The Borders Newsroom seeks to sustain public interest journalism in the context of nested crises at Europe’s external borders, ranging from confrontation at Greece’s land and sea borders with Turkey, to abuses of asylum seekers in the Western Balkans, to the arrival of Covid-19. These emergencies have created states of exception that threaten the 1951 refugee convention and right to asylum. The Borders newsroom exists to detect and decode disinformation and empower investigative journalism, local and international, in this hostile context, while holding the main EU agencies, state and non-state actors to account. It provides domain expertise and tools including open source investigation. It aims to be a nerve centre for journalism that provides an evidence-base for a public debate on challenges to fundamental rights, rule of law and right to asylum that arise from border enforcement policies and the EU asylum and migration system.
How asylum seekers are held in secret prisons on commercial ships to facilitate illegal pushbacks from Italy to GreeceMore
How refugees are being arbitrarily detained and tortured at secret facilities along EU borders before being illegally forced back across bordersMore
First visual evidence of live ammunition being used against asylum seekers trying to reach Bulgaria brings into sharp question the EU’s approach to border controlMore
How visual evidence, witness testimony and ground reporting can be combined to prevent a cover up by Spain and MoroccoMore
The Greek police are using foreigners as “slaves” to forcibly return asylum seekers to TurkeyMore
Frontex’s internal database suggests the EU border agency is involved in illegal pushbacks on a massive scaleMore
Examining what whistleblowers claim is a new tactic of throwing asylum seekers overboard off Turkish coastMore
Using open source to restore some humanity to the death toll of nameless and faceless people in the Poland-Belarus standoffMore
Getting the visual evidence that removes the layer of plausible deniability from illegal pushbacks of asylum seekers in the Balkans and AegeanMore
Tracing a year in the life of asylum seekers who survived the blaze that destroyed Europe’s largest refugee campMore
The EU borders agency plays a direct role in the Libyan coast guard’s interception operations contrary to previous denialsMore
Allegations of toxic culture at the EU’s border agency reveal a leadership under investigation over fraud and mismanagement.More
Illegal pushbacks in the Aegean aren’t rogue actions of the Greek national coast guard but operations undertaken with the support or connivance of an emerging EU super agencyMore
The most violent pushbacks at Europe’s external borders are done by men in balaclavas. Are they vigilantes or clandestine state forces?More
Greek coastguard employing more aggressive tactics in intercepting asylum seekers and towing them back on life rafts towards TurkeyMore
Encouraged by Erdogan, thousands took to the Pazarkule border gate. But they soon realised they were pawns in a power gameMore
The death of a Pakistani man during a standoff at the Greek-Turkish border raised serious questions. We consider the evidenceMore
Documenting a new wave in Greece of extrajudicial deportations overland and at sea, a practice that came to be known as deep pushbacksMore
Investigations conducted in this newsroom provided the first detailed evidence of new forms of illegal pushbacks spurring widespread international coverage. One investigation demonstrated that asylum seekers who landed on Samos and declared themselves to authorities seeking international protection were detained, put onto a liferaft and towed out to the open sea. Simultaneously it was the first to document “deep pushbacks” — the detention and forced expulsion of asylum seekers from refugee camps deep inside Greece.
We detailed Frontex’s direct involvement in and knowledge of illegal pushbacks, making headlines across Europe. Investigations in this newsroom are partly responsible for the investigation into Frontex by the EU’s anti-fraud agency, OLAF. The Border Agency’s own management board responded with an internal inquiry into its conduct, probing Frontex’s conduct and accountability mechanisms. The head of Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, has been called before national parliaments and faces a special Scrutiny Working Group under the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs at the European Parliament.