Greece has claimed a video apparently showing a dead Syrian refugee on its border is “fake news”.
Footage showing a group of men carrying a young man with wounds to his head through the woods near the Turkish border town Enez has emerged online.
A Syrian migrant was reported by Reuters as dying from injuries after Greek security forces moved to prevent Syrian migrants crossing the country’s border with Turkey. Its report was based on two Turkish security sources.
But Greek deputy minister and government spokesman Stelios Petsas denied the claims, dismissing it as “Turkish propaganda”. Greece and Turkey have historically poor relations.
He also insisted that Greek forces had not opened fire on migrants attempting to enter Greece.
No shots have been fired by Greek border forces against any individuals attempting to enter Greece illegally. The contrary amounts to no more than gross and deliberate misinformation: Fake News.#fakenews #fakeTurkishPropaganda— Stelios Petsas (@SteliosPetsas) March 2, 2020
Reuters reported that it spoke to one of the men who can be heard speaking in the video of the migrant, and said he gave a detailed account of the incident which matched that given by two Turkish officials.
A boy has died after a boat full of migrants headed to a Greek island capsized, it has also been reported.
The claims and counter-claims come as a video emerged of the Greek coastguard apparently attempting to capsize a boat of refugees.
The coastguard vessel passes extremely close to the boat, making contact at one point, while men on board that and another vessel use poles to hit at the refugees’ boat.
Greek border forces stopped 4,354 people attempting to cross over land on Monday, while 10,000 have attempted to cross.
It came after Turkey eased restrictions on people wanting to reach Europe, leading to fears of a new migrant crisis similar to what was seen in the middle of the last decade.
Turkey currently hosts more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees and has demanded more support from Europe as it handles the fallout from the Syrian war on its border.
On Monday, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said European leaders had contacted him to ask for the decision to ease restrictions to be reversed.
“It’s done, the gates are open now. You will have your share of this burden now,” he said he told them, adding that there will be millions attempting to cross into Europe.