Asylum Speakers Podcast with Jaz O'Hara: Stories of Migration
44. THE JOURNEY Episode 4: Pushbacks
In his memoir about leaving Syria to life in the UK, my friend Hassan (also a previous podcast guest), shared the terrifying experience he had when attempting to reach Greece by boat. His rubber dinghy was approached by three masked men on a bigger boat, who stole their petrol tank and violently pushed them away from the shore.
What Hassan experienced was a pushback.
What are pushbacks you might ask, well…in short, a pushback is when refugees and migrants are forced back over a border, generally immediately after they have crossed it. It is not just illegal to send someone back without consideration or assessment of their individual circumstances, but the violence with which these pushbacks are often carried out is costing lives.
Welcome back to Episode FOUR of The Journey - a 6-part podcast series following migration routes from Africa, The Middle East and Ukraine, to northern Europe.
So far this season we’ve explored the reasons why people are leaving their countries, we’ve taken a look at what life looks like in the first countries they arrive to and we’ve delved into the risks they face along their journey’s.
Today’s episode is a very important one. Before we went on this trip we had a rough idea of what the themes of these episodes might be…. But this one was unexpected. Pretty much every person we spoke to, and definitely in every country along the way we heard stories about pushbacks.
In this episode we hear from academics, aid workers and also the testimony of someone who has actually lived the experience of being pushed back.
This is a shocking topic and episode, but one I truly believe we all need to know about, as the first step to stopping these pushbacks from happening at our borders.
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