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. Continue reading “Balkan Region Report – November 2020”
Stranded at the border
News was broken last month by BVMN partner, Josoor, showing a disturbing stand-off between Greek and Turkish authorities at the Evros/Meriç river border. 70 people, including families with children and a pregnant woman, were trapped on an island which they had been forced onto during an illegal pushback conducted by Greek authorities. With neither Turkey or Greece willing to allow the group to enter their respective territories, they were stranded for days without food or water in freezing temperatures. Here, BVMN publishes a shocking letter exchange with Frontex, who refused to take any responsibility for the safety of the aforementioned individuals, despite their mandate to ensure fundamental rights.
Since the beginning of 2018, thousands of refugees and migrants attempting to enter the European Union via Bosnia-Herzegovina’s border with Croatia have reported violence from Croatian authorities carrying out illegal pushbacks outside the Bosnian cities of Bihać and Velika Kladuša.
Despite consistent reports, the Croatian state has denied these accusations by questioning the credibility of the people-on-the-move, activists, and journalists sharing testimonies as well as citing the lack of compelling photographic evidence tying Croatian authorities to these practices. Our investigation seriously challenges this assertion and presents new visual materials and witness testimony concerning the case of a violent pushback near the Bosnian village of Poljana on March 23rd, 2020