Non-profits cooperating with refugee smugglers are suing Frontex

Frontex presents itself on the website as follows: “Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, was set up in 2004 to help EU Member States and Schengen Associated Countries protect the external borders of the EU’s free movement area. As an EU agency, Frontex is funded by the EU budget and contributions from Schengen associated countries. The agency is expected to have around 1,000 staff by 2020. ”European countries have recently agreed to strengthen Frontex’s capacity to make it even more efficient.

The British left-wing daily Morning Star reported on its website on 9 June about a demonstration of activists demanding the abolition of Frontex in Brussels. In photographs published in the media, it is possible to see the headquarters of the agency shed in red (symbolizing the blood of illegal immigrants) and activists standing with banners. Similar protests are being organized by NGO activists in many cities across the European Union.

The goal of activist organizations is not only to abolish Frontex, but also to push for the abolition of surveillance of illegal immigrants, end deportations of illegal immigrants from Europe, end prosecutions of non-profit activists helping illegal immigrants and promote uncontrollable free movement of people across the European Union.

Among the non-profit organizations supporting this initiative called “Abolish Frontex” we can find not only left-wing organizations from Western Europe, but also anarchist groups and non-profit organizations helping illegal immigrants in the Mediterranean, such as the now famous Europe-wide Sea-Watch or Open Arms. Supporting organizations also include organizations associating (not only) immigrants from Africa, such as Afrique-Europe-Interact, UMOYA – Federación de Comités de Solidaridad con África Negra, as well as anti-racist organizations such as the Forum Antirazzista Palermo and SOS Racismo.

However, the activists are not limited to demonstrations, but NGO lawyers have filed a lawsuit against Frontex in a European court because they believe the agency’s staff are breaking EU law by helping Greek authorities try to push ships with migrants out of Greek territorial waters flowing uncontrollably from Turkey.

Some of the organizations supporting the “Abolish Frontex” action have long been accused by officials and security services of participating in organizing illegal immigration into Europe, in the form of cooperation with smugglers and traffickers of illegal immigrants. For example, in 2019, the then French Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner stated that there was evidence of cooperation between non-profit organizations and human smugglers, and as the French daily Le Monde writes, similar information was confirmed by a high official of the internationally recognized government in Libya.

The then Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, also accused non-profit organizations allegedly rescuing illegal immigrants in the Mediterranean in 2019 of intentionally disclosing the smugglers of people to send boats with illegal immigrants to the sea by deliberately revealing the positions of their ships in the Mediterranean and endangering their immigrants. lives with the intention of letting them “save” non-profit organizations.

However, much more serious allegations against non-profits and activists are being made in Greece, where non-profit organizations are being investigated not only for cooperating with human smugglers, but also for spying on Greek security authorities, in which activists are supposed to participate in cooperation with the Turkish secret services. According to the German weekly Die Zeit, in 2020, Greek security authorities accused several dozen activists of espionage; many of them are originally from Germany.

It is the activities of these non-profit organizations that have long irritated the management of Frontex, which seeks to gain greater legal control over the activities of non-profit organizations at the borders of the European Union.

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