Greece on Wednesday said its coast guard had picked up more than two dozen people from a boat in distress in southwestern coast off the Greek mainland and were transported to Kalamata.
The passengers were identified as 28 men from Afghanistan, Iran and Bangladesh, including one Afghan woman.
The coast guard said that its search and rescue center was notified Monday night about a boat in trouble and eventually was rescued by a Norwegian-flagged research vessel.
Two Iranian men on the boat were arrested over their alleged role of smuggling these people to Greece.
According to the coast guard, the boat sailed from the Turkish coast, likely from Izmir city, and was probably heading to Italy.
Asylum-seekers from the Middle East and Asia are taking deadly sea routes to reach European countries for a better life. They are embarking on a deadly journey to escape war and economic devastation. But Greek authorities have repeatedly faced accusations of not allowing them to apply for asylum and deport them back to Turkey. Now the immigrants are taking a longer route straight to Italy to escape Greek deportation.
The Greek officials have repeatedly denied carrying illegal summary deportations of asylum-seekers.
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