Survivors of a migrant boat sinking file a lawsuit against Greece

Survivors of a migrant boat sinking file a lawsuit against Greece

Survivors of an irregular migrant boat sinking on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the Greek authorities, accusing them of neglecting their duty to protect the lives of those on board a boat that sank off Greece in June, killing hundreds.

The fishing boat, which was said to have carried between 400 and 750 people from Pakistan, Syria and Egypt, sank in international waters off Greece on its way from Libya to Italy. About 104 men survived and the authorities recovered only 82 bodies.

Survivors told horrific stories about what they suffered during the journey above and below the surface with no food or water, and about a disastrous attempt by the Greek Coast Guard to tow the capsized boat.

The Greek Coast Guard and the government stated that they had been monitoring the boat for hours, but did not attempt to tow it and rescue them, and it capsized when the Coast Guard was about 70 meters away.

A judicial investigation into the causes of the disaster is currently underway, and may take more than a year to complete.

A statement issued by the Hellenic Association for Human Rights, a representative of the survivors, said that 40 survivors had filed a lawsuit complaining that “the Greek authorities failed to intervene immediately and organize a timely and appropriate operation to rescue those on board.”

Survivors assert that the boat was “clearly unseaworthy.”

They called for a “comprehensive, credible and immediate investigation” into the causes of the deadliest boat sinking disaster in the Mediterranean Sea in recent years.

Lawyers representing the families of the missing persons had submitted a request to the authorities investigating the case to extract the boat wreckage from the bottom of the sea.

Switzerland : 1,002 sexual assaults in the Swiss Catholic Church over 73 years

A recent study conducted by a Swiss university and commissioned by the Bishops’ Conference documented about 1,002 cases of sexual assault committed by clergy in the Swiss Catholic Church over a period of 73 years.

The results of a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Zurich showed that clergy in the Swiss Catholic Church committed more than 1,000 cases of sexual assault during 73 years.

The University of Zurich conducted the study commissioned by the Swiss Bishops’ Conference, amid numerous allegations against active and retired bishops, in addition to other clergy, for their involvement in sexual assaults or their covering up.

The study documented 1,002 cases of sexual assault committed by Catholic clergy, church employees, and clergy in Switzerland from 1950 to the present.

The university said in a press release that this study is the first that allowed an independent research team to access the archives of the Catholic Church in search of files related to sexual assault.

She added that the historians who conducted the study counted exactly 1,002 cases of sexual assault committed by Catholic clergy, church employees, and members of the religious order in Switzerland, from 1950 to the present.

She stated that with few exceptions, the research team was granted the necessary access to the archive “without major obstacles,” and in addition, numerous interviews were conducted with victims of sexual assault and other people.

According to the same source, in 39% of cases, the victims of attacks were female, while they were male in less than 56% of the cases, while the gender of the victim could not be determined from the source in 5% of the cases.

According to the study, those accused of violations were men, with few exceptions.

She adds that 74% of the sexual assault cases investigated during the pilot project involved minors.

“The cases identified are undoubtedly only the tip of the iceberg,” the study authors wrote, indicating that they only reflect a small part of the hidden truth.

According to the university, many other archived files cannot yet be evaluated, such as archives of religious congregations, documents of diocesan bodies, archives of Catholic schools, boarding schools and homes, as well as state archives.

It also stated that “it can be proven that files for two dioceses were destroyed,” which means that the facts they contain can no longer be accessed, in addition to that “it can be proven that not all reports were recorded in writing and archived continuously.”

Given the findings of clandestine field research, historians have assumed that “only a small percentage of cases were reported.”

According to the Federal Statistical Office of Switzerland, 33.7% of the Swiss people are Roman Catholic, 21.8% belong to the Protestant Church, while 5.5% are Muslims, and 30.9% do not belong to any denomination.

Since 2018, the Pope has requested the condemnation of all sexual violations committed by clergy, calling for an end to covering them up. He tried to take firm stances on sexual assault issues within Catholic churches, but human rights organizations said that this was not enough, calling for more measures to prevent such matters from occurring.