Where do our numbers come from?

Collecting information on pushbacks is a difficult task in an extremely militarised border area such as the Aegean. The responsible actors, whether the Hellenic Coast Guard or Frontex, have so far done their utmost to carry out pushbacks unnoticed and to cover up their own human rights crimes.

Despite this politically-motivated lack of transparency, we learn about pushbacks via different means. First, there are pushbacks of which we have direct knowledge. This information is collected through reconstructing pushbacks from the testimonies of witnesses we have previously interviewed. In addition, cases published by other organisations, such as Alarm Phone or Aegean Boat Report, are included in our documentation. Finally, the Turkish Coast Guard regularly publishes pushback cases. Figures from the Turkish Coast Guard should always be viewed against the background of a possible political instrumentalisation by the Turkish government. This is another reason why we have sought out several sources for the individual cases, as it is not uncommon for figures and information to differ from one to the next.

The figures should therefore be understood as an approximation of the actual numbers. Given the lack of transparency and active concealment of pushbacks by the responsible authorities, it can be assumed that a greater number of pushbacks took place than is noted in our reports.

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