Migrants refuse to be rescued by Greek Coast Guard in

Migrants refuse to be rescued by Greek Coast Guard in Ionian Sea

The Greek Coast Guard said on Sunday (October 2) that migrants aboard a distressed boat in the Ionian Sea have refused to be rescued for fear of illegal repatriation. The coastguard said the group of 56 asylum seekers were on board a boat that ran into trouble in strong winds near the island of Kefalonia on Saturday.

“Throughout the day, the migrants claimed over the radio that they would not accept any help from nearby boats or from the Greek authorities,” the Coast Guard said in a statement. It was only after dark and because weather conditions worsened that the migrants agreed to be rescued by a Singaporean-flagged tanker, they added.

The Greek Coast Guard said it had rescued around 1,500 people in Greek waters since the beginning of the year. But human rights groups have calculated that hundreds more have been unlawfully turned away without being allowed to seek asylum. Greece denies this claim. The migrants were accommodated in the port of Igoumenitsa and the search for other asylum seekers continued. Her nationality was not immediately disclosed.

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