Taking Frontex’s New Director Aija Kalnaja to Court over Greece

Court of Justice of the European Union, September 2022

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Every day, hundreds of people trying to enter the EU to ask for asylum are being kidnapped and violently transferred back from Greece to Turkey. At least 43,000 people have been assaulted like that since January 2020. These illegal pushbacks in the Aegean Sea are jointly conducted by the Hellenic Coast Guard and Frontex.

This practice must stop - which is why front-LEX is taking Frontex interim Director Aija Kalnaja to court. We filed the case on behalf of Jeancy K., a Congolese refugee who entered Greece to seek asylum but instead was violently abducted, forcibly transferred to a ‘death raft’, collectively expelled and abandoned in distress at sea. Jeancy was a victim of multiple such attempted murders, lastly on 14 July 2022. During one of them he had to watch his friend drown to death, with European officers watching, laughing, doing nothing to save him, and not even recovering his body.

Based on the OLAF report and numerous other evidentiary sources, front-LEX is asking the Court to rule that Kalnaja failed to trigger Article 46 of the Frontex Regulation for its operation in the Aegean Sea, according to which the Director must “suspend or terminate any activity by the Agency… if he or she considers that there are violations of fundamental rights or international protection obligations related to the activity concerned that are of a serious nature or are likely to persist”. If successful, Frontex will have to pull out of the Aegean Sea for good.

We need your help! This case is financed by a crowdfunding campaign. We need €50,000 to continue representing pushback victims and litigate their cases before European and EU Courts in the coming months. Support us now - together we can end the EU’s deadly migration policy.

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