Council of Europe calls on Greece to conduct ‘effective’ probe into Pylos shipwreck last month
Athens has legal obligation to conduct effective probe into shipwreck, which killed 80 people, left hundreds more missing, Commissioner for Human Rights writes to Premier Mitsotakis
By Nur Asena Erturk
ANKARA (AA) – The Council of Europe on Friday urged Greece to conduct “effective” investigations into last month’s shipwreck that left more than 80 irregular migrants dead and hundreds of others missing.
Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic sent a letter to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, which was published on the Council of Europe's website.
Mijatovic stated that the country "has a legal obligation to conduct effective investigations into the Pylos shipwreck, which resulted in the death of more than 80 persons with many hundreds still missing, to establish the facts and, where appropriate, to lead to the punishment of those responsible."
He expressed concern about reports of survivors being pressured and allegations of irregularities in the collection of evidence and testimonies, which may have resulted in a "minimization of the focus on certain actors in this tragedy, including the Greek Coast Guard."
"In my view, the shipwreck of 14 June is unfortunately not an isolated incident," she said, adding that "this should prompt a reconsideration of the approach to refugees and migrants arriving by sea at the political, policy and practical level.
“In this context, the Commissioner urges the Prime Minister to ensure that Greece abides by its international obligations regarding search and rescue, both under maritime law and human rights law."
Earlier this month, EU lawmakers urged Greece and the European Commission to launch an international and independent probe into last month's deadly migrant boat shipwreck off the coast of Greece.
On June 14, the 30-meter-long fishing boat capsized and sank about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Greece’s southern coastal town of Pylos, with the majority of people on board from Pakistan, Syria, and Libya.
There were 104 survivors, with 82 bodies recovered out of 400-700 migrants on board. The rest are missing or considered dead or both.
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