Greece must address role in migrant vessel disaster that killed 600: Amnesty

Greece must address role in migrant vessel disaster that killed 600: Amnesty
Greece must address role in migrant vessel disaster that killed 600: Amnesty

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - LONDON: Greece must address its responsibilities over the capsizing of a migrant vessel last year that led to the deaths of more than 600 people, Amnesty International said on Monday ahead of its participation in a European Parliament committee on Wednesday to discuss the sinking of the Adriana off the cost of Pylos on June 14, 2023.

The human rights group previously released evidence implicating Greek authorities and the Hellenic Coast Guard in the disaster, and criticized the government’s subsequent investigation into the incident.

“Consistent and credible allegations implicate the responsibility of the Greek authorities and the Hellenic Coast Guard in the devastating capsizing of the Adriana, and in a deeply flawed rescue response, which resulted in the tragic loss of more than 600 lives,” said Adriana Tidona, Amnesty’s migration researcher.

“Eight months have passed since this preventable disaster, yet the lack of accountability surrounding the Pylos shipwreck persists, denying survivors and victims’ families the truth and justice they deserve.

“There is little indication that Greek authorities learned any lessons from this unacceptable loss of life, as reports of violent pushbacks of migrants at the country’s borders continue unabated. In the aftermath of this disaster, it is imperative that authorities are held to account.”

Migrants from Syria, Pakistan and Egypt made up the majority of the deaths from the disaster.

Amnesty has also criticized Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, over its role in the failed rescue mission.

The EU must ensure that Greece’s border protection is monitored by independent human rights organizations, Tidona said.

“European institutions must intensify their efforts to ensure that any funding for Greece’s migration management does not contribute to human rights violations, and to guarantee that effective and independent human rights monitoring mechanisms are put in place in border and search and rescue operations to prevent further loss of life.”

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