Balkan Region Report – November 2020

The Border Violence Monitoring Network published 29 testimonies of violent pushbacks in November, involving severe levels of physical, psychological and structural abuse. The testimonies collected last month voice the experience of 951 people-on-the-move. This report offers analysis of the trends observed in each of these accounts, showing how law enforcement carry out these violent collective expulsions at EU borders.

As a network comprised of grassroots organisations active in Greece and the Western Balkans, this report was produced via a joint-effort between Are You Syrious, Mobile Info Team, No Name Kitchen, Rigardu, Josoor, Disinfaux Collective, InfoKolpa, Centre for Peace Studies, Re:ports Sarajevo, Mare Liberum, Collective Aid and Fresh Response.

This report analyses among other things:

  • The stranding of transit groups on the Evros/MeriƧ River and Aegean Sea
  • A groundbreaking video analysis of a Croatian pushback
  • Violent sea and land removals from Italy
  • Denial of asylum access for people from LGBTQ+ community
  • Detention in Bulgaria and chain pushbacks to Turkey

The report also looks at the transit situation in Greece, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia, as well as reviewing the arrival conditions for people in North East Italy. The onset of winter has come with a spike in squat evictions, and uncertainty about the present accomodation provision across these countries. With police pressure on transit communities and the solidarity groups supporting them, the close of 2020 is being marked with a further erosion of rights in the region.

 

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