29 Jun 2022

Migrant mother ‘gives birth on uninhabited tiny island near Lesbos’

Migrant mother ‘gives birth on uninhabited tiny island near Lesbos’

A woman from Eritea has given birth on an uninhabited rocky islet after travelling with other migrants from nearby Turkey, authorities in Greece say.

A coastguard official said 29 adult Eritreans ‒ 24 men and five women ‒ were spotted on Wednesday during a patrol near the eastern Greek island of Lesbos.

One of the women had just given birth.

They were also rescued and taken to Lesbos, with the mother and baby receiving hospital treatment.

“They were spotted by a patrol and are all in good health,” the coastguard official said on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not yet been released.

“The mother and the baby are also in good health,” the official said.

The migrants were found on the islet of Barbalias, about two miles east of Lesbos and around 12 miles from the Turkish coast.

Local officials said the baby is a boy.

Lesbos was the busiest entry point into the European Union during the 2015/16 crisis when hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants fled war in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.

But Greece has steadily toughened its migration policies, and many leaving Turkey now take the longer and more dangerous route to Turkey.

Over the weekend, the coastguard rescued 108 migrants from a leaking and rudderless sailboat near the holiday island of Mykonos.

Separately on Wednesday, a man believed to be a migrant was found dead in the boot of a car in an artificial lake near the Greek-Turkish border.

Border police officers had chased the vehicle after the driver refused to stop for a motorway inspection.

Five other passengers, all also believed to be migrants who had entered the country illegally, and the driver were detained, police said.

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