The boat that held 16 men survived, many of them lost their whole family. One witness:
“The Coast Guard tried to tow us to Turkey and, due to the rough seas and the panic that prevailed, people fell into the sea”
“The boat with our women and children was sinking and they were shooting in the air and screaming “fuck you, we’ll kill you all”. Then, my wife and my children were in the sea and I begged for a life jacket to save them. They were swearing at me. They did not let me save my people. When I realised that they would get drown, I asked them to kill me, too”.
“Then we were brought to the island. They took us to a luxury restaurant, to keep up appearances. It did not last long. Then we were thrown in holding cells, where we stayed for hours in our clothes still wet and the policemen beating us. I’ve been in other European countries, nowhere have I met this kind of police”.
“We were brought a lot of paperwork to sign, without an interpreter, without anything. When they brought interpreters, they were totally unfit, they were Persian- speaking. They did not understand what we were saying. When a representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees came, the process changed, they wanted to show that they had saved us”.
“Now they say that we thanked them, them, those who killed our children and women, for saving us. We did not thank them, we were crying and asking for their bodies”.