Pylos migrant boat survivors file criminal complaint, demand investigation into sinking News
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Pylos migrant boat survivors file criminal complaint, demand investigation into sinking

A group of 40 survivors of a migrant boat sinking in Greek waters filed a criminal complaint Thursday against all parties they deem responsible for the tragedy, according to a press release from the survivors’ representatives. The survivors are also demanding a thorough investigation into the causes of the sinking and the authorities’ response.

In June, off the shores of the Greek city of Pylos, a vessel carrying migrants tragically sank, resulting in the loss of at least 82 lives. Concerns have arisen due to disparities between the accounts provided by official authorities and those of the survivors, The coast guard asserted that the vessel had refused assistance, while survivors have said the opposite in interviews with human rights organizations.

None of the survivors have been summoned by authorities to provide testimony for the past three months, according to their representatives.

Human rights organizations representing the victims include the Greek Council for Refugees, the Hellenic League for Human Rights, and Refugee Support Aegean. These organizations have condemned the failure of the Greek authorities to fulfill their obligations to safeguard human lives, noting that this shipwreck is one of the deadliest incidents in the Mediterranean in recent years.

The plaintiffs contend that Greek authorities failed to react swiftly and provide for the rescue of all survivors. They allege that Greek authorities were alerted from the outset about the overcrowding on the fishing vessel, which was already beset with certain issues apart from overcrowding.

Furthermore, the plaintiffs add that authorities opted to tow the vessel, resulting in its sinking, instead of rescuing survivors upon reaching it.

Several organizations have already demanded an unbiased and thorough inquiry into the circumstances of the shipwreck. Among these organizations are the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament and Human Rights Watch.

In 2014, the European Court of Human Rights addressed a similar maritime disaster near the Greek coast In that instance, following the sinking of a vessel near Farmakonisi, the court condemned Greece for its lack of effort in the rescue of those drowning.