Syrian sues Frontex over pushback from Greece

Syrian sues Frontex over pushback from Greece

Syrian sues Frontex over pushback from Greece

A Syrian who says he was illegally pushed back into Turkey by Greek authorities is suing the EU border agency Frontex for alleged complicity, the association mounting his legal case told AFP.

The lawsuit was lodged March 10, according to the European Court of Justice website.

The plaintiff, Alaa Hamoudi, is claiming $550,000 from Frontex over action he says the Greek coast guard took on April 28-29, 2020, according to the Front-Lex legal association representing him.

Front-Lex said that, after Hamoudi arrived on the Greek island of Samos with around 20 other asylum-seekers, they were loaded by Greek authorities onto a crowded inflatable dinghy and abandoned at sea for 17 hours.

A Frontex plane surveilled the situation at the time, alleged Hamoudi, who now resides in Turkey.

Such an act, if proven, could constitute “refoulement,” the forcible return of asylum-seekers which is illegal under international law.

Frontex, the EU’s biggest agency with a budget of 750 million euros this year, has been helping the Greek coast guard monitor the Greek side of the maritime border with Turkey.