Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Greece: Migrant mother stranded on a small island gave birth

LESBOS, Greece ( Associated Press) – Greek officials say an Eritrean woman has given birth on a deserted rocky island after traveling with other migrants from nearby Turkey.

A Coast Guard official said 29 adult Eritreans – 24 men and five women – were seen on Wednesday patrolling near the eastern Greek island of Lesbos. One of these women had just given birth.

They were also rescued and taken to Lesbos, where the mother and child were being treated in hospital.

“They were spotted by a patrol team and are all in good health,” the Coast Guard official said on condition of anonymity, as an official announcement had not yet been issued.

“The mother and child are also in good health,” the official said.

The migrants were found on the island of Barbalias, about three kilometers (two mi) east of Lesbos and about 20 kilometers (12 mi) off the Turkish coast. Local officials said the child was a boy.

Lesbos was the busiest entry point into the European Union during the 2015–16 crisis, when hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants fled the war in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.

But Greece has steadily tightened its migration policies, and many people leaving Turkey now take a longer and more dangerous route to Turkey.

Over the weekend, the Coast Guard rescued 108 migrants from a leaky and hullless sailboat near the holiday island of Mykonos.

Separately on Wednesday, a man believed to be a migrant was found dead in the trunk of a car in an artificial lake near the Greek-Turkish border. The vehicle was chased by border police officials after the driver refused to stop for a highway inspection. Police said five other passengers also believed to be migrants had entered the country illegally and the driver was detained.


Kostas Kantoris reported from Thessaloniki, Greece. Derek Gatopoulos in Athens, Greece contributed to this report.


Follow Associated Press’s coverage of migration issues at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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