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Frontex launches internal inquiry into illegal pushbacks in the Aegean

European border agency Frontex has launched an internal investigation into press reports of alleged illegal pushbacks of migrants and refugees in the Aegean Sea. A relevant TV report broadcasted on Tuesday at German public broadcaster ARD not only displayed footage but also featured among others eye-witness accounts by Greek islanders themselves.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Frontex said, however, that no document or evidence to support such accusations has been found so far.

The agency said further that the situation in the Eastern Aegean “was confusing” for Frontex vessels due to the “disagreement between Greece and Turkey regarding their sea borders,” adding that “this also had an impact on search and rescue activities in the region”.

The Frontex announcement said it had asked Greek authorities to investigate two incidents in the Eastern Aegean “in the context of operational dialogue” and that no evidence of wrongdoing had been found in one case, while investigation for the other was still ongoing. It also clarified that the investigation underway has found no other suspect cases apart from those already reported to Greek authorities.

“Earlier this year, as part of an operational dialogue with Greece, the Frontex Executive Director had already asked its authorities to investigate two events near its islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. They found no proof of any illegal acts in one incident and are still looking into another one. Under its mandate, Frontex does not have the power to investigate and must rely on Member States,” the Frontex said in its statement.

The Frontex “speedy investigation” meet the ironic comments of some the journalists reporting on the issue.

EU Commissioner for Home Affairs has intervened again calling on Frontext to conduct serious investigation on media reports.

Greek authorities and the government have been vehemently dismissing media reports on pushbacks, however, again and the again, international media come up with the issue.

PS the Frontex mantra will keep singing “our hands are tied” and the Greek government would never officially accept such illegal practice.

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  1. Finally Frontex is doing its job, namely preventing illegal border crossings by mainly economic refugees !!
    They should have done this from the start, as protecting the European external borders is their job !!
    Frontex cannot be intended to be an extension of human trafficking and ferry services for mainly economic refugees entering Europe illegally and uninvited !!
    They should therefore just continue with this, to stop these illegal border crossings or to limit them to a minimum !!

  2. It never occurs to people that the international press has its own agenda?

    Particularly press collusion with Doctors Without Borders which continues to write reports blaming
    the Greek government for conditions in the hotspots, without informing people that they themselves
    – DWB and other NGOs – have SOLE RESPONSIBILITY for the hotspots and that NO member of the
    Greek governmenti s allowed to enter the hotsots without NGO permission or invitation.

    Similarly they do not mention that their own ships collude with smugglers in Turkey to
    bring in migrants illegally. The Greek government’s investigation has videos of this and charged
    5 NGOs. When the police went to arrest these NGO directors on Lesvos it was discovered that they had
    all fled. No mention of this by these ‘investigative’ reporters.