Balkan Region Report – July 2021

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

The Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) documented 22 pushbacks in the July reporting period, affecting a total of 544 people-on-the-move across the Balkans. This report brings together first hand accounts of police violence with updates from various border areas, including Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Italy. The publication contains an in-depth look at patterns of collective expulsion and internal violence, as well as various field and policy updates from the region.

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:

  • Croatian border rivers in pushbacks and transit
  • Direct pushback trends from Bulgaria
  • Death of child on Lesvos and new ‘hotspot’ announced on Samos
  • Police violence in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Romania
  • Successful court ruling on Hungarian asylum breaches

The report also contains information on the renewed joint border patrols between Italy and Slovenia, the donation of border equipment by the European Union to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Greek government denials and admissions on pushbacks, and analysis on Slovenia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU. Together, these various developments from across the region portray a migration regime which has weaponised borders and interiors against human mobility in a cruel and fatal way.

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