EU Commission questions Greece on use of sound cannons on border with Turkey
Commission concerned about reports of deployment of long-range acoustic devices to deter migrants from crossing border
The EU has asked for an explanation from Greece on the use of sound cannons at its external borders, an official said Thursday.
“The [European] Commission is concerned to note media reports about this particular piece of equipment, the acoustic cannon, which is used to discourage people from crossing the border,” Home Affairs and Citizenship spokesman Adalbert Jahnz told reporters at a news conference.
He said the EU executive body asked information from Greek authorities if they deployed cannons that project deafening noise and that the agency is “in constant contact” with officials on the matter.
Jahnz said member states were responsible for choosing the methods and equipment for their external borders but actions have to be “in alignment with the European Charter on Fundamental Rights, including the right to dignity.”
“All measures taken at external borders have to be proportionate, and they have to respect fundamental rights and EU asylum law,” he added.
Greek authorities deployed strong sound generating devices at its continental frontier with Turkey to prevent migrants from entering their territory, according to media reports.
The long-range acoustic devices are part of a recently installed “new digital barriers” system that features a steel wall and an automated surveillance network at the Greek-Turkish border.