Yesterday in Brussels the democratic and socialist MEPs of the Commission for Civil Liberties and Internal Affairs (LIBE) asked the executive director of Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, to resign.

The European agency that controls and monitors migratory movements at the EU borders is accused of illegal practices and violations of fundamental rights.

Several inquiries and testimonies from civil organizations have proven the involvement of the European Border Guard in the refoulement of migrants trying to arrive in the EU. Pushbacks are contrary to international agreements for the protection of refugees: no one can be deported or repatriated to a country where their safety is threatened. In yesterday’s session of the Commission for Civil Liberties and Internal Affairs, Fabrice Leggeri deliberately avoided answering questions on pushbacks. The allegations of the S&D parliamentary group refer, in particular, to the pushbacks that occurred at the Greek-Turkish maritime border in the Aegean Sea. However, Frontex’s crimes and omissions do not only take place there.

Thanks to the testimonies collected by various associations and NGOs, it has been possible to document dozens of pushback cases in the Central Mediterranean, in which Frontex, with its air assets, is directly involved. Coordinating the so-called “Libyan Coast Guard”, the European Border Defense Agency has contributed to the capture and deportation of 11,000 women, men and children to Libya since the beginning of the year – persons who had the right to seek asylum.

We ask for the resignation of Mr. Fabrice Leggeri.  We call for the establishment of a European Commission of Inquiry into criminal pushback activities occurring at the borders.  We call for the immediate cessation of the use of Frontex air and naval assets illegally employed to collaborate with the military forces of countries that do not respect human rights.

We ask that all evidence gathered by the Commission on Frontex illegal activities be forwarded to the International Criminal Court.

We will continue to denounce the crimes against humanity that Frontex commits against thousands of human beings at the gates of Europe.