The EU continues to accept Greece's border violations

Syrian refugee camp in the outskirts of Athens, Greece. Syrian refugee camp in the outskirts of Athens, Greece. Julie Ricard via Unsplash

17 October

According to Der Spiegel’s report, the EU's border guard agency is involved in Greece's illegal push backs of migrants to Turkey.

The European Union's border guard agency, Frontex, has been deployed at the Turkey-Greece land border since 2010, and in the Aegean since 2006. For more than a decade, rights groups have reported egregious human rights violations at Greece's borders. These included law enforcement officers using violence to push people back from Greece to Turkey. Usually refugee seeking an entrance to the European Union through the Turkey-Greece road, come from countries in serious conflicts for example Syria. Even the European Court of Human Rights has ordered Greece to prevent the summary return of asylum seekers.

The EU's border protection agency, Frontex, has just published a critical report on the conduct of its Greek counterpart, OLAF, which led to the resignation of its head. Greece has dismissed concerns and sought to silence those reporting such incidents, including through the threat of criminal sanctions. The EU's acquiescence must end.

The European Commission and Frontex have failed to meaningfully act on Greece's border abuses, leading to the suffering and severe abuse of hundreds of thousands of people. The European Commission should open legal proceedings against the Greek government for violating EU laws prohibiting collective expulsions or forcing back whole groups. It should also press authorities to establish an effective, independent border monitor to investigate and deter violence. So that those already affected by conflict could effectively request help and humanitarian support they lack in their mother countries.

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by Viola Rubeca

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