Three Afghans who survived the sinking of a migrant boat have described in vivid terms how Greek authorities tried to forcibly tow them back to Turkey.

They said Saturday that the attempt caused their boat to flood and that the Coast Guard did nothing to help those, mostly women and children, who had fallen into the sea and hit at those migrants who attempted to save them.

Speaking to the press and about a hundred leftist supporters through an interpreter, Abdol Sabur Azizi, Fada Mohammad Ahmadi and Ehsanula Safi said Greek authorities' behavior throughout their ordeal verged on brutality.

They claimed survivors never made statements thanking authorities for their rescue, contradicting Greek officials. Some survivors say they lost relatives in the incident, in which 12 are presumed to have perished.