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Monitoring of Joint Return Operation

On October 11, 2017, representatives of the Department of Prevention and Monitoring of the Public Defender's Office carried out monitoring of the joint return operation of the Georgian citizens living in the territory of the EU countries without permission. The representative of the Department of Prevention and Monitoring left Tbilisi international airport for the airports of the German city of Hannover and Greek capital Athens, where they attended the return of 63 Georgian citizens from various European countries.

The process 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 reception, checking and travelling of the Georgian citizens was monitored non-stop. No incident has taken place and no force or special means were used during the return operation.

It should be positively noted that the German side changed the place of deportation. In particular, the return operation was carried out from the city of Hannover instead of Düsseldorf, which significantly improved the placement conditions of the returning persons. In particular, a large area was allocated at the Hannover airport, food was freely available and the returning people (accompanied by escort) had access to a special smoking area for the first time.

It should also be praised that in some cases the employees of the Migration Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia gave the citizens of Georgia a chance to make a telephone call to Georgia. However, this was not a systematic solution to the problem. The Public Defender considers it is important the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Internal Affairs Georgia to ensure communication with representatives of FRONTEX and the countries carrying out the return operation within the framework of the readmission agreement between the European Union and Georgia, in order to ensure telephone communication of the returning persons with their families before departing for Georgia.

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