The migration crisis is a huge problem not only for Europe, but also for Turkey and Greece.
While migrant camps on the Aegean islands have reached a critical point and Turkey is threatening to “open the gates”, migrants continue to arrive in Greece hundreds every week. Many claim that they are subjected to brutal and illegal treatment by authorities at the border.
Since mid-2017, there have been reports of violence and illegal activities by some Greek authorities against migrants crossing the Evros River. These include allegations that migrants were arrested, beaten, robbed, detained and forcibly returned or “ousted” to Turkey.
Migrants are not welcome here.
Despite the policies of the European states aimed at improving relations with migrants, as well as providing them with shelters and benefits, the population does not always like what is happening, therefore some kind of society is created that decides to take everything into their own hands.
It is unclear who is forcibly sending back because they often wear masks and cannot be easily identified. The Greek League for Human Rights (HLHR) and Human Rights Watch characterize them as paramilitary groups. Eyewitnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch said people who «looked like policemen or soldiers».
The HLHR suggested that the Greek police either did not know about the existence of these paramilitary forces or turned a blind eye to them.
The Evros River runs along 194 km and 206 km of the land border between the EU and Turkey. The so-called EU-Turkey Agreement, signed between Turkey and Europe in 2016, which allows returning to Syria migrants who arrive in Greece irregularly by sea, does not extend to this border.