Human Rights Watch and Border Forensics said in a multimedia research feature released Monday that the use by the EU’s border agency, Frontex, of aerial surveillance to enable the Libyan Coast Guard to intercept migrant boats, knowing that migrants and asylum seekers will face systematic and widespread abuse when forcibly returned to Libya, makes Frontex complicit in the abuse.

The report said using data analysis and research testimony, the interactive web feature “Airborne Complicity: Frontex Aerial Surveillance Enables Abuse” documents the role that Frontex-chartered aircraft – several planes and a drone – play in detecting migrants’ boats in the central Mediterranean and their subsequent interception by Libyan forces.

The two bodies said that the analysis of the available data supports the conclusion that the approach of Frontex is not designed to rescue people in distress, but rather to prevent them from reaching European Union territory.

“However, there is a moderate and statistically significant relationship between drone flights and the number of interceptions carried out by the Libyan Coast Guard,” said Human Rights Watch and Border Forensics.