National Preventive Mechanism Continues Monitoring of Joint Return Operation of Migrants

On April 15, 2016, the Department of Prevention and Monitoring of the Public Defender's Office carried out the fourth monitoring of Joint Return Flight Operation of citizens of Georgia whichhad been illegally residing in EU countries.

Representatives of the Department of Prevention and Monitoring went from Tbilisi International Airport to the airports of the German city of Dusseldorf and the Greek capital of Athens, where they attended deportation of 25 Georgian citizens from Germany and Greece. The deportation was coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union FRONTEX.

The process of checking and travelling was monitored non-stop. Interviews with the migrants revealed that their cell phones were sealed off together with their luggage and they could not call their family members. The representatives of the Department of Prevention and Monitoring immediately informed FRONTEX of it, which ensured that all migrants could make a phone call on the territory of the Dusseldorf Airport. After examination of health conditions, the German side assumed that one of the persons had to remain in Germany.

No special means was used during the operation and the journey was calm. However, it should be noted that the escort of the joint return operation was accompanied by cameramen’s from the press office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which was preparing a short film about the deportation. Members of the Press office were taking a photo and video at Tbilisi International Airport against the will of the returnees and thus created an obvious conflict situation.

The Department of Prevention and Monitoring of the Public Defender's Office has been monitoring the process of return of Georgian citizens from the EU countries since December 2014.

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