İrem UZUN -TDO- An unprecedented case has emerged with an Afghan immigrant being accused of drowning his six-year-old son in a shipwreck off Samos. The shipwreck occurred on November 8 and the 25-year-old father is being prosecuted by the Greek authorities for exposing a minor to danger by attempting to illegally enter Greece. If convicted, the Afghan faces up to ten years in prison.
On November 7, Naser and his son left Turkey, crowded into a small rubber dinghy. Their request for asylum in Turkey had been rejected, now they headed for the Greek island of Samos, which is so close to the Turkish mainland. After about two to three hours, a storm hit. "One side of the boat was completely under water, the other side was hanging in the air," Naser remembers. "The boat hit the rocks several times. I don't remember what happened after that - just that at some point, I was in the water."
Naser’s lawyer, Dimitris Choulis, has told numerous media outlets that he sees these charges as a "direct attack" on asylum seekers. However, Greece’s migration ministe, Notis Mitarakis told AP that the charges did not represent a toughening of the government’s stance. "If there is the loss of human life, it must be investigated whether some people, through negligence or deliberately, acted outside the limits of the law," Mitarakis explained. Mitarakis added that "people who choose to get into boats which are unseaworthy and are driven by people who have no experience of the sea, obviously put human lives at risk."