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Refoulement of migrants: Frontex says it has not found evidence

2021-01-21T21:34:39.713Z

The board of directors of Frontex, the EU's border monitoring agency, said Thursday it had found no evidence of human rights violations in the cases it examined following the accusations of illegal refoulements of migrants, particularly in the Aegean Sea, from Greece to Turkey. The board, which includes representatives from EU member states and two members of the EU executive, reviewed for two day



The board of directors of Frontex, the EU's border monitoring agency, said Thursday it had found no evidence of human rights violations in the cases it examined following the accusations of illegal refoulements of migrants, particularly in the Aegean Sea, from Greece to Turkey.

The board, which includes representatives from EU member states and two members of the EU executive, reviewed for two days in an online meeting an internal report on allegations that coastguards of Frontex have been implicated in the push-backs of migrants from EU waters to Turkey.

Read also: Immigration: Europe investigates possible illegal refoulements led by the Frontex agency

The council stressed that

"on the basis of the information provided"

, it

"could not establish evidence of violations of fundamental rights".

However, he clarified that his findings related to certain incidents and that further clarifications were needed to complete the examination of the facts.

He also deplored that the agency did not provide timely information on certain incidents, and asked the executive director of Frontex, Frenchman Fabrice Leggeri, to

“immediately provide the missing information”.

The European border and coast guard agency was singled out in October in an investigation by several media, including the German magazine Spiegel, accusing it of being involved with the Greek coast guard in incidents of refoulement of boats of asylum seekers from Greece to Turkey.

The European anti-fraud office Olaf confirmed in January that it had opened an investigation into Frontex.

According to der Spiegel, Olaf carried out a search in early December of the agency's headquarters in Warsaw, in particular the offices of Fabrice Leggeri.

Several members of the European Parliament have called for the resignation of Fabrice Leggeri, but Frontex said on Wednesday that it did not intend to resign.

Thursday, Fabrice Leggeri welcomed in a tweet that

"so far the working group (set up by the board of directors) has not found evidence of any involvement in the supposed refoulements".

Agency created in 2004, Frontex plans to have a permanent staff of 10,000 border and coast guards by 2027.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2021-01-21

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