November 28, 2022

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- They're throwing us to death

– They’re throwing us to death

Tears roll as Muhammad raises his finger.

– One hour. We stayed in the water for 13 hours. They were alive with me until the last hour. After that I couldn’t do more.

Muhammad tells us about the night on the Aegean when all was lost.

Can you imagine that they died while I was carrying them? I don’t understand why I didn’t die with them.

Because of the high waves We started to swallow water. I managed to revive my youngest son nine times. Muhammad says: I sucked water from his mouth and spit it out.

Little Brother: A newborn Assem started his life in Syria. Here, the eldest brother Abdel Wahab regains health for the first time. Nine months later they were fighting for their lives in the surf. Photo: private, published with permission from the father

Shows how He also pressed the son’s chest and pinched his cheek to revive him. gong on gong.

But in the end, nine-month-old Asim could not wake up.

– They died one by one. My wife and children died just an hour before the arrival of the Turkish Coast Guard. before the rescue comes.

We pay attention to strong impressions.

Because in this video, the dead son of Muhammad is swimming towards the coast guard ship.

Abdel Wahab lived only five years.

Muhammad’s youngest son was nine months old. His wife, Shefaa, 30, also lost her battle against the waves.

Now Muhammad is left without anyone.

– My head is empty. I can not think. All I hear is my family is dying.

The missing: the sons of Muhammad and Asim (9 months) and the older brother Abdel-Wahhab (5).  Game, Big Brother shirt said.  Photo: Turkish Coast Guard

The missing: the sons of Muhammad and Asim (9 months) and the older brother Abdel-Wahhab (5). Game, Big Brother shirt said. Photo: Turkish Coast Guard

It was september 10 Muhammad and his family set out from Tripoli in Lebanon. On board the 15-meter boat were about 80 refugees. Their goal was to reach Italy to apply for asylum.

I took the family with me because I wanted to give them a better future. But now everything is lost

Mohammed

The route across the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece is much shorter than the one between Lebanon and Italy. But Greece has built a reputation for pushing people back to Turkish waters before they even have a chance to apply for asylum.

Will file a complaint: 2 TV interviews with Mehmet (31) via Skype from Turkey.  - I want an interview because I will file a complaint against Greece, says the father of a small child.  Photo: Sonja Skeistrand Sunde/TV 2

Will file a complaint: 2 TV interviews with Mehmet (31) via Skype from Turkey. – I want an interview because I will file a complaint against Greece, says the father of a small child. Photo: Sonja Skeistrand Sunde/TV 2

This is called retaliation, and it is against international law UNHCR explained in previous articles on TV 2.

– She first tried to flee in 2015. Until then she was pushed back by the Greek coast guard and pressured to return to Turkey, says Mohamed.

This time he didn’t want to risk trying the same thing he was traveling with his family.

– We knew the trip had risks, but we thought we’d get help if we had a problem at sea, says Mohammed.

Rota: The goal was Italy, but they didn't get that far.  Photo: Graphics: Magnus Torsvoll Midthun / May Husby

Rota: The goal was Italy, but they didn’t get that far. Photo: Graphics: Magnus Torsvoll Midthun / May Husby

So they took the opportunity on the long road between Lebanon and Italy. But near the Greek island of Rhodes, they had an engine problem and then ran out of fuel.

So they asked for help from the Greek coast guard. When the Coast Guard finally arrived, the crew was masked and violent, according to Mohamed.

They beat us and took everything from us. Bags, money and cell phones.

Read the response of the Greek authorities in the article.

The Greek Coast Guard has denied any knowledge of the case, but Mohamed says he is sure it was them.

– YES I am sure. million percent. They had Greek flags, Mohamed says, and he says he also got to know the Coast Guard from his first meeting with them in 2015.

for several hours Were they on the coast guard ship, says Mohamed. What happens next, none of the boat people have been documented as all their cell phones have been taken from them. But Mohammed says all of the about 80 boat refugees have been forced to board four inflatable lifeboats.

Inflatable life rafts: This photo was taken of a boat after it entered Turkish waters.  This type of raft has neither thrust nor steering.  Photo: Turkish Coast Guard

Inflatable life rafts: This photo was taken of a boat after it entered Turkish waters. This type of raft has neither thrust nor steering. Photo: Turkish Coast Guard

Mohammed and his family are still on the last raft.

– They tried to throw us to death. Put us in the lifeboat. Then they turned their boat around and made waves until we drowned.

Muhammad said that all 18 people on the boat were thrown into the water within two or three minutes.

The waves were high and the water was cold. Muhammad says: I kept my children.

Now the memories are pressing. and tears.

– I tried to keep them above the water. I carried them like that, he says, and extended his arm to show that he was carrying both children in one arm. On the other hand, hang on to the raft.

But the air started out of the fleet due to valve leakage. The boat people tried to hold their breath, but they also had to help the children and others who couldn’t swim.

– In the end, there was only a little air left in the raft. Everyone clung to the area where no air had escaped.

During the night, the other three rafts are rescued By the Turkish Coast Guard outside Marmaris. According to the boat refugees, they are then far from where they originally sank in Rhodes.

Then the boat refugees sounded the alarm about the presence of a fourth fleet of refugees, and the Coast Guard began a search with a helicopter and several ships.

But when the rescue came, it was too late for eleven.

– The first died already after two hours in the water, he was a child, says Muhammad.

13 hours: This is how they lie for 13 hours, according to Muhammad.  Photo: Turkish Coast Guard

13 hours: This is how they lie for 13 hours, according to Muhammad. Photo: Turkish Coast Guard

Only six dead were found. Muhammad said that five others disappeared into the waves along the way.

In addition to his wife and two children, Muhammad lost his younger niece and three other relatives.

Reply is a heinous practice, Tromsøværingen says Tommy Olsen.

Monitoring: Tommy Olsen regularly posts the latest news on the situation in the Aegean.  Photo: Ole Enes Ebbesen / TV 2

Monitoring: Tommy Olsen regularly posts the latest news on the situation in the Aegean. Photo: Ole Enes Ebbesen / TV 2

Since 2015, he has been monitoring the movement of refugees in the Aegean, managing the Norwegian organization Aegean Boat Report (ABR).

General offer to respond An increasing trend is emerging since the beginning of 2020. In August of this year, a new bleak record was seen, according to the ABR.

Olsen explains what usually happens during what’s called a response:

– Olsen says the Greek coast guard picks up people either on land or at sea, takes all their belongings from them and then dumps the refugees into lifeboats somewhere near Turkish waters.

This happened with ofrom 43,000 people For the past two and a half years, according to ABR figures.

Olsen concludes that it is absolutely appalling that people seeking help or asylum in Europe are being interviewed in such a brutal and violent manner.

This is the movie By a Turkish drone and published by Reuters news agency.

According to Turkey’s coast guard, the video shows a Greek ship and refugees with a boat being pushed into inflatable lifeboats. This happened on September 14, according to the Turkish Coast Guard. TV 2 cannot verify this content.

Many other boat refugees I was able to film parts of the response, something that has been frequently posted by, among other things, The Aegean Boat Report.

When the refugees drift by boat into Turkish waters, the responsibility to rescue them lies with the Coast Guard of Turkey.

The wait: the refugees left in the boat to fend for themselves.  Photo: Private Boat Report / Aegean Sea

The wait: the refugees left in the boat to fend for themselves. Photo: Private Boat Report / Aegean Sea

ABR and many international media themselves have revealed frequent pushbacks in recent years, such as TV 2 has said about it earlier.

Turkish authorities also owe Greece extensive use of push-backs.

Anna Korka is Greece Its ambassador is in Norway.

Why does Greece deal with push-backs?

– First, the reply is illegal. Secondly, Greece does not engage in opposition operations, as the ambassador responds.

Greece in Norway: Anna Korka is the Greek Ambassador to Norway.  Photo: Gorm Røseth/TV 2

Greece in Norway: Anna Korka is the Greek Ambassador to Norway. Photo: Gorm Røseth/TV 2

She notes that Greece has received hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers since 2014, and says the Greek coast guard has rescued 320,000 people at sea.

But the use of reversals It has been documented many times in recent years, something TV 2 has said about it earlier. Likewise, Greek authorities have consistently denied that push-backs took place.

Throughout the entire refugee crisis, Greece has been left to its own devices for too long. It comes to a point where you have to control how many people come in. This is why we do legal checks, but not replays, Anna Korka repeats.

– Emphasizes that refugees have the right to protection and that Greece abides by all its obligations.

Greece denies any responsibility for the shipwreck that killed Muhammad’s family.

– Are you claiming then that Muhammad lied?

– I don’t know, I can’t comment on that, Corka replies, and adds:

– the official version For the Greek government that this did not happen on Greek soil.

But Mohammed is sure of his case.

The fault lies with the Greeks. Throw us into lifeboats until we die. This has been fully revealed.

Now he says he wants to fight for justice for the sake of the family.

Justice: Muhammad will continue to fight on behalf of the family.  This photo was taken on my son Abdel Wahab's fourth birthday.  Photo: private, posted with permission from the father.

Justice: Muhammad will continue to fight on behalf of the family. This photo was taken on my son Abdel Wahab’s fourth birthday. Photo: private, posted with permission from the father.

So he asks for help To be able to sue Greece.

– Nobody can make me get my family back, but I hope the perpetrators will be punished. Muhammad firmly says they have sent us to our death.

– I only wish No one else should experience the same thing. I just wish.

Watch the full TV report here:

English copy:

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