Families of migrants who were rescued by Greek authorities stage a sit-in and roadblock in Aabdeh to demand the release of their relatives and to provide them with humanitarian aid
Families of the migrants who were rescued off the coast of Greece after being stranded aboard a vessel in the Mediterranean Sea staged a sit-in Sunday in al-Abda Square, Akkar, North Lebanon, blocking the road and demanding the Lebanese authorities take action and coordinate with their Greek counterparts to release the migrants who were "detained" after being rescued, our correspondent in North Lebanon reported.
Roughly 60 passengers, of whom 20 are Lebanese, from the village of Bebnine, Akkar, set sail from north Lebanon aboard a vessel with a Syrian captain. The boat was stranded for days near the Greek and Maltese coasts without food or water before the passengers were rescued on Wednesday by the Greek coastguard. The families of the migrants explained during their sit-in Sunday that they have not heard "any news from their families" who made it to Greece, and that the last contact they had with them "indicated that they were being subjected to various types of torture by the Greek authorities." The families added that they "will stage a sit-in in the coming days in front of the Greek Embassy in Beirut if our demands are not met."
Muhammad Talib, a mukhtar (a local official responsible for records) who joined the protesters in Tripoli, pointed out that "these young men left this hell of a country in search of a better life and they ended up detained" on the Greek island of Crete. Taleb urged the head of the Lebanese General Security, Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim, as well as Maj. Gen. Muhammad Khair, the secretary-general of the Higher Relief Commission, "to intensify efforts with the Greek authorities in order to release [the migrants] so that they continue their journey or to send them back to Lebanon."
وطنية - أفاد مندوب "الوكالة الوطنية للاعلام"، أن أهالي ركاب المركب غير شرعي الذي وصل جزيرة كريت اليونانية قطعوا الطريق الرئيسية عند مستديرة العبدة عند المدخل الجنوبي لمحافظة عكار لبعض الوقت، ثم نفذوا اعتصاما إلى جانب الطريق، مطالبين السلطات اليونانية بالإفراج عن أبنائهم خاصة القصر ودون السن القانونية، وإحسان معاملاتهم وتقديم العون الإنساني اللائق لهم. وطالبوا بزيارة وفد منهم السفارة اليونانية في لبنان لشرح مواقف العائلات التي تركب البحر رغم المخاطر هربا من واقع اقتصادي ومعيشي وحياتي أليم وصعب يعيشونه في بلدهم، والسعي للإفراج عن أبنائهم المحتجزين.