Brussels/New York, March 2, 2020—Over the weekend, the Greek government took a series of harsh measures to push back thousands of asylum seekers and migrants attempting to enter from Turkey. Greece sent military forces to the border, said it would suspend asylum applications, and deport migrants who entered irregularly. One child died and 47 migrants were rescued after their boat capsized off the island of Lesbos, the Greek coastguard said on Monday. Separately, video footage released by the Turkish government appears to show members of the Greek coastguard shooting into the water near migrants. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has urged authorities not to use excessive or disproportionate force, and is calling for continued resources from other European states.
Stefano Argenziano, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) operations coordinator for Greece, gave the following statement calling on the Greek government and other European Union (EU) member states to take immediate action to address the ongoing emergency facing people trapped in horrific conditions: