Revealed: Official Greek order to illegally pushback migrants

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Thursday, November 18, 2021
Revealed: Official Greek order to illegally pushback migrants

By: Nicolaj Nielsen | euobserver.com| 18 November 2021|

Revealed: Official Greek order to illegally pushback migrants

New evidence of Greek state-sanctioned illegal pushbacks of migrants has emerged in documents obtained by EUobserver.

A redacted chain email from the EU's border agency, Frontex, made available following a freedom of information request, clearly shows that the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) received orders to push migrants back into Turkish territorial waters.

Such pushbacks are illegal under international law given that people have the right to enter Greece to claim asylum. 

Whether they then receive asylum or not is up to well-established asylum procedures.

The email, dated 6 March 2020, describes an incident where the Danish coast guard refused orders to force migrants and asylum seekers on a small boat near the Greek island coastline back to Turkey.

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