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Frontex complicit in illegal pushback of migrants

Migrants who attempt to cross the Aegean from Turkey to Greece, to seek refuge in Europe, know that the Greek coast guards often stop their boats, disable them by taking their fuel and then pull them back to Turkish waters. This has been well-documented although the Greek authorities continue to deny it.

Frontex, the EU’s border and coastguard agency, had said they know nothing of these pushbacks. Our investigation proved that their boats, and an aircraft, were repeatedly near the pushbacks. They even took an active role in one of them.

Our story was published in Spiegel, Bellingcat and others, then picked up by media all over the world (including Guardian, Le Monde and others). The EU commission put pressure on Frontex to investigate the incidents.

The investigation was conducted by a team of journalist from Lighthouse Reports, Bellingcat, Spiegel, ARD, TV Asahi. My contribution was to suggest mapping the data, investigate the planes involved, and do the spacial analysis (with Shiny R).