Greek officials turning migrants back into sea committing "crimes against humanity"

16 August 2020, 15:55 | Updated: 16 August 2020, 15:58

By Seán Hickey

This journalist worried that a story of over 1,000 migrants being turned into the sea could be "the tip of the iceberg," of abuse of people crossing the Mediterranean.

Maajid Nawaz was speaking to Oz Katerji, a freelance journalist focusing on conflict, human rights and the Middle East as he gave traction to a story coming from the Mediterranean which revealed Greek officials turned away 1,000 migrants into the sea.

Maajid wanted to know what happened to the people that were left in the sea, and Mr Katerji shared that many have found their way back to Turkey, although there are countless migrants that made the journey that are unaccounted for.

"What Greece has done here is a crime against humanity," he said, adding that "it's attempted murder."

Mr Katerji went on to tell Maajid that "this could be the tip of the iceberg," and despite this news story, there could have been other cases of officials turning migrants back into the sea.

Maajid noted there is debate raging in the UK over whether we should adopt the Australian attitude towards migrant crossings, and argued "if we did adopt that we'd be leaving people in the open sea."

Mr Katerji branded the news as "attempted murder"
Mr Katerji branded the news as "attempted murder". Picture: PA

Mr Katerji elaborated and told Maajid that there are islands housing migrants in Australia in a prison style fashion.

"Maybe they'll turn the Isle of Wight into a prison facility," he suggested. "The idea is just absurd and inhumane."

"Britain has enough room for 10,000 migrants a year," he argued.

The journalist sympathised with anyone trying to reach the UK via channel crossing, pointing out that "all of the methods that people would use to get from country to country are closed to these people."

Mr Katerji encouraged any listeners not sympathising with the plight of these people to go to Calais and "go have a look yourself to see the conditions these people are living in."

"If your family was in that situation would you not want to get on a boat to seek a better life."