Several NGOs and media have recently pointed fingers at Greek and Croatian officials for allegedly pushing back illegal migrant pushbacks reaching their territory, which has led the European Union’s executive to call for a profound investigation in this regard.
A recent report published by German media Der Spiegel and ARD showed that officials in Greek and Croatia were involved in such illegal operations while it stressed that special forces from both countries sometimes concealed their identity during these operations, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
As reported by the Guardian, such a report had video footage of a total of 11 pushbacks by Croatian police officials into Bosnia and Herzegovina and also footage of the Greek coast guard pushing migrants back to the Aegean Sea.
Regarding the issue, a spokesman for the executive European Commission has stressed that an investigation should be initiated.
“The Commission strongly opposes any pushback practices and has repeatedly emphasised that any such practices are illegal, and the national authorities have the responsibility to investigate any allegations, with a view to establishing the facts and to properly follow up on any wrongdoing,” he pointed out.
The Interior Minister of Croatia, Davor Bozinovic, told German media that the police would conduct an investigation; however, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) has published a video on Twitter stressing that there is overwhelming evidence that Croatia is involved in illegal pushbacks; therefore, it must not join Schengen.