Brussels, Belgium – It has been suggested that the European Union (EU) Border Protection Program Frontex did not intervene in the pushback of refugees in the Aegean Sea by the Greek coastguard, and in some cases directly participated in the pushback.

In a report released Friday, satellite tracking data from Frontex was compared with data from non-governmental organizations that record cases of pushback in the region. According to the results, in at least 4 cases, ships and aircraft belonging to Frontex did not intervene, although they passed through the area where the repulsion incident occurred.

In addition, 2 Frontex-owned ships were involved in a direct pushback event.

It has been suggested that the European Union (EU) Border Protection Programme Frontex did not intervene in the pushback of refugees in the Aegean Sea by the Greek coastguard, and in some cases directly participated in the pushback.

In a report released Friday, satellite tracking data from Frontex was compared with data from non-governmental organizations that record cases of pushback in the region. According to the results, in at least 4 cases, ships and aircraft belonging to Frontex did not intervene, although they passed through the area where the repulsion incident occurred.

On June 8, 2020, a Romanian Coast Guard vessel serving on behalf of Frontex is seen standing next to an inflatable boat with refugees. In footage released by the Turkish coastguard, the ship then makes waves as it quickly passes by the inflatable boat.

In joint research by Bellingcat, Lighthouse Reports, Der Spiegel, ARD and TV Asahi, Frontex argues that while they do not dispute the veracity of the data, they do not infringe on the rights of refugees.

But the large number of refugees who journalists have spoken to and say they have been pushed back suggests the opposite. International legal experts also note that Frontex’s lack of involvement, although it has knowledge, is contrary to the law of the sea.

In addition to the cases identified, there may have been many more pushback incidents in which Frontex had information but did not intervene.

Information had been obtained indicating that there had been pushback events in the Aegean Sea. Greece argues that the pushback claims are a “distortion of information originating from Turkey.”