Syrians accuse Greece of ‘pushing back’ migrant boats
Some of the Syrians fleeing the conflict in their country have crossed Turkey aiming for Greece, in order to claim asylum in the European Union. But to get there they have to take to boats – and there have been persistent reports of Greek officials pushing them back into Turkish waters, sometimes with fatal results.
“Everything we would do for our families and our fathers, we do the same thing for these people. We bury them in the Islamic way,” says Ekrem Serif-Oamadoglou, as he points to 400 freshly dug graves clustered on the remote hillside.
The cemetery is just outside Sidiro, a Muslim village on the Greek side of the Evros river, close to where it forms a fast-flowing, kilometre-wide barrier between Greece and Turkey.
The 400 dead are all people who have drowned as they attempted to cross the river and slip illegally into Europe. It is only here, at the end, that they find friends in Greece, the members of the local Muslim community who bury them.
“They came from places all over the world, but we regard them as brothers,” says Serif-Oamadoglou, the local imam’s son. “They came here for a better life, but unfortunately they were unlucky.
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Category: World News |