Socialist Worker

EU border agency accused of brutality against migrants seeking safety

by Sophie Squire
Issue No. 2734

Frontex employees are responsible for implementing brutal borders

Frontex employees are responsible for implementing brutal borders (Pic: Rock Cohen/Flickr)


A body that patrols the EU’s external borders has been accused of unlawfully turning migrants away and sending them back to Turkey. 

The European Border and Coast Guard Agency—known as Frontex—was set up in 2016 with the specific task of patrolling the EU’s “fortress Europe” migration regime. 

In October an investigative report by several media outlets alleged that Frontex operatives and Greek coastguards pushed desperate migrants away from safety inside the EU. 

These crimes ranged from turning migrant boats back to Turkey or refusing to rescue people on boats that were in distress. 

Frontex executive director Fabrice Leggeri has been accused of knowing that these atrocities were being carried out. 

He was questioned last week by MEPs.

Violate

One MEP said, “Frontex seems to be a partner in crime of those who deliberately violate human rights.”

In March Frontex had over 600 operatives stationed in Greece. 

The agency also recently turned off trackers that allowed their sea and air units to be publicly tracked. 

Frontex has tried to say that there was only one incident of their employees forcibly pushing migrants away. 

But humanitarian groups and the media have alleged there are many more. 

Frontex is not an aberration.

Diplomats may feign horror at the actions of the agency. 

But in reality, it is acting in the way that the EU always has done. 

And this is enforcing deadly border controls that have led to the deaths of countless people.


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