Tuesday July 17, 2012
Italy finds Afghans hidden in truck load of mussels from Greece
ROME: Italian officials found 25 Afghans hidden in a truck full of mussels from Greece and sent them back, Italian media reported on Tuesday, as rights groups condemn increased deportations from Italy to Greece.
Customs guards at the southern port of Bari became suspicious when they found that the truck's refrigeration unit was switched off and found the migrants hidden among 1.2 tonnes of mussels using scanning equipment.
The area where the migrants were hiding was only accessible via a trap door.
The German refugee rights group Pro Asyl and the Greek Refugee Council this month said there had been a big increase in migrant arrivals to Italy from Greece due to the crisis and rising anti-immigrant violence in Greece.
"People in need of international protection and unaccompanied minors... are either refused entry to Italian territory or are readmitted back to Greece without being granted any access to international protection," Pro Asyl said.
It accused Italy of being in breach of European laws by denying registration of asylum claims and by carrying out "informal readmissions". - AFP