Help us to raise pressure on the institutions and actors that are directly and indirectly responsible for the systematic violation of basic human rights on the borders of the European Union. These are not limited to the EU’s member states located on these borders – such as Croatia and Hungary – and whose officials continue to beat and abuse people on the run. Given that all European countries have agreed to the Geneva Convention as well as the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, it is their shared responsibility to impede the systematic violation of those treaties.
By writing an e-mail to the European Ombudsperson or their colleague in Hungary, Croatia or Slovenia, you can make your voice heard and help to bring the issue to political debate. You can either use the text provided below or write your own message.
Dear Sir or Madam,
I write to you as a concerned citizen of the European Union.
Every day, the very values promoted by the EU are compromised at its external borders with Serbia: As is documented in a database at www.borderviolence.eu, representatives of the EU member states Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia beat, torture, and steal from people who are coming to Europe for protection.
At least 857 people, including many under-aged, have suffered beating, kicking, electric shocks and even dog bites, were deprived of their belongings including their clothes, and forced to wait for hours at below-zero temperatures. The first in-depth documentation of individual cases shows to what extent illegal push-backs accompanied by police violence have become daily fare on the mentioned EU borders. With many occurrences undocumented, the actual number of cases is likely to be much higher.
While the borders between our member states have been erased, our external borders are the deadliest in the world. Left without any legal ways to enter the EU, people are being driven onto more and more dangerous routes and into the arms of smugglers and violent border guards. With winter approaching, and people becoming more and more desperate, it is likely that things will get worse and more people will die.
Push-Backs and police violence violate international law, in particular the Geneva Convention, The European Charter of Human Rights and, essentially, Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Facing these developments, immediate political action is necessary in order to stop a) a humanitarian catastrophe and b) the EU’s failure to abide by its own values.
I call on you, as the European Ombudsman, to take action regarding the treatment of asylum seekers and migrants on our external borders. As the problem concerns the EU as whole, I strongly insist on you raising the issue of ongoing mistreatment on the European arena: every individual declaring the will to apply for the asylum should be granted such an opportunity.
I call on the EU, and on you as the EU’s official, to stand by its principles and comply with its own legal order.