UNHCR Reports Group of Africans 'Dumped' on Turkey-Greece Border
The United Nations refugee agency said Friday that it was in contact with Turkish and Greek authorities over recent reports of a group of Africans allegedly "dumped" on the border between the two countries, according to the international organization’s website.
Calling the news "alarming," a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was quoted as saying that it included allegations of rape, sexual abuse and even deaths by drowning as people had been forced back and forth across the river that marks the border between the two countries.
"The situation concerning this group, and their current location, remains confused," UNHCR spokesman Ron Redmond said in Geneva.
UNHCR has held meetings with the Turkish Interior and Foreign ministries, the Gendarmerie and the Security Department, and was told that the group was no longer at the river, although their current whereabouts were still unclear, Redmond said.
While the agency could not be certain that any members of the group were refugees, there was the possibility that some might be bona fide refugees even if they had not lodged any previous asylum claims in Turkey.
Turkey is a corridor for illegal immigration, from Asia in particular, to Europe, and authorities frequently report foiling immigrant smuggling operations – Albawaba.com