More than 700 reports published on the database www.borderviolence.eu document the experiences of a total of more than 7,000 asylum seekers who have been illegally expelled from Croatia in recent years. In many of these so-called pushbacks, the persons concerned were deported from the EU to Serbia or Bosnia-Herzegovina even across several national borders. In 80% of the cases there are indications of disproportionate use of force up to cases of torture by Croatian officials and 38% of those affected are minors. For thousands of people seeking protection, who want to continue their refuge to Western and Central Europe via Greece, the Balkan region represents a politically intended impasse.
Über 700 auf der Datenbank www.borderviolence.eu(*) veröffentlichte Berichte dokumentieren die Erfahrungen von insgesamt über 7.000 Schutzsuchenden, die in den letzten Jahren rechtswidrig aus Kroatien ausgewiesen wurden. Bei vielen dieser sogenannten Pushbacks wurden die Betroffenen sogar über mehrere Ländergrenzen hinweg aus der EU nach Serbien oder Bosnien-Herzegowina abgeschoben. In 80% der Fälle finden sich Hinweise auf unverhältnismäßige Gewaltanwendung bis hin zu Fällen von Folter und erniedrigende Behandlungdurch kroatische Beamt*innen und 38% der Betroffenen sind minderjährig. Für tausende Schutzsuchende, die über Griechenland weiter nach West- und Zentraleuropa fliehen wollen, stellt die Balkanregion eine von der EU gewollte Sackgasse dar.
On the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the Border Violence Monitoring Network is saddened to report new cases of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment of people on the move perpetrated by the EU member states and Western Balkan countries.
On this symbolic occasion, we call upon governments across the Balkan migration routes to fulfill their obligation in line with international law and cease the practice of illegal pushbacks and end the continued torture of people on the move.
In this report, the stories of 736 people subject to pushbacks in the Western Balkans and Greece are told. The Border Violence Monitoring Network continued to record high levels of illegal cross-border removals throughout the COVID-19 lockdown period and into the relaxation of measures. First hand accounts of these actions – carried out by both police, state armies and Frontex – come from a range of different borders stretching from the Evros river between Greece
and Turkey, to the Italian-Slovenian border. This publication provides field updates from April and May, relaying the situation along the EU external border and it’s persistently violent character. Continue reading “Balkan Region Report – April/May 2020”
Since late February, volunteers within the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN), an alliance of groups documenting pushbacks in the Western Balkans and Greece, have been monitoring with concern the spike in pushbacks to Turkey over the Evros river. Whilst recent cases represent a peak in these practices by Greek authorities, they are not novel. Rather, they represent long standing trends that have been intensifying gradually. This press release details the latest mass pushback of people who were seized crudely while accessing essential food and medical assistance in Thessaloniki, Greece.