En Danwatch-undersøgelse

Behind the investigation

En arbejder på et garveri i Vaniyambadi tjekker, hvor langt et skind er i garveprocessen. Foto: Uffe Weng

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31. January 2019
A probe into hundreds of EU and International Organization for Migration (IOM) tenders and awarded contracts, including technical specifications for the bidders, show that the EU is funding video surveillance cameras, communication equipment, patrol vehicles and seismic sensors worth €2 million for the benefit of the Belarusian State Border Committee (SBC). This is how we revealed EU’s funding of border equipment that violates human rights.

In a collaboration with Belarusian journalists, we have documented that the entity, which has received the equipment is accused of human rights violations. Specifically, the Belarusian government is responsible for cracking down on the  political opposition and civil society, violating the rights of Chechen refugees, and meting out harsh treatment on migrants and refugees passing through Belarus on their way to the EU’s external borders.


The Belarusian government is also targeting independent and critical media. For that reason, a number of precautions have had to be taken to protect the Belarusian journalists involved in the investigation. Following harassment from the authorities, it was decided that a byline from a participating journalist would be withheld. Plans to approach particular sources and locations were also cancelled in order to maintain the safety of the journalists.


The team consists of the investigative reporting platform Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Danwatch, a Copenhagen-based independent media centre specialized in investigations of states’ and companies’ impact on human rights and the environment, who has partnered up to investigate the money trail from the EU to Eastern European authorities with poor human rights records.

The project has been funded by a grant from IJ4EU.

All of the articles from this investigation. Where to start is up to you.

Do you believe this to be an important investigation?

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