EU border force ‘complicit’ in illegal campaign to stop refugees landing

EU border force ‘complicit’ in illegal campaign to stop refugees landing

Evidence including footage of Frontex ship making waves near a migrant dinghy appears to contradict agency’s denial of involvement in pushbacks

The EU’s border agency has been accused of complicity in illegal and often dangerous pushbacks aimed at preventing asylum seekers crossing the Aegean Sea.

Even as evidence of an aggressive maritime campaign by Greece has emerged, Frontex has denied knowledge of, or involvement in, pushbacks. But new evidence, including video footage showing a Frontex ship manoeuvring dangerously near a crowded dinghy full of people and creating waves that drove them back, appears to contradict the EU agency.

The evidence has emerged from a joint investigation by Lighthouse Reports, Bellingcat, Der Spiegel, ARD and TV Asahi based on open source video and images, testimonies and internal documents. The findings appear to demonstrate a degree of complicity, ranging from direct participation by Frontex vessels to failure to rescue people from boats in distress and a systematic failure of the agency’s internal system for reporting human rights violations.