Migrants bundled out of Europe lose court challenge against EU's Frontex
By Bethany Bell
The EU's top court has dismissed a case against European border agency Frontex, brought by a family of Syrian refugees who were sent out of Greece to Turkey in 2016.
Lawyers for the family had argued the EU agency should be held accountable for the refugees being deported without having the chance to apply for asylum.
So-called pushbacks are illegal under international law.
But the European Court of Justice rejected their challenge.
"Since Frontex does not have the power to assess the merits of return decisions or applications for international protection, that EU agency cannot be held liable for any damage," the Court ruled.
The Syrian family - a husband, wife and four small children - from the Kurdish town of Kobani arrived in Greece in October 2016.
They were among an estimated one million Syrians fleeing the war there who came to Greece during the European migrant crisis.
The family, who has not been named, registered a pre-asylum application registering their wish for international protection on the Greek island of Leros, a small island in the Aegean where many little boats carrying refugees were arriving from Turkey, and were then taken to the island of Kos.