Balkan Region Report – August 2021

Summary and analysis of pushbacks and internal violence documented by BVMN during the month of August.

In August the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) recorded 30 pushbacks, impacting 324 people across migratory routes in the Balkans. This report brings together these testimonies with field observations from across the region, highlighting the various types of border violence being enacted by the EU and other states. The analysis presented considers patterns in police violence during pushbacks, as well as the dire conditions in camps and squated housing, aspects which make up some of the internal bordering processes impacting people-on-the-move.

BVMN is a network of watchdog organisations active in Greece and the Western Balkans including No Name Kitchen, Rigardu, Are You Syrious, Mobile Info Team, Disinfaux Collective, Josoor, [re:]ports Sarajevo, InfoKolpa, Centre for Peace Studies, Mare Liberum, Collective Aid and Fresh Response. Combining insights from these different members, the report analyses among other things:

  • Violence perpetrated against displaced Afghans
  • Transit conditions in Turkey and securitisation at the Iranian border
  • Dog attacks and sexual violence by Croatian officers
  • Further strandings on the Evros/Meriç river
  • Court rulings on chain-pushbacks from Slovenia and Austria
  • Patterns in Hungarian pushbacks

The report also provides other updates, such as news on funding requirements imposed on the Greek Coast Guard related to the implementation of independent border monitoring. Meanwhile joint patrols on the Italian-Slovenian border persisted and news of increasing illegal removals at the Polish-Belarus border marked further disturbing trends. This publication analyses these patterns at borders alongside the violent internal policing, as seen with squat dispersals from Belgrade, Serbia. Camp conditions in Greece are also described here, inline with the disaterous fires that took place there in August and the cutting of cash support to asylum seekers. Across the EU external border, August was scored by persistent pushbacks, repression of living conditions and police brutality.

 

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