According to a media report, the European Border Protection Service Frontex is involved in illegal refusals of migrants by the Greek Coast Guard. This was the result of a joint investigation published Friday by the ARD political magazine “Report Mainz”, “Spiegel” magazine, “Lighthouse Reports”, “Bellingcat” and the Japanese television station TV Asahi. Frontex officials have been arguably close to at least six of the so-called pushbacks in the Aegean Sea since April, the media reported.
There are videos showing a Frontex ship blocking a refugee boat and in another scene passing it at high speed causing waves instead of rescuing people. Then the Greek coast guard pushed the dinghy back towards Turkey, the media reported.
Discussions with Frontex staff and internal documents also indicated that they would refine their reports before sending them to Frontex headquarters in Warsaw. Frontex has not denied the individual incidents requested by “Spiegel”. Instead, the agency said the officials protect migrants’ fundamental rights and respect the right to non-refoulement. The Greek government denied the allegations, the report said, saying it complied with the law and made no illegal refusals.
After the allegations became public, the left in the EU parliament demanded the resignation of Frontex boss Fabrice Leggeri. Investigations by the media companies show that Frontex was not only aware of the illegal rejections, but was also complicit, said German MEP Cornelia Ernst. Leggeri lied to the EU Parliament, claiming the agency was unaware of any setbacks. (AFP)