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Greek Ombudsman probes illegal pushback of Frontex Interpreter

The Greek Ombudsman announced on Wednesday that it launches an investigation into the complaint about the illegal pushback of a Frontex interpreter from Greece to Turkey. The Constitutional independent authority added that it has received a formal complain from the EU border agency.

A Frontex employee has claimed that he was pushed back in Turkey, beaten and taken by the Greek authorities along with another 100 migrants.

A story published in the New York Times echoes complaints from human-rights groups that Greek authorities often expel asylum seekers indiscriminately.

The Greek government has constantly denied such claims. But in this case, a European Union interpreter says that in September, Greek border guards mistook him for an asylum seeker, assaulted him, and forced him across the border into Turkey alongside dozens of migrants.

According to the complainant, he was taken with a group of refugees to a remote warehouse where at least 100 refugees, including women and children, were held together. They beat them savagely, forced them to undress, and took their mobile phones, money, and documents.

His allegation is particularly problematic for Greek officials because he is a legal European Union resident employed by the EU border agency, Frontex, notes

According to European officials dealing with his case, the individual has turned over evidence to the agency to support his claims of abuse.

Greek Ombudsman press release

The Greek Ombudsman, the Constitutional independent authority for the protection of fundamental rights, is launching an investigation of the complaint he has received from FRONTEX Complaint Mechanism regarding an interpreter of the agency who claims to have suffered abuse by the Greek authorities before being illegally pushed back to Turkey together with other third country nationals, in the area of river Evros.

The alleged incident to have taken place on September 3-4, 2021).

This is the second individual complaint about pushbacks the FRONTEX Complaint Mechanism has forwarded to the Greek Ombudsman in 2021, among other complaints about violations of fundamental rights by national agents, in operations involving FRONTEX.

The Ombudsman has received the complaint by FRONTEX on the basis of Regulation 2019/1896/ΕU article 111 par.41 and investigates the incident under his mandate of the National Mechanism for the Investigation of Arbitrary Incidents2. The Ombudsman expects from the competent branches of the police to take prompt action on the complaint and to continue their full cooperation with the independent authority investigating the case. (source in pdf here)

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One comment

  1. So the Dutch journalist was right? Mitsotakis WAS lying.