legalcentrelesvos.org | 4 March 2022
In the morning of 1 March, Lesvos witnessed the shocking death of at least seven migrants, whose bodies without life jackets, were found by passersby, washed up on the beach of Epano Skala, a neighbourhood of Mytilene, just north of the centre, on the way to Lesvos´s Reception and Identification Centre, where migrants have been housed in effective detention since the fire that destroyed the notorious Moria camp. While search and rescue operations and investigations have since been deployed over the last days at land and sea to find survivors or other victims, no official report has yet been published by the Greek authorities about the circumstances and cause of their death at sea which remain a mystery.
Several media outlets already mentioned the hypothesis of another fatal shipwreck of a dinghy trying to reach the European shores in the hope to seek asylum, as the Greek islands have witnessed so often in the past years. However, no official explanations were yet provided and many questions remain unanswered: if those persons arrived on a dinghy from Turkey, where is their boat now ? Were those seven people accompanied by others, as is commonly the case for dinghies crossing from Turkey to Greece ? And if so, where are the others ? Who were these seven people whose lives were taken so unnecessarily?
These questions arise just after the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, recently published a statement warning about the increased level of violence and human rights violations documented by their agency at European borders, and in particular at Greece’s land and sea borders with Turkey.