Video Analysis: The New Pact on Migration

In this short film BVMN explore the problems associated with the European Unions ‘New Pact on Migration and Asylum’, including the proposed increased use of detention, the time limits proposed for the pre-screening process, and the gaps that remain in the supposed ‘independent monitoring mechanism’. This release comes after the publication in November of a policy analysis on the New Pact (available below) which focused on the problematic pre-screening procedures that would be imposed. Since then, Milena Zajovic – the head of BVMNs Advocacy team and representative of network-member Are You Syrious?, has offered further insights on the pact in a webinar organised by the Left Group of the European Parliament – GUE/NGL. Thank you to network-members Are You Syrious? and No Name Kitchen for the footage, and to Broga Doite Film for the production of this short film.

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Balkan Region Report – November 2020

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”

Frontex ignore rights violations at the Evros border

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.

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Letter of concern to Frontex

Between 25th – 26th November the European Border and Coastguard Agency (Frontex) is holding a meeting of its Management Board. In advance of this meeting, the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) sent a letter addressing questions to the Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri concerning compelling evidence of Frontex involvement (or presence) in pushbacks at the Albanian-Greek border and Greek-Turkish border. The letter was promptly sent on the 9th November but, over two weeks later, remains unanswered.

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Reconstructing a Violent Pushback of Asylum Seekers from Croatia to Bosnia – BVMN Border Investigations

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