A woman covers her face as she walks past piles of garbage at a makeshift camp on the island of Lesbos. Reuters
Greece is transferring 450 migrants recently detained for trying to reach the island of Lesbos illegally to a facility near Athens, authorities said on Sunday.
A ship with the migrants landed at a port near Athens and the migrants will be transferred to a facility just north of the capital pending deportation, an official at the Ministry of Migration policy told the media on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorised to speak on the matter. The transfer to the facility was still underway on Sunday morning.
All the migrants have been detained since March 1, just days after Turkey said it was opening its borders to the millions of migrants on its soil. In response, Greece has toughened its stance, suspending all asylum applications for a month and jailing migrants, and refugees, who tried to cross the land border from Turkey.
Although the migrants had been taken to the ship several days ago, the whole operation had been shrouded in secrecy, with officials refusing to comment on the ship's destination even after it left Lesbos early Saturday afternoon.
Overall, just over half of the deaths this year — 259 — were caused by drowning, such as through shipwrecks in the Caribbean or failed river crossings. About 65 were from highway crashes, and around 20 each on railroad routes, from dehydration or exposure, violence including homicide, and sickness or lack of medical care.
I have just come back from the Greek islands, and I was shocked by what I saw and by the accounts I heard from my colleagues on the ground. They told me about a 12-year-old boy
A group of United Nations experts on arbitrary detention said that despite some improvements, Greece was still in violation of certain international obligations in how and where people are imprisoned.
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