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In their reply to criticism, Greek authorities hold that complaints about their immigration policy are fake news spread by "human trafficking networks."
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) and other non-governmental organizations on Tuesday called on the Greek government and European Union authorities to stop the illegal summary deportations immediately.
Besides demanding the creation of an independent mechanism to investigate complaints on this issue, the humanitarian organizations asked authorities to respect the rights of migrants.
During a meeting with European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson, Greece's Maritime Minister Yannis Plakiotakis affirmed that his country is updating internal mechanisms to investigate every migratory incident.
On Monday, Johansson traveled to the islands of Lesvos and Samos where thousands of asylum seekers remain confined. During this field visit, she highlighted her concern about reports from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and expressed that Greece must do more to clarify allegations of illegal deportations.
Johansson also said the EU was willing to contribute some 276 million euros to help Greece cope with the migratory flow. A part of these resources could apparently be aimed at improving existing infrastructure in refugee camps.
For the past year, international NGOs have documented dozens of cases of abuse against migrants using field recordings, testimonies, and investigations. For the Greek government, however, these allegations are simply "fake news".
Replicating this official position during a meeting with Johansson, Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis also claimed that the allegations are "fake news" created by NGOs, which the Greek far-right define as "human smuggling networks" that lose money when authorities protect European borders.
COVID-19 worsens the existing economic and public health crisis around the world, including in hard-hit Greece. pic.twitter.com/xvCqkutcP4