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Greek police endanger migrants' lives: Amnesty

Published on Dec 20, 2012 8:36 AM

ATHENS (AFP) - Amnesty International on Thursday accused Greece of endangering the lives of undocumented migrants and refugees and of detaining them in "inhuman" conditions as the crisis-racked country cracks down on illegal immigration.

In a statement released a few days after 21 migrants died trying to cross the Aegean Sea in a boat, the rights group's Greek branch accused the police of repeatedly jeopardising migrants' lives by turning back intercepted boats, even knifing one group's inflatable dinghy and sending another boatload back with no life vests.

"Amnesty International has received reports that even people fleeing from conflict and wars in countries such as Syria are being pushed back to Turkey at the river Evros", the natural boundary between Greece and Turkey, the group said.

"The situation in Greece today is totally undeserving of the Nobel Peace Prize recently awarded to the European Union," the group's director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Mr John Dalhuisen, said in a statement.

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