Greece migrant boat disaster: Yet another avoidable tragedy

DiEM25 has always stood for open borders as the only way to stop the mass deaths of refugees. The sinking of an overcrowded fishing boat off the Greek coast on Wednesday 14 June 2023 is yet another avoidable tragedy

The DiEM25 task force on migration policy strongly condemns the root causes of another deadly catastrophe in the waters of the Mediterranean, this time off the coast of Messenia, Greece – racism, closed and fortified borders, and no safe routes or legal ways for refugees and migrants to take.

We must point the finger of blame at the lawmakers who hold human life so cheaply and follow a policy of denial and externalisation. They are denying refugees seeking a safe haven the protection that they legally have the right to have, in accordance with the UN Charter of Human Rights. Instead, they shirk their responsibility and spend billions of Euros to keep refugees out.

We as individuals must, however, also point the finger at ourselves. We are complicit in condemning these people to death through our inactivity. We share the responsibility because we turn away and we are deaf, every day, every week, every year. We are not directly affected so we tolerate these terrible tragedies that we see on our televisions, on social media and in our newspapers.

We allow politicians, in our name, to write and enforce laws that ignore the fact that the majority of migrants, in compliance with the UN Charter of Human Rights, have a right to seek a safe haven in Europe, protected from the circumstances that led to them fleeing life threatening situations, whether armed conflict, political, religious or cultural persecution, or environmental catastrophes.

If we could see with our own eyes the children, the women, and the men drowning in front of us, if we could hear with our own ears the hundreds and thousands of desperate voices crying for help and salvation as the boats capsize and sink, could we then turn away and act like nothing is happening?

The sinking of this fishing boat and the feared deaths of hundreds of people through drowning, mostly women and children below its deck must surely be a long overdue wake-up call that the policies in place now are not working and will only lead to more horrific deaths.

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