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Greece: First refugees deported back to Turkey from Lesbos02:29

Greece: First refugees deported back to Turkey from Lesbos

Greece, Lesbos
April 4, 2016 at 07:19 GMT +00:00 · Published

The first boats to deport so-called 'irregular migrants' from Greece to Turkey left Mytilene on the island of Lesbos, Monday, as operations for the controversial refugee deal between the EU and Turkey began.

A reported 131 people were aboard the two Turkish vessels, most of whom were from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Two Syrians were also on the boats, but reportedly went to Turkey voluntary because of "family issues", according to Chief of Staff of the Hellenic Police of Lesbos Zacharoula Tsirigoti. A reported 700 police officers took part in the operation on Lesbos, with EU border agency Frontex shadowing the operation.

Police reported that the first boat to deport migrants from the island of Chios, just off the Turkish coast, also left Monday morning, carrying a reported 66 refugees. Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala stated that 500 refugees were expected to be deported to Turkey from Greece on Monday, with Greek authorities providing 400 names.

Under the deal reached between the EU and Turkey on March 18, European countries will take in one Syrian refugee directly out of Turkey for every refugee returned from Greece. The EU has offered Turkey €6 billion ($6.7 billion), once an initial €3 billion ($3.3 billion) that was agreed to in November 2015 is spent. Human rights groups have been heavily critical of the deal, with The UN's refugee agency, UNHCR, saying that its implementation could amount to a violation of human rights.

Greece: First refugees deported back to Turkey from Lesbos02:29
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The first boats to deport so-called 'irregular migrants' from Greece to Turkey left Mytilene on the island of Lesbos, Monday, as operations for the controversial refugee deal between the EU and Turkey began.

A reported 131 people were aboard the two Turkish vessels, most of whom were from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Two Syrians were also on the boats, but reportedly went to Turkey voluntary because of "family issues", according to Chief of Staff of the Hellenic Police of Lesbos Zacharoula Tsirigoti. A reported 700 police officers took part in the operation on Lesbos, with EU border agency Frontex shadowing the operation.

Police reported that the first boat to deport migrants from the island of Chios, just off the Turkish coast, also left Monday morning, carrying a reported 66 refugees. Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala stated that 500 refugees were expected to be deported to Turkey from Greece on Monday, with Greek authorities providing 400 names.

Under the deal reached between the EU and Turkey on March 18, European countries will take in one Syrian refugee directly out of Turkey for every refugee returned from Greece. The EU has offered Turkey €6 billion ($6.7 billion), once an initial €3 billion ($3.3 billion) that was agreed to in November 2015 is spent. Human rights groups have been heavily critical of the deal, with The UN's refugee agency, UNHCR, saying that its implementation could amount to a violation of human rights.

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