Balkan Region Report – October 2021

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

In October the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) shared 36 testimonies of pushbacks impacting 986 people-on-the-move across the Balkans. This report brings together first hand accounts from a range of countries in the region to look at the way European Union states and other actors are affecting systemic violence towards people crossing borders.

BVMN is a network of watchdog organisations active in the Balkans, Greece and Turkey 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:

  • Dead and missing in Evros
  • Romanian pushbacks and developments in Majdan
  • Apprehensions near the Slovenian-Italian border
  • Lighthouse Reports video and Ministry response
  • Pushbacks in the Aegean
  • Squat evictions in Serbia and Bosnia Herzegovina

The report also looks at the rise in removals from Turkey, arrival conditions for people reaching Trieste in Italy, the lastest Mare Liberum monitoring mission and the nationwide evacuation simulation carried out in many of Greece’s RICs. In sum, the border violence which has for so long been a mainstay of domestic and externalised EU policy continued unabated into Autumn, in spite of continual and well founded evidence exposing perpetrators. In a wider view, this report connects up such impunity with the burgeoning trend of endemic pushback violence at other borders across the bloc, most notably at the Polish-Belarussian border, but also in Germany, where fascists have increased their mobilisation at the country’s eastern border.

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