Migrants: three freeze to death at Turkey-Greece border

Friend denounces, 'forced to go back by Greek police'

04 December, 12:28

    ISTANBUL - The bodies of three migrants, who are believed to have frozen to death, were found in three villages of the north-western Turkish province of Edirne, at the border with Greece. At least one of them, an Afghan national, is believed to have died after he was forced to go back to Turkey by Greek border police, according to another migrant quoted by Turkish media.
    The witness, identified as 29-year-old Jamalvddin Malangi, said he crossed the Evros river (Meric in Turkish) at the border between the two countries with one of the victims.
    After travelling to a border village to ask for help, the migrants were reportedly stopped by Greek police and sent back on a boat along the same river, according to his testimony. Such a practice would be illegal and in violation of migrants' rights, even if they don't have regular documents. Turkish media denounced last year some 4,000 similar cases but authorities in Athens have denied the charges.
    The bodies - retrieved in the villages of Serem, Akcadam and Adasarhanli - were sent to the Institute of forensic medicine in Istanbul for an autopsy.
    The border between Turkey and Greece has been at the center of one of the main routes used by migrants travelling from the east to Europe.
    In the first 10 months of the year, Ankara apprehended 59,675 people who were trying to cross the border without documents.
    Most of them were from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Iraq.

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