New Pact on Migration – Policy Analysis

On 23rd September 2020, the European Commission presented its plans for the future of migration and asylum management in Europe. Whilst it has been widely acknowledged that an overhaul of the current system is imperative, the New Pact does little to quell concerns from INGOs, civil society groups, and human rights watchdogs. The Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) has decided to focus on independent border monitoring, pre-screening procedures and mechanisms that immediately follow for the purpose of this policy analysis. These indicate a system in which external borders will be fortified in the interest of accelerating decision making processes for new arrivals into the bloc. This policy analysis covers: Continue reading “New Pact on Migration – Policy Analysis”

Violence Within State Borders: Greece

This report initiates a new branch of our network that will document violence within a states borders, separate to cross-border pushbacks. Greece is the first case study in a bi-monthly series that will explore patterns and trends in states along the Balkan Route. Here, we look more broadly at violence in Greece before honing in on three focal points:

    • State run detention facilities
    • Lesvos after the Moria fire
    • The port of Patras.

Continue reading “Violence Within State Borders: Greece”

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.

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

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”