Target: Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
Goal: Open an independent and transparent investigations into reports that coast guards have been firing on unarmed refugees.
Multiple reports have emerged claiming that members of the Hellenic Coast Guard have opened fire on unarmed refugee boats on multiple occasions. One such incident left two people with gunshot wounds in their lower backs, and another received a gunshot to the shoulder. The coast guard later claimed that the boat’s driver opened fire first, but there is no evidence that the driver opened fire at all, or even had a gun. Witnesses, while critical of the driver, stated that he did not have a firearm.
Despite the fact that an investigation by the organization itself found that the driver did not open fire, a Greek court found that the coast guard did nothing that was against the law. This threatens to create a culture of unaccountability and violence against refugees. Sign our petition and demand independent and transparent investigations into each instance of the coast guard firing on refugees, and reforms to the rules of engagement to ensure that unarmed refugees are not shot.
Dear Prime Minister Tsipras,
I was disturbed to hear reports that the Hellenic Coast Guard has opened fire on refugee ships on multiple occasions, leading to injuries and deaths. These incidents rarely result in any consequences for the members of the coast guard involved, even when their account of what happened is directly contradicted by both their own agency’s investigations and accounts from other eyewitnesses.
I believe that failing to hold members of the coast guard to account for actions in violation of their rules of engagement will lead to a culture of impunity and further injuries and deaths. Therefore I urge you to open an independent and transparent investigation into these incidents. If it is found that they have indeed followed the rules of engagement I believe that these rules must be changed in order to reduce the number of refugees shot during coast guard actions. If it is found that the rules of engagement have been violated, I urge you to do all in your power to ensure that every violation of coast guard procedures is met with a proportionate punishment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Ggia