Home Featured EU border agency to scrutinize events leading to Greek migrant shipwreck
EU border agency to scrutinize events leading to Greek migrant shipwreck

EU border agency to scrutinize events leading to Greek migrant shipwreck

by host

The EU Border and Coast Guard Agency will compile a report on the capsized boat carrying migrants off the coast of Greece, which resulted in the deaths of potentially hundreds in one of the worst shipwrecks in Europe in a decade. 

The agency, known as Frontex, initiated a “serious incident report” (SIR) on Thursday, requiring the agency’s fundamental rights officers to record potential human rights violations, an agency spokesperson told POLITICO. 

While the process is not an investigation — Frontex does not have the ability to investigate incidents — the report allows the agency to gather all available details surrounding the fatal incident. The report can then be shared with investigative bodies or be part of recommendations to other bodies, such as the European Parliament. 

According to the UN’s refugee and migration agencies, UNHCR and IOM, anywhere from 400 to 750 migrants were on board the overcrowded fishing boat headed for Italy from eastern Libya.

Nearly 80 bodies have been found, 104 others were rescued and hundreds of people are thought to be missing. In Pakistan, authorities said more than 300 of its nationals died in the tragedy, but did not specify how they received the information. 

Survivors and NGOs have accused Greek authorities of playing a role in the deaths, saying the Hellenic Coast Guard arrived to the boat too late and may have then contributed to its capsizing. Athens has launched its own investigation into the deaths and denied wrongdoing.

The European Commission brushed aside pressure from international organizations to launch an independent probe into the conduct of the Greek authorities.

But, speaking the day after the disaster, commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson told POLITICO: “They have not been sent to the EU, they have been sent to death.”

After the tragedy, according to one official, who works on migration and was granted anonymity to speak freely, claimed the Frontex report is potentially one of the only chances for an independent assessment. It’s unclear if it will take weeks or months to present the agency’s findings.

EU leaders will discuss migration again at a meeting next week.

Source link

You may also like