Johansson made a statement about the April 11 push-back footage, published by the New York Times on May 19, on his Twitter account.
“A year ago, I met with the Greek government to discuss border management and made it clear that there was no room for illegal deportations.” Using the expression, Johansson included the post in which he announced the meeting in question.
Stating that he contacted the relevant authorities again after the images published by the New York Times, Johansson said, “We have sent an official request to the Greek authorities for a full and independent investigation of this incident. Appropriate follow-up is required by the Greek authorities, also based on the new independent monitoring mechanism. (EU Commission) is ready to take formal steps as appropriate.” used the phrases.
According to the images published in the New York Times, 12 asylum seekers, including women and children, are taken to a distant point in a white minibus by people wearing ski masks, and then put on an inflatable boat on Lesbos Island. The boat then transfers them to the Greek coast guard boat. The boat drops the refugees in the middle of the Aegean Sea.
Reports of push-backs by the Greek coast guard have been in the international press since 2020. According to these reports, Greek coast guard boats are blocking and even damaging the boats of immigrants who want to cross from Turkey to Greece.
Pushbacks are also brought up by the United Nations (UN) and many human rights organizations. In the reports of these organizations, it is stated that Greece used tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets to those who tried to cross its land borders in Meriç, which is the border region with Turkey.
Witnesses to the violence point to numerous violations of the law, including excessive use of force by Greek border units, beatings, use of real ammunition, illegal detention and systematic push-backs to Turkey.
Despite all the evidence, news and statements from the authorities, the news about pushbacks continue to come.