EU tells Greece to stop "violent" migrant deportations

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EU tells Greece to stop "violent" migrant deportations

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EU tells Greece to stop "violent" migrant deportations

BRUSSELS, June 30 (Reuters) - The European Union's top migration official told Greece on Thursday to stop "violent" deportations of migrants or risk losing funds.

After becoming one of the main destination points during the migration crisis of 2015, Athens has hardened its policy in the past year by increasing land and sea patrols, extending a border fence and building camps with much stricter security on its islands near Turkey.

It has repeatedly denied accusations of so-called pushbacks of asylum-seekers, saying it intercepts boats at sea to protect its own and the European Union's borders.

"Protecting EU external border from illegal entry is an obligation. Violent and illegal deportations of migrants must stop, now," said Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said after meeting Greek government ministers.

She said Athens would put in place from September a new system to safeguard fundamental rights. She gave no details about the new system. Greek officials have yet to comment.

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