Letter to the Commision on the proposed deployment of Slovenian army

On 31st March 2020, the Border Violence Monitoring Network co-signed a letter alongside members InfoKolpa and Are You Syrious?, as well as Slovenian groups Radio Študent and Doctors for Asylees. It challenged the latest proposal to militerise Slovenia’s borders in wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. The signatories decried the move by the newly elected government in Ljubljana to invoke article Article 37.a of the Defence Act as a response to the pandemic.

Addressing the concerns directly to the EU Commission, the letter stated that :

“activation of the article would give the Slovenian army unclear jurisdiction for the »protection of the broader border« area. However, there is substantial concern that such indefinite military power would expand into martial law across the country”.

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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”

Balkan Region Report – February 2020

The Border Violence Monitoring Network is releasing it’s latest report on violations recorded from across the Balkan Route. In February volunteers observed a convergence of abuse against people-on-the-move during illegal pushbacks and prevention tactics at the EU’s external border. The Network shared the story of 190 people who suffered collective expulsion, analysing several trends and phenomena that can be found below. These cases are also summarised in conjunction with the set of violent measures taken at official border crossings, as seen most overtly at Turkey’s border with Greece.

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Violations marked with a European stamp: Continued abuse in Evros as reported before by MIT

Successive days of extreme police repression at the Greek border with Turkey have highlighted the EU’s militant policy towards people-on-the-move: violations marked with a European stamp.

Over the last week, people reaching the border areas near to Ipsala and Erdine (TUR) faced tear gas, stun grenades, live rounds and brutality from border police on the Greek side. The gathering of people at the border crossings was precipitated by Ankara’s decision to “facilitate” movement from Turkey; a remonstration on failings of the EU-Turkey deal and a piece of crude brinkmanship towards current interventions in Idlib, Syria.

Map of the BCPs where people have met violence from Greek authorities (Source:Cities of Refuge)

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Balkan Region Report – January 2020

The Border Violence Monitoring Network is releasing it’s January Report, covering the pushback of 263 people, across fourteen different incidents. Work by volunteers in the field shone a light on the continued use of blunt physical force to damage, impair and brutalise people-on-the-move. Reports involved a range of perpetrators, with Croatia carrying out the majority of recorded pushbacks, alongside three chain removals from Slovenia and two mass explusions from North Macedonia to Greece.

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