Ibrahim* got asylum in Germany, but travelled to Greece to meet a family member, Murad*, who recently crossed into Greece from #Turkey. Upon meeting with Murad in the city of Alexandroupolis, they were both stopped by police officers. Despite his right to travel freely within Europe as an asylee, the officers apprehended Ibrahim and confiscated his documents.
Ibrahim and Murad were then taken near the Evros/Meriç river at the Greek-Turkish border where they were held for 24 hours, with no food, no explanation and no access to a lawyer. During that period, the officers brought in 52 other refugees.
The following day, 5 masked officers herded them into a rubber dinghy and drove them close to the Turkish shore. Then, the officers forced them into the water. They swam to land and walked until detected by the Turkish Gendarmerie. The Turkish officers called a taxi to drive them to Istanbul.
Once in Istanbul, Ibrahim tried to contact the German embassy for months to get his documents reissued, but to no avail. Realizing he couldn’t travel back to Germany legally, he decided to take a boat from Turkey to Italy – an extremely dangerous sea route with frequent deadly outcomes.
On Dec 24th, Ibrahim’s boat indeed sank off the coast of Paros. Out of 79 people on board, 16 lost their lives. Ibrahim was among 63 survivors. They were taken to the mainland 3 days later. However, according to Alarmphone, instead of being given necessary aid, they were detained in Amygdaleza’s Pre-Removal Centre.
At this moment, Ibrahim is still in detention and deprived of the possibility to safely and legally return to Germany, where he had been living for several years. Instead of getting help, he was retraumatised and imprisoned like a criminal.