Berlin, Aug 5 (AFP/APP):The European Union border force Frontex has allegedly been turning a blind eye to ill treatment of refugees by guards at EU external borders, according to media reports Monday.
A joint investigation by German public broadcaster ARD, non-profit investigative journalism website Correctiv and British newspaper The Guardian also accused Warsaw-based Frontex of violating the human rights of refugees during deportations.
Citing internal documents, the report said Frontex had allowed guards to use dogs to hunt down migrants, as well as to deploy pepper spray and batons, particularly along EU borders in Bulgaria, Hungary and Greece.
The investigation accused local guards of using force or threats to return migrants back across the EU’s external borders, thus obstructing the basic right to seek asylum.
It also cited cases of minors being deported on planes unaccompanied and of refugees sedated with medication during their expulsion flights, in violation of international regulations.
According to the investigation, some internal Frontex reports describe “excessive use of force” or “mistreatment of refugees” but often end with the statement “case closed”.
Frontex can remove its staff from countries along the EU borders and by not doing so is complicit in any wrongdoing, the head of the agency’s Advisory Forum, Stephan Kessler, told ARD.
When contacted by AFP, Frontex said “so far, no complaint has been filed against any Frontex officer”.