Greece: 7 dead after migrant boat capsizes off Lesbos

Although the distance from Turkey is short, smugglers often use unseaworthy boats and pack them way beyond capacity, leading to many sinking or capsizing. (AFP)
Updated 11 June 2019

Greece: 7 dead after migrant boat capsizes off Lesbos

  • Greece’s coast guard said 57 people had been rescued, while seven people — two girls, four women and a man — were pulled from the water unconscious and later confirmed dead
  • A search and rescue operation in the area off the eastern Aegean island of Lesbos was called off after all those on board had been accounted for

ATHENS: A boat carrying dozens of migrants to a Greek island from the nearby Turkish coast capsized early Tuesday, leaving seven people dead, including two children.
Greece’s coast guard said 57 people had been rescued, while seven people — two girls, four women and a man — were pulled from the water unconscious and later confirmed dead.
A search and rescue operation in the area off the eastern Aegean island of Lesbos was called off after all those on board had been accounted for, the coast guard said. There were no further passengers reported missing.
It was not immediately clear why the boat capsized.
The number of people heading to the Greek islands from the nearby Turkish coast has decreased significantly since the height of the refugee crisis in 2015, when thousands would arrive each day. But hundreds of people continue to make the treacherous journey.
Although the distance from Turkey is short, smugglers often use unseaworthy boats and pack them way beyond capacity, leading to many sinking or capsizing.
Under an agreement reached between Turkey and the European Union designed to stem migrant flows into Europe, those arriving on Greek islands from Turkey remain in camps on the island. They face possible deportation unless they successfully apply for asylum in Greece.
The long and bureaucratic asylum application procedure has led to severe overcrowding and poor conditions in many of the camps.


Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan targeted by new rape complaint

Updated 25 August 2019

Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan targeted by new rape complaint

  • A woman in her 50s accused Ramadan of raping her along with a member of his staff
  • He has been charged in France with raping two women previously

PARIS: Tariq Ramadan, a leading Islamic scholar charged in France with raping two women, has also been accused of taking part in the gang rape of a journalist, French judicial sources said Sunday.
The sources confirmed reports on Europe 1 radio and in Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper that a woman in her 50s had accused Ramadan, 56, of raping her along with a member of his staff when she went to interview the academic at a hotel in Lyon in May 2014.
The woman, who filed a criminal complaint in May 2019, also accused Ramadan of issuing “threats or acts of intimidation” aimed at dissuading her from reporting the alleged attack to the police, the judicial sources added.
Ramadan, a married father of four whose grandfather founded Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, was a professor at Oxford University until he was forced to take leave when rape allegations surfaced at the height of the “Me Too” movement in late 2017.
He has denied charges he raped a disabled woman in 2009 and a feminist activist in 2012.
He was taken into custody in February 2018 and held for nine months before being granted bail.
Authorities in Switzerland are also investigating him after receiving a rape complaint in that country.
His lawyer, Emmanuel Marsigny, refused to comment Sunday on the latest allegations against him in France.
The woman behind the latest complaint told police that Ramadan and a male assistant repeatedly raped her in Ramadan’s room at the Sofitel hotel in Lyon.
She described the alleged attack as being of “untold violence” and claimed that when she threatened to report them to the police Ramadan replied: “You don’t know how powerful I am.”
She also claimed that Ramadan had contacted her via the Messenger app in January, two months after his release from jail, saying that he wanted to make her an “offer” of a “professional nature,” without giving details.