The reports that make up this database have been collected by volunteers working with Aid Brigade, Balkan Info Van, BASIS, BelgrAid, Fresh Response, Info Park, No Name Kitchen, Rigardu, [Re:]ports Sarajevo as well as independent persons. In our work at different locations in Serbia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina, we started to notice the effects of push-backs and, increasingly, physical violence on the people we were working with. Since we started documenting cases of violence on the border, the frequency of such incidents has been ever rising and the level of violence has reached shocking levels.
« One of us, a 13-year old boy couldn’t stop crying because of the gas so they moved him from the front to the back of the line, so he was sitting next to me. He kept crying and they were laughing at him and hitting him with police batons saying: Shut up! Shut up! »
This website documents illegal push-backs and police violence inflicted by EU member state authorities, mainly on the borders of Serbia/Croatia, Serbia/Hungary and Bosnia and Herzegovina/Croatia. The quotes and pictures below are just a few examples from a growing database of testimonies and reports collected by independent volunteers starting in 2016. Through systematic documentation, it aims to render visible the equally systematic and planned character of this violence. Day by day, basic human rights are being violated on the margins of the EU. In solidarity with the people suffering these abuses, we aim to bring their often forgotten stories to public attention and demand that these practices stop immediately.
Injuries caused by police violence in Hungary and Croatia.
« They were asking: Where is the rest of your group? and he didn’t know. They grabbed him and smashed his head against the ground breaking his teeth. Blood was coming out of his ears and from his nose. His mouth was cut where the teeth had been broken. When they dropped us in Serbia he was done, he couldn’t move. »
« They begged them not to be deported, that they had a baby, that they wanted to ask for asylum in Croatia. She also explained that her mother has a heart problem. But the police didn’t listen, and they were driven back to Serbia, and dropped at the border around midnight. It was the second time they were pushed back. »
« Then everyone had the dogs released on them again. When we were trying to back off to escape the dogs, police officers were on the other side of us, kicking us back towards the dogs. This was repeated several times. In the meantime, some policemen were drinking tea in the car observing and laughing at us. »
Header Picture: ©Ilir Tsouko