From Mexico to the Mediterranean, rich countries would rather see refugees die than recognize their legal asylum rights.

By Malcolm Harris, The Intercept

When people told aid worker Fayad Mulla that as soon as asylum seekers land on Greek soil, they’re immediately chased by groups of “masked men” assigned to kidnap them, Mulla found it hard to lend the stories credence.

Reports and rumors about black ops by Greek authorities have floated around for years, but the idea of state-sanctioned thugs running around beating migrants, throwing them in the trunks of cars, and forcing them back onto boats was too much for Mulla to believe. “It’s a European Union country,” he told an interviewer from the BBC, explaining his skepticism. That changed when he caught it on tape.

asylum seekers wait by tents in a coastal european city

Through a long lens, he recorded a video of Greek guards on the island of Lesbos marching migrant families onto a speedboat. In one shot, you can clearly see a uniformed man in a balaclava carrying a child onto the boat. It’s shocking, yet this is part of a logical progression of escalating violence against migrants as governments erode the linked rights to asylum and rescue.

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