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Source: European Parliament

On 12 December 2019, Der Spiegel published a video documenting illegal pushbacks at the Greek-Turkish land border in the Evros region (1) . This video is the most solid evidence yet for the existence of pushbacks. The Greek Government has repeatedly been accused of illegal pushbacks of asylum seekers to Turkey. In a report from November 2018, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights expressed her deep concern about ‘persistent and documented allegations of summary returns to Turkey’. NGOs have made public numerous testimonies of people pushed back in the Evros region. The UNHCR continues to receive numerous credible reports of alleged pushbacks. Despite the increasing number and documentation of pushbacks at the Greek-Turkish land border, Greek authorities are denying the allegations.

Such pushbacks constitute illegal violations of the Geneva Convention, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and European asylum law. What has the Commission done so far to prevent these violations at the Greek-Turkish border?

Will the Commission take the video published by Der Spiegel into account as solid evidence for pushbacks?

Is the Commission considering instigating an infringement procedure given that the Greek authorities have shown no intention of launching a proper investigation?

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