Death toll of migrant shipwreck off Greece has risen to over 500, says HRW

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has in a recent statement stated that the death toll of the migrant boat, which capsized and sank off the coast of Greece on June 14, has risen to over 500 people.

“Over 500 migrants and asylum seekers, including children, are presumed dead,” HRW said in a video statement on Saturday . The vessel was carrying up to 750 people from Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, and Afghanistan.

The statement says that only 104 people were rescued alive and 81 bodies were recovered from the sea after a hampered search and rescue operation.

This shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea was one of the deadliest of its kind and Greece has faced criticism for not doing more to save lives.

According to the HRW statement, several authorities including the Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, and the Greek Coast Guard had spotted the boat hours before it capsized.

“Neither Frontex nor the Hellenic Coast Guard intervened in a safe and timely way, despite the boat being obviously unseaworthy, overcrowded, and in distress,” HRW noted in the statement.

The HRW has called for an independent and impartial investigation into the June 14 boat disaster and urged those responsible to be held to account. It also called on the European Union to carry out search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea to prevent loss of lives.