Joint announcement of the Ministries of Citizen’s Protection and Migration & Asylum: "Allegations of deportations are unfounded"    

In response to the Human Rights Watch report titled “Greece’s Use of Migrants as Police Auxiliaries in Pushbacks”, we need to express our grave concern and sorrow for the quality of this report.

Firstly, because it reproduces allegations based solely on a series of telephone interviews, not confirmed by credible and well-founded evidence.

Secondly, because the reported activities of foreigners at the border, if they are proved to be true, look rather like conflicts and settling of differences among smuggling networks which regrettably continue to operate and exploit human suffering.

The reported practices do not correspond to the standard operating procedures of the Greek authorities and FRONTEX fighting daily illegal smuggling activities and saving human lives. The enhanced presence in Evros has resulted in a significant decrease of illegal arrivals and a huge loss of crime revenues for smuggling networks. We call on all involved actors to refrain from providing support to these illicit activities.

Greece, as an EU member state, remains committed to the protection of human rights, implements the relevant national, EU and international law and investigates any reported incident. Greece disposes of independent monitoring mechanisms, such as the National Transparency Authority, competent to investigate claims of abuse or illegal practices by state actors, in addition to regular investigations by judicial authorities. We invite any actor reporting such abuses to provide all material evidence to the competent national authorities.

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