A controversial European Union plan to stem the flow of refugees began Monday with the deportation of more than 200 people from Greek islands to Turkey, despite concerns over human rights and criticism that Europe was turning its back on refugees.
As dawn broke, buses filled with migrants left under heavy security from a detention center on the island of Lesbos headed to the port for the short boat ride to the Turkish port of Dikili. More were ferried across from the island of Chios, where riot police clashed hours earlier with demonstrators protesting the expulsions.
In all, 202 people from 11 nations - 191 men and 11 women - were sent back. They included 130 Pakistanis, 42 Afghans, 10 Iranians, five Congolese, four Sri Lankans, three Bangladeshis, three from India, and one each from Iraq, Somalia and Ivory Coast, as well as two Syrians who Greek authorities said had asked to be sent back.
Human rights groups expressed deep concern over the operation.