HUMAN RIGHTS MONITORING IN THE AEGEAN WITH TWO SHIPS
We have a new ship! With our second vessel, we are planning to enlarge our area of operations to sail in the Southern Aegean Sea.
Since March this year, the situation on the Greek islands has become even more tense than before. Turkey has used migrants as a political lever against the EU, and right-wing and racist positions have been strengthened on the Aegean islands.
Briefly, the island of Lesvos and especially Moria received media attention again. Nevertheless, the situation remains catastrophic for refugees not only there but also on the other Aegean islands, around which violent pushbacks by the Greek coast guard continue to take place.
In addition to the 85 documented pushbacks around the island of Lesbos, there are 65 reports of successful pushbacks around the smaller Greek islands between March and July 2020, as reflected in the low number of arrivals in the Southern Aegean. Only 39 people landed on Samos, none on Chios, Kos and Leros and 46 on the other islands.1
We want to counteract this deprivation of rights and expand our commitment in the region! While we remain present with the MARE LIBERUM on and around Lesvos, we want to sail with the SEBASTIAN K to the South Aegean and report on the situation for refugees on Chios, Kos, Leros and Samos. There too, independent monitoring and reporting is needed to build up the necessary pressure on the authorities and to persuade them to respect existing rights, which have not been adhered to so far!
Due to the changes to the Regulation on Sea Leisure Yachts and the Regulation on Ship Safetyimplemented by the Federal Ministry of Transport, it is uncertain whether we can sail out with both ships. We informed the responsible German authorities about our plans. The SEBASTIAN K is currently still in Licata, Sicily. Unless our deployment is banned, we will sail to Greece next week and start our second mission there. Please support us to do so!