UN refugee agency ‘alarmed’ by reports of nearly 100 migrants stranded on Greece-Turkey border



CNN

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has said it is “deeply alarmed” by reports of nearly 100 migrants stranded naked on the Greece-Turkey border.

“UNHCR is deeply distressed by the shocking reports and images of 92 people found stripped of their clothes at the Greek-Turkish land border.” the agency tweeted on Sunday.

“We condemn such cruel and humiliating treatment, and demand a full investigation into this incident,” he added.

Turkey and Greece have blamed each other for the situation. Greek Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi tweeted a photo purporting to be some of the 92 migrants at the border on Saturday, accusing Turkey of shameful behavior.

It was not clear why the men in the photo were not clothed.

“Turkey’s behavior towards the 92 migrants we rescued at the borders today is shameful for civilization,” Mitarachi said with the photo.

The migration minister added that he hopes Ankara will investigate the incident and protect its borders with the European Union (EU).

CNN was unable to independently verify the photo.

Greek police said on Saturday that their forces on Friday “found 92 illegal immigrants without clothes and some of them with body injuries” near the country’s northern border.

“Following an investigation by Greek police and officials from the EU’s Frontex border agency, they were found [the migrants] They were pushed into Greek territory, across the river Evros, in boats from Turkey to Greece,” the police added in a statement on Twitter.

The statement added that the Greek authorities immediately provided the migrants with clothes, food and first aid.

Greece’s Ministry of Civil Protection said in a statement on Saturday that according to the migrants’ accounts, Turkish authorities’ vehicles took them to the Evros River, where they boarded boats to cross to Greece.

“Turkey continues to openly exploit immigrants, violate human rights, [and] Violating international law”, continued the statement.

Turkey has denied any involvement in the incident.

“Like you couldn’t find a single case of human rights violations [Turkey]you’re just looking to reveal it [the] As if it were the image of the atrocity you committed [Turkey’s] done [it]”, the country’s Deputy Interior Minister Ismail Catakli tweeted on Saturday in response to Mitarachi.

Catakli also accused Greece of “manipulations and dishonesty” in his tweet.

Greece last year completed construction of a 40-kilometer (25-mile) wall on its border with Turkey, fearing that the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan could generate large numbers of people seeking asylum.

The country was at the center of Europe’s migrant crisis in the mid-2010s, when millions of refugees and migrants from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq traveled to the continent. Since then it has taken a hardline approach, rejecting calls from Turkey and international organizations to allow more migrants to pass through its borders.