Several NGOs and the media have recently pointed the finger at Greek and Croatian officials over the alleged pushback of illegal immigrants that have reached their lands, prompting the European Union Executive to call for a deep investigation in this regard.
A recent report published by German media Der Spiegel and ARD showed that officials in Greece and Croatia were involved in such illegal operations while stressing that special forces from both countries sometimes concealed their identity during these operations, TheSchengen.com reports.
As reported by the Guardian, such a report contained video footage of a total of 11 pushbacks by Croatian police officials in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as footage of the Greek coast guard pushing migrants into the Aegean.
Regarding the case, the European Commission spokesperson stressed the need to open an investigation.
He pointed out that “the committee strongly opposes any opposing practices and has repeatedly stressed that any such practices are illegal, and that national authorities are responsible for investigating any allegations, with the aim of establishing the facts and appropriate follow-up to any violation.” Outside.
Croatian Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic told German media that the police would conduct an investigation. However, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) posted a video on Twitter confirming that there is compelling evidence of Croatia’s involvement in illegal pushbacks; Therefore, you should not join Schengen.
Croatia has been part of the European Union since 2013. However, it has been trying to join the borderless Schengen area for years, and this process has not yet been completed.
Regarding the repelling of illegal immigrants, the authorities in Greece stressed that they will soon publish a statement in this regard. In addition, they emphasized that under international law, all persons have the right to claim international protection and are prohibited from returning potential asylum seekers to where their lives may be at risk.
“Some of these reports are shocking,” said EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson, stressing that she expects an in-depth investigation into the issue.
According to Reuters, Johansson will meet the Greek and Croatian interior ministers, urging them to “take it seriously.”
The issue of immigrants and refugees continues to bring many difficulties to the countries of the European Union, while up to this point, there has been no effective solution to this problem.
Previously, some EU authorities had revealed the idea of building additional refugee camps in order to solve this problem, although these places were often notorious for various illegal matters, including beatings, sexual assaults and even the killing of refugees.