ATHENS, Greece — Greece’s state ombudsman stated Thursday that it is launching an impartial investigation into the coast guard’s dealing with of a maritime tragedy in June by which tons of of migrants making an attempt to achieve Europe in an overloaded boat are feared to have drowned.
The impartial authority stated it took the choice following “the expressed denial” of the Greek coast guard to provoke a disciplinary investigation in response to the ombudsman’s written requests.
The Council of Europe, the continent’s most vital human rights group, welcomed the transfer.
The council’s human rights commissioner, Dunja Mijatović, stated an impartial probe to determine what occurred and, if crucial, result in the punishment of these accountable, is “of paramount significance.”
“The initiative taken at the moment by the Greek Ombudsman establishment is an important contribution to this effort,” she stated in an announcement.
A navy court docket with jurisdiction over Greece‘s navy and coast guard can also be conducting a preliminary investigation into the June 14 shipwreck, from which 104 survivors and 78 our bodies had been recovered.
As much as 750 individuals had been believed to have been on the rusty fishing vessel, principally under decks, when it sharply listed and shortly sank within the night time. That will make it one of many worst disasters of its form within the Mediterranean.
The court docket can also be dealing with a lawsuit by 40 survivors, who accuse the coast guard of failing to forestall the shipwreck and lack of life.
Activists and human rights teams have strongly criticized the coast guard for its dealing with of the operation, though a patrol boat escorted the trawler for hours and was current when it sank in deep waters 75 kilometers (45 miles) off southwestern Greece.
The coast guard stated that the sinking appeared to comply with a mass motion of individuals on deck to 1 aspect, which tipped the overcrowded trawler over. It additionally stated the migrants, who had been making an attempt to get from Libya to Italy, had earlier refused help.
However some survivors stated that the ship foundered throughout a botched try and tow it — which the coast guard strongly denied.
The ombudsman stated there was a necessity for “absolute transparency” on how Greek authorities dealt with the operation.
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