The European Union’s border agency, Frontex denied any wrongdoing with regard to alleged violations of the human rights of immigrants at external EU borders and on deportation flights.
The agency said on Monday,
According to internal Frontex documents seen by German broadcaster ARD, British newspaper The Guardian and human-rights research centre Correctiv, the agency has been turning a blind eye to human-rights abuse of immigrants at external EU borders, in Bulgaria, Hungary and Greece, among others.
Some immigrants reportedly suffered excessive use of force, attack by pepper spray and mauling by dogs.
Violations reportedly happened also on deportation flights, with unaccompanied minors being deported and handcuffs overused.
“Frontex categorically denies any involvement of its officers in violations of fundamental rights,” the agency informed in an email to dpa.
“Frontex condemns any form of inhumane treatment, unprocessed returns and any other form of violence which are illegal under the European Charter for Fundamental Rights.’’
No complaint against any Frontex officer has been received to date, the agency said.
All Frontex officers are bound by the code of conduct, which obliges them to report any incident in which they believe violations of human right occurred.
Such reports have been filed in the past and immediate action from the agency has followed, Frontex said.
At the same time, the agency does not have the authority over the behaviour of the national border police forces
Nor does it have the power to conduct investigations on the territory of the EU Member States,” it said.
A spokeswoman for the European Commission confirmed that the body had seen the reports and said it took such allegations very seriously.
“Any form of violence or abuse against migrants and refugees is unacceptable.
“ We will now follow up with the European Border and Coastguard Agency, which will look into these allegations to seek to determine
“ if these reports are true and follow up appropriately,” Mina Andreeva said in Brussels on Monday.
“Frontex’s rights-regulation mechanisms had been beefed up in recent years, Andreeva said.
“The role of the European Border and Coastguard (Agency) is to support national border guards in managing the EU’s external borders.
Edited by Halima Sheji