Greece has began returning migrants to Turkey as the EU’s deal with Ankara to stem the influx of asylum seekers into Europe came into effect.
Amid tight security and apparent calm, the first boats from the island of Lesbos was boarded with over 130 migrants, most said to be from Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Under the accord, all migrants arriving illegally in Greek after March 20 face deportation to Turkey if they fail to apply for asylum or if their claim is rejected.
A NATO ship watched over today’s first returns.
AFP news agency (@AFP) April 4, 2016
For every Syrian sent back, another Syrian will be resettled to Europe, directly from Turkey. Those returned to Turkey will arrive at DikIli, despite warnings that it is ill-equipped to cope.
Amnesty International has called the deal ‘an historic blow to human rights’.