An investigation by the EU border monitoring agency Frontex into allegations of illegal refoulements of migrants from Greece to Turkey in the Aegean Sea has proved inconclusive, according to a report by the task force set up by the Frontex board of directors consulted on Wednesday March 3 by AFP.
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In its report, which was shared by a source close to the investigation, the task force says it was "
unable to fully clarify
" the exact circumstances of five incidents in which the rights of migrants would have been violated.
The working group also underlined “
the need to improve the reporting and surveillance system
” on site.
The existing legal framework offers only limited options for Frontex to act in cases of reported and noted violations
," according to the report.
This investigation will be at the center of an extraordinary meeting of the board of directors of the European border and coast guard agency based in Warsaw on Friday.
The working group also underlined "
the difficult conditions
" in which police operations have to be carried out at the EU's external maritime borders in the Aegean Sea.
Refoulements of asylum seekers can be considered a violation of European human rights law and the 1951 Geneva Convention. Frontex was questioned in October 2020 in an investigation by several media, including the German magazine
, accusing her of being involved with the Greek coast guard in incidents of refoulement of boats of asylum seekers from Greece to Turkey.
Frontex's executive director, Frenchman Fabrice Leggeri, has been under pressure for weeks following the accusations, with human rights organizations formally asking him to suspend or cease the agency's activities European Union in the Aegean Sea.
Members of the European Parliament also called for the resignation of Fabrice Leggeri, but he refused to do so, stressing that Frontex played a crucial role in the fight against human trafficking.
Frontex is also targeted by an investigation by the European anti-fraud gendarme, Olaf, in particular for these accusations of illegal refoulements of migrants.