Balkan Region Report – May 2021

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

The Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) reported on 43 instances of pushbacks impacting a total of 760 people in May. The reports illustrate a range of different tactics and rights breaches which have become embedded in EU border enforcement, including extreme physical and racialised violence. 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, IPSIA, Collective Aid and Fresh Response.

Combining insights from these different members, the report analyses among other things:

  • Racialised Islamophobia within Croatian pushbacks
  • K9 units in Bulgaria and dog attacks
  • International officers delpoyed to Slovenian borders
  • Parallel pushback violence in Ceuta and Melilla
  • Pushbacks of LGBTQ community
  • Quarantine conditions in Italy’s Friuli-Venezia Giulia region

 

Read the full report to find about these trends, as well as further updates from the region including: carceral/surveillance systems being applied to Greek camps, a Lesvos court ruling on ‘smuggling’, squat evictions in Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, German equipment donated to North Macedonia and trends in Evros pushbacks. In sum, the month of May saw a continuation of violence against people-on-the-move, both at borders and interiors, with erosion of rights and expansion of state violence underscoring the overall precarious nature of transit along the Balkan Route.

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