Ninety-two naked migrants were found forced to cross the river

Ninety-two migrants were found nearly naked and bruised after they were allegedly forced to cross the Evros River from Turkey to Greece, Athens said on Sunday.

The EU’s border agency Frontex confirmed to AFP the group’s arrival in circumstances that Greece’s civil protection ministry said sent an “inhuman image”.

“Frontex staff reported that migrants were found almost naked and some of them with visible injuries,” said Paulina Bakula, a spokeswoman for the organization.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said in a tweet that it was “deeply disturbed by the shocking reports and images of 92 people who were reportedly found at the Greek-Turkish land border, stripped of their clothes.”

Bakula, speaking from Frontex headquarters in Warsaw, said Frontex officials were working with Greek authorities to provide immediate assistance to the migrants – mainly Afghans and Syrians.

Turkey accused of “instrumentalizing illegal immigration”

She added that the organization had informed the agency’s human rights officer about a potential rights violation.

Greek Civil Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos accused Turkey of “instrumentalizing illegal immigration” in the latest in a series of mutual accusations over migration between the neighbours.

Theodorikakos told Skai television that many of the migrants told Frontex that “three Turkish army vehicles transferred them” to the river, which acts as a natural border.

Ankara denied any responsibility, and Interior Minister Ismail Chatakli called on Greece to stop what he called “manipulations and dishonesty” in a tweet.

Greek Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi on Saturday described the incident as a “shame for civilization”.

Athens regularly faces – and denies – accusations from NGOs and the media that it has in many cases tried to push migrants back to Turkey illegally, sometimes using force.

Last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used an address to the United Nations to accuse Greece of turning the Aegean Sea into a “graveyard” with “oppressive policies” on immigration.

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