BVMN Visual Investigation: Analysis of Video Footage Showing Bosnian Special Support Unit Engaged in Violent Behavior Near Miral Camp

The following piece is a product of a joint-investigation on behalf of the Border Violence Monitoring Network. 

Introduction

During the month of August, local initiatives organizing against the existence of an informal transit camp near the IOM-run transit center in Velika Kladuša heightened tensions within the Una-Sana Canton. In this time, people-in-transit have been cleared twice from the improvised shelters built around the official camp by authorities, but tensions have continued to climb. During this period, some locals began demonstrations which turned aggressive in some cases and violent in others.

By mid-August, there were regular demonstrations outside of the IOM-run transit camp wherein incoming buses would be stopped and searched for people-in-transit who, if identified, would be taken off and told to walk back in the direction they came from. Additionally, hateful Facebook groups amassed thousands of followers during this month, discussing ways in which to aggressively deal with people-on-the-move and aid volunteers living in the Una-Sana canton. Elsewhere, official cantonal policy refugees and migrants have shifted, wherein transit groups are actively being prevented from entering the Una-Sana Canton.

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BVMN Visual Investigation: Analysis of Video Footage Showing Involvement of Hellenic Coast Guard in Maritime Pushback

The following piece is a product of a joint-investigation by Josoor and No Name Kitchen on behalf of the Border Violence Monitoring Network. 

Introduction

Since the spring, consistent and well-documented reports have shown masked men aggressively pursuing boats full of refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers in the Aegean Sea, before either destroying or off-loading the boats and initiating illegal return operations to Turkey.

One investigation  which Josoor contributed to, analyzed a set of materials  documenting masked men operating from an inflatable boat off the island of Lesvos in early June. Testimonies recorded on the BVMN database [June 5th; June 3rd] as well as other media reports describe a series of incidents where Hellenic Coast Guard [HCG] vessels approach boats carrying men, women and children in the Aegean between Turkey and Greece and variably drove them back, intimidated them, or destroyed and removed their engines. Several of these operations have been marked by direct physical violence at the hands of the HCG. A more recent report from the New York Times referenced at least 1,072 asylum seekers being abandoned at sea by Greek officials in at least 31 separate expulsions since March. Continue reading “BVMN Visual Investigation: Analysis of Video Footage Showing Involvement of Hellenic Coast Guard in Maritime Pushback”

Report from Centre for Peace Studies on the pushback of children

On 29th May 2020, the Centre for Peace Studies – a key member of the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) – presented a new report alongside the Welcome! Initiative. Addressing the Croatian Government, the “Report on violent and illegal expulsions of children and unaccompanied children” is based on testimonies collected by activists through the BVMN shared database. The publication shares the story of children who sought protection from Croatia, and how Croatia answered in violence. Continue reading “Report from Centre for Peace Studies on the pushback of children”

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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New report on violations at Greek borders

Following the recent developments in Greece regarding violence against people at it’s national and EU border, the Border Violence Monitoring Network have co-authored a comprehensive report alongside several organisations (Mobile Info Team, Mare Liberum, No Name Kitchen, and Balkan Info Van). The publication outlines the latest data from monitoring groups recording pushbacks to Turkey from both land and sea, highlighting systemic and EU backed acts of extreme violence and cruelty in breach of international law. Continue reading “New report on violations at Greek borders”