2017
A relative of victims in Agathonisi shipwreck speaks at a demonstration in Athens and asks central questions.
Watch the Med Alarm Phone Solidarity Statement with the survivors of the Agathonisi shipwreck and their relatives
On the 16th of March, two families tried to reach Europe through the Aegean Sea, one from Afghanistan, one from Iraq. They left Turkey and swiftly moved toward the Greek island of Agathonisi. But shortly before reaching it, they capsized. A relative of the Afghan family on Samos Island notified the authorities repeatedly, via phone and in person. At that point, many of the shipwrecked could have still been rescued.
Via Spiegel Online (Link in German) – 16 refugees died in the Aegean sea one week ago when their boat was sinking in front of the Greek island Agathonisi, in the largest shipwreck in the Aegean this year so far. On board were two families from Afghanistan and Iraq, many children, including a few months old baby, a total of 21 people. But only three adults made it ashore – all children drowned. Two people are still missing.
Spiegel Online reports in German that now the only three survivors are raising serious allegations, claiming that their families could have been saved. They explained that the coast guard had been contacted several times in early stage throughout calls and text messages. Also a ship had been on site for hours but did not respond to the waving and calling of the people in distress. Continue reading Shipwreck off Agathonisi, Greece: Survivors are raising serious allegations against Greek Coast Guards
Via Reuters – Sixteen people, including at least five children, drowned on Saturday when the small boat they on capsized in the Aegean Sea, Greek coast guard officials said.
The incident occurred off Greece’s Agathonisi island, which is close to the Turkish coast. The nationality of the victims was not immediately known. Continue reading At least 16 dead as migrant boat sinks off Greek island