Greece attempted to deport two sick Pakistani men from Lesvos to Turkey. Turkey however did not accept them. The deportation of the first person was stopped at Mytilene port, the second person was sent back from Turkey only a few hours later.
On the 18th of September, three men from Pakistan were transferred from Samos to Lesvos in order to be deported by ferry to Dikili, Turkey. One day later, on the 19th, two of them were brought by bus from Moria pre-removal centre on Lesvos to the port of Mytilene. The third person was not transferred to the port, because his lawyer managed to intervene and stop the deportation.
One of them however – who had a big abscess on his neck – remained on the bus and was brought back to Moria, probably because of his poor health conditions. The other person was accompanied by Frontex and police officers onto the ferry. Unusually, they were wearing medical masks and gloves, as if they wanted to protect themselves from diseases of the people they were supposed to guide onto the ferry.
The man was deported although his friends claimed that he was also severely sick. Similarly to the police and Frontex personnel, he was wearing a mouth guard when brought on the ferry. However, only a few hours later, the man arrived back on Lesvos – Turkey had not accepted him, and sent him back.
The case shows the ruthlessness of EU and Greek authorities, trying to carry out deportations even if people are severely sick. It also highlights the tensions between Turkey and the EU: Turkey’s Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu announced on 22nd of July the intention to suspend the EU-Turkey Deal. On 5th of September, Turkish President Erdoğan also raised doubts about the continuation of the EU-Turkey Deal, threatening to allow Syrian refugees to leave Turkey and make their way to Europe.
In fact, “only” 18 people have been deported from Greece to Turkey since the announcement of Çavuşoğlu to suspend the EU-Turkey Deal.