Balkan Region Report – April/May 2020

In this report, the stories of 736 people subject to pushbacks in the Western Balkans and Greece are told. The Border Violence Monitoring Network continued to record high levels of illegal cross-border removals throughout the COVID-19 lockdown period and into the relaxation of measures. First hand accounts of these actions – carried out by both police, state armies and Frontex – come from a range of different borders stretching from the Evros river between Greece
and Turkey, to the Italian-Slovenian border. This publication provides field updates from April and May, relaying the situation along the EU external border and it’s persistently violent character. Continue reading “Balkan Region Report – April/May 2020”

Special Report: COVID-19 and Border Violence along the Balkan Route

The Border Violence Monitoring Network are publishing a feature report on the intersection of the current health crisis and border management. This new report shares first hand testimony of people-on-the-move who are experiencing the COVID-19 lockdown in transit. Its scope looks at the way restrictive measures disproportionately affect vulnerable persons in camps and at borders. Further, analysis of various countries from the region shows how COVID-19 measures have also been utilised to shape and erode the fundamental rights of these communities. Approaching the topic of COVID-19 as a period used to stage rights suspensions, some of the developments explored in this report include:
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Balkan Region Report – March 2020

The Border Violence Monitoring Network is releasing its latest report covering updates from the Western Balkans and Greece. In March, illegal pushbacks at multiple borders continued unabated, placing transit groups at physical risk and violating their fundamental rights to asylum and due process. Two simultaneous crises also amplified  and brought into sharp relief the breakdown of legal and humanitarian protections along the route. The movement of thousands of people in Turkey towards the Greek border drew the issue of collective expulsion across the Evros river into view. Meanwhile, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe was used as justification for  new and concerning policy at several points along the route, such as detention and militerisation.

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Balkan Region Report – February 2020

The Border Violence Monitoring Network is releasing it’s latest report on violations recorded from across the Balkan Route. In February volunteers observed a convergence of abuse against people-on-the-move during illegal pushbacks and prevention tactics at the EU’s external border. The Network shared the story of 190 people who suffered collective expulsion, analysing several trends and phenomena that can be found below. These cases are also summarised in conjunction with the set of violent measures taken at official border crossings, as seen most overtly at Turkey’s border with Greece.

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Balkan Region Report – January 2020

The Border Violence Monitoring Network is releasing it’s January Report, covering the pushback of 263 people, across fourteen different incidents. Work by volunteers in the field shone a light on the continued use of blunt physical force to damage, impair and brutalise people-on-the-move. Reports involved a range of perpetrators, with Croatia carrying out the majority of recorded pushbacks, alongside three chain removals from Slovenia and two mass explusions from North Macedonia to Greece.

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