• « #Albanie : enjeux migratoires dans les Balkans. Transit, émigration, retours forcés : des mobilités entravées »

    Cette note d’analyse vise à mieux comprendre les enjeux migratoires actuels en Albanie. Elle propose de contribuer à la compréhension de la place de l’Albanie dans cette double dimension : la situation des personnes étrangères en #transit ainsi que les #expulsions des ressortissant·e·s albanais·e·s depuis la France par le concours de l’agence européenne de garde-côtes et de gardes-frontières, Frontex. Les informations collectées proviennent des constats issus d’une mission de La Cimade menée en Albanie en juin 2022 et du travail de recherche effectué en amont par l’équipe du Pôle Solidarités Internationales-Europe.
    Au Sommaire :

    UE-Albanie : une coopération de longue date maîtrisée par l’UE

    - Albanie : l’Union européenne comme horizon
    - Un laboratoire des contrôles migratoires externalisés dans les Balkans

    La situation des personnes en transit en Albanie

    – Filtrage aux frontières : la procédure de pré-identification
    - 2020 : coup d’arrêt pour la demande d’asile aux frontières

    Les Albanais·es cibles de la #machine_à_expulser de l’UE

    - Les #charters #Frontex : instrument privilégié pour expulser vers l’Albanie
    - Les « charters Frontex du mardi » : la routine de l’expulsion des Albanais·es depuis la France
    – Bannissement de l’UE et interdiction de sortir d’Albanie ?
    – En amont des expulsions : dissuader les projets migratoires


    #migrations #asile #réfugiés #frontières #renvois #France #réfugiés_albanais #migrants_albanais #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #machine_à_expulsion #externalisation #dissuasion

    • Enregistrement webinaire Albanie

      A l’occasion de la sortie de la Note d’analyse « Albanie : enjeux migratoires dans les Balkans. Transit, émigration, retours forcés : des mobilités entravées », La Cimade a organisé un webinaire afin de présenter nos observations et analyses.


  • “Like We Were Just Animals”. Pushbacks of People Seeking Protection from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Laila R. fled Afghanistan with her parents and her two brothers in 2016, when she was 11 or 12 years old. They sought international protection in Iran, then Turkey, and then Greece. Increasingly desperate for stability, they travelled through North Macedonia and arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina in early 2021. When Laila first spoke to Human Rights Watch in November 2021, she and her family had tried to enter Croatia dozens of times. Croatian police apprehended her and her family each time, ignored their repeated requests for asylum, drove them to the border, and forced them to return to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    When Croatian police carry out such pushbacks—broadly meaning official operations intended to physically prevent people from reaching, entering, or remaining in a territory and which either lack any screening for protection needs or employ summary screening—they do not contact authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to arrange for people’s formal return. Instead, Croatian police simply order people to wade across one of the rivers that mark the international border.

    Laila and many others interviewed by Human Rights Watch said Croatian authorities frequently pushed them back to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the middle of the night. She and others told Human Rights Watch Croatian police sometimes pushed them back near Velika Kladuša or other towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina. But on many occasions, the Croatian police took them somewhere far from populated areas.

    Describing the first pushback she experienced, Laila said, “We had no idea where we were. It was the middle of the night, and the police ordered us to go straight ahead until we crossed the river to Bosnia. We spent that night in the forest.”

    Croatian police had destroyed the family’s phones, so they had no easy way of navigating to safety. The next morning, she and her family eventually came across a road. They walked some 30 kilometers to reach Velika Kladuša.

    As with Laila and her family, many of the people who spoke to Human Rights Watch told us they had first sought asylum in Greece as well as in countries outside the European Union before they attempted to enter Croatia. Laila and her family spent one month in Iran, six months in Turkey, and more than three years in Greece, leaving each country after concluding that authorities in each did not intend to respond to their requests for international protection. They did not seek international protection in Bosnia and Herzegovina because they had heard that the country’s authorities rarely granted asylum.

    Croatia became an increasingly important point of entry to the European Union in 2016, after Hungary effectively closed its borders to people seeking asylum. Croatian police have responded to the increase in the number of people entering Croatia irregularly—without visas and at points other than official border crossings—by pushing them back without considering international protection needs or other individual circumstances. In April 2023, for instance, Farooz D. and Hadi A., both 15 years old, told Human Rights Watch Croatian police had apprehended them the night before, driven them to the border, and ordered them to walk into Bosnia and Herzegovina, disregarding their request for protection and their statements that they were under the age of 18.

    Pushbacks from Croatia to the non-European Union countries it borders are now common. Between January 2020 and December 2022, the Danish Refugee Council recorded nearly 30,000 pushbacks from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina, almost certainly an underestimate. Approximately 13 percent of pushbacks recorded in 2022 were of children, alone or with families. Human rights groups have also recorded pushbacks from Croatia to Serbia and to Montenegro.

    Croatian pushbacks have often included violent police responses, including physical harm and deliberate humiliation. Video images captured by Lighthouse Reports, an investigative journalism group, for a 2021 investigation it conducted in collaboration with Der Spiegel, the Guardian, Libération, and other news outlets showed a group of men in balaclavas forcing a group of people into Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although the men did not wear name tags or police badges, the investigation identified them as Croatian police based on characteristic clothing items, the gear they carried, and the corroboration of other police officers. Der Spiegel recounted, “One of the masked men repeatedly lashes out with his baton, letting it fly at the people’s legs so that they stumble into the border river, where the water is chest-high. Finally, he raises his arm threateningly and shouts, ‘Go! Go to Bosnia!’”[1]

    In most of the accounts Human Rights Watch heard, Croatian police wore uniforms, drove marked police vans, and identified themselves as police, leaving no doubt that they were operating in an official capacity.

    Men and teenage boys have told Human Rights Watch and other groups that Croatian police made them walk back to Bosnia and Herzegovina barefoot and shirtless. In some cases, Croatian police forced them to strip down to their underwear or, in a few cases, to remove their clothing completely. In one particularly egregious case documented by the Danish Refugee Council, a group of men arrived at a refugee camp in Bosnia and Herzegovina with orange crosses spray-painted on their heads by Croatian police, an instance of humiliating and degrading treatment the Croatian ombudswoman concluded was an act of religious hatred.

    Younger children have seen their fathers, older brothers, and other relatives punched, struck with batons, kicked, and shoved. Croatian border police have also discharged firearms close to children or pointed firearms at children. In some cases, Croatian police have also shoved or struck children as young as six.

    Croatian police commonly take or destroy mobile phones. Human Rights Watch also heard frequent reports that Croatian police had burned, scattered, or otherwise disposed of people’s backpacks and their contents. In some cases, people reported that police had taken money from them. “The last time we went to Croatia, the police took everyone’s money and all our telephones. Why are they like this?” asked Amira H., a 29-year-old Kurdish woman from Iraq travelling with her husband and 9-year-old son.[2]

    Pushbacks inflict abuse on everyone. In particular, many people said pushbacks took a toll on their mental well-being. Hakim F., a 35-year-old Algerian man who said Croatian police had pushed him back four times between December 2022 and January 2023, commented, “These pushbacks are so stressful, so very, very stressful.”[3] Stephanie M., a 35-year-old Cameroonian woman, told Human Rights Watch in May 2022, “These pushbacks have been so traumatizing. I find I cannot sleep. I am always thinking of the things that have happened, replaying them in my head. There are days I cry, when I ask myself why I am even living. I find myself thinking, ‘Let everything just end. Let the world just end.’”[4]

    For children and their families, who frequently cannot travel as fast on foot as single adults can, pushbacks may add considerably to the time spent in difficult, often squalid, and potentially unsafe conditions before they are able to make a claim for asylum in an EU country. They increase the time children spend without access to formal schooling. For unaccompanied children in particular, pushbacks can increase the risk that they will be subject to trafficking. Family separation may also result from pushbacks: the nongovernmental organization Are You Syrious has reported cases of women allowed to seek asylum in Croatia with their children while their husbands are pushed back to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    Croatian police continued to carry out pushbacks throughout 2022, although in the second half of the year police increasingly employed an alternative tactic of issuing summary expulsion orders directing people to leave the European Economic Area within seven days. These summary expulsion orders did not consider protection needs and did not afford due process protections. By late March 2023, Croatian police appeared to have abandoned this practice and resumed their reliance on pushbacks.

    Croatian authorities regularly deny the overwhelming evidence that Croatian police have regularly carried out pushbacks, sometimes inflicting serious injuries, frequently destroying or seizing phones, and nearly always subjecting people to humiliating treatment in the process. The Croatian government did not respond to Human Rights Watch’s request for comment on this report.

    On the initiative of and with funding from the European Union, Croatia has established a border monitoring mechanism, with the ostensible purpose of preventing and addressing pushbacks and other abuses at the border. The mechanism’s parameters and track record have so far not been promising. Its members cannot make unannounced visits and cannot go to unofficial border crossing points. It is not clear how the members are appointed and how the mechanism’s priorities are defined. It has had its reports revised to remove criticism of Croatian police and the Croatian Ministry of the Interior.

    Croatia’s consistent and persistent use of pushbacks violates several international legal norms, including the prohibitions of torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, collective expulsion, and refoulement—the sending of people to places where they would face ill-treatment or other irreparable harm or would be at risk of return to harm. Pushbacks of children violate the international norm that states take children’s best interests into account, including by taking particular care to ensure that returns of children are in their best interests. Excessive force, other ill-treatment, family separation, and other rights violations may also accompany pushback operations.

    Slovenia and other European Union member states are also implicated in the human rights violations committed by Croatian authorities against people transferred to Croatia under “readmission agreements”—arrangements under which states return people to the neighbouring countries through which they have transited, with few, if any, procedural safeguards. For instance, under Slovenia’s readmission agreement with Croatia, Slovenian police summarily transferred irregular migrants to Croatia if they have entered Slovenia from Croatia, regardless of whether they requested asylum in Slovenia. In turn, Croatian authorities generally immediately pushed them on to Bosnia and Herzegovina or to Serbia.

    EU institutions have effectively disregarded the human rights violations committed by Croatian border authorities. The European Union has contributed substantial funds to Croatian border management without securing meaningful guarantees that Croatia’s border management practices will adhere to international human rights norms and comply with EU law.

    Moreover, the European Union’s decision in December 2022 to permit Croatia to join the Schengen area, the 27-country zone where internal border controls have generally been removed, sends a strong signal that it tolerates pushbacks and other abusive practices.

    Croatia should immediately end pushbacks to Bosnia and Herzegovina and to Serbia and instead afford everybody who expresses an intention to seek international protection the opportunity to do so. Croatia should also reform its border monitoring mechanism to ensure that it is a robust and independent safeguard against pushbacks and other official abuse.

    Until such time as Croatia definitively ends pushbacks and other collective expulsions, ensures that people in need of international protection are given access to asylum, and protects the rights of children, Slovenia should not seek to carry out returns under its readmission agreement with Croatia. Austria, Italy, and Switzerland, in turn, should not send people to Slovenia under their readmission agreements as long as Slovenia continues to apply its readmission agreement with Croatia.

    Through enforcement of EU law and as a condition of funding, the European Commission should require Croatian authorities to end pushbacks and other human rights violations at the border and provide concrete, verifiable information on steps taken to investigate reports of pushbacks and other human rights violations against migrants and asylum seekers.

    The European Union and its member states should also fundamentally reorient their migration policy to create pathways for safe, orderly, and regular migration.

    #renvois #expulsions #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #frontières #push-backs #refoulements #expulsions_de_masse #Croatie #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine

    • Migrants’ Mass Expulsions from Croatia Raise Legal Doubts

      Croatia and Bosnia say the expulsion of hundreds of migrants and refugees from the first to the second country are regulated by a bilateral agreement – but NGOs, rights groups and a legal expert question its legality.

      Since the end of March 2023, hundreds of migrants and refugees have been returned from Croatia back to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

      Differently from the illegal pushbacks that saw thousands of people being violently sent back from Croatia to Bosnia between 2018 and 2022, these recent operations are happening with cooperation between the two countries and with the open approval of European institutions.

      NGOs and rights groups were the first to condemn this new phenomenon, referring to it as “mass expulsions” implemented by Croatia. With information gathered by direct testimonies and documents collected from the expelled people, they have voiced concerns regarding alleged degrading treatments and human rights violations by Croatian police.

      Besides such abuses, experts also say the procedure could be illegal. “There are some doubts over the legality of what we are seeing happening between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in terms of European law,” Italian jurist and migration expert Gianfranco Schiavone told BIRN.
      Not allowed to seek asylum

      A few weeks after the first migrants and refugees were returned to Bosnia’s northwest Una-Sana Canton, Mustafa Ruznic, the canton’s Prime Minister, sent an open letter to Bosnia’s state security and foreign ministers, as well as to the head of the Foreigners Affairs Service, SPS, demanding an explanation for the increased number of migrants and refugees reportedly returned from Croatia to Bosnia based on a bilateral readmission agreement.

      Ruznic said a significant number of them were unknown to the authorities and might present security risks, and complained of not being informed about the ongoing construction of a detention centre in the Lipa Temporary Reception Centre, situated in the Canton’s administrative centre, Bihac.

      Croatian and Bosnian authorities later explained that the mass returns were taking place on the basis of a bilateral agreement between the two states signed in 2002 and annexed again in September 2011 with a specific plan for its implementation, but never actually put into use.

      Nenad Nesic, Bosnia’s Minister of Security, denied a new possible crisis in Bosnia’s parliament on April 19, a day after he met Ruznic in Bihac.

      Presenting data for the first three months of 2023, he stated that a total of 768 foreign citizens had been accepted back under the Readmission Agreement between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.

      He added that, during the same period, 1,816 requests for the admission of foreigners under readmission were rejected because Croatian authorities couldn’t prove they came from Bosnia.

      “This clearly shows that our Foreigners Service is responsibly doing its job and there is no influx of migrants into Bosnia and Herzegovina. Migrants are evenly distributed and currently most of them are in the Sarajevo Canton, where 630 migrants are accommodated,” Nesic stated.

      Sara Kekus, from the Zagreb-based Center for Peace Studies, CMS, who has been monitoring the situation with migrants, told BIRN that they do not have specific data on readmissions, but that the number is clearly increasing.

      “According to the testimonies of our associates, organisations, volunteers, and activists who are present in BiH, the persons returned from Croatia testified that they tried to seek asylum [there], but they were not allowed to do so, or they did not even know who to ask for asylum,” Kekus said.

      According to Kekus, people reported not having access to translators and that they were issued documents mostly in Croatian, which they signed without knowing what they were signing.

      “Complaints are that persons were kept in detention for several days and that the meals were rather meagre, one a day, bread and cheese and water,” he said.

      Among the expelled people, Kekus notes, there were not only adults but also unaccompanied children and families with small children, which is “especially problematic”.

      The Border Violence Monitoring Network, a grassroot watchdog network of NGOs and rights groups, collected testimonies from people subjected to the pushbacks and denounced the lack of translations and the fact that the internationally guaranteed right to ask for asylum was not respected by the Croatian authorities.

      “The police there [in Croatia] asked us to pay for accommodation, food and transport to the border, as if we were in a hotel and not in a prison. We didn’t ask to be taken there. We feel as if we were robbed,” one of the men expelled from Croatia told them. Documents collected by BVMN support this last claim.

      In a written response to BIRN’s inquiry, the Croatian Ministry of Interior, MUP, said that “the BVMN report is not based on information about actual treatment”.

      It said that “every illegal migrant caught by the Croatian police has the right and is adequately informed about the possibility of expressing an intention to seek international protection. If he/she expresses such an intention, an appropriate procedure is initiated.”
      Expulsions or ‘returns’?

      In the same letter, the Croatian MUP stated that implementation of the bilateral agreement had been discussed at several meetings prior to this, and that at the Joint EU-BiH Readmission Committee meeting on March 28 in Brussels, the European Commission reminded Bosnia’s authorities of their obligation to implement the agreement.

      The MUP also said these procedures cannot be called expulsions, but are instead returns of persons as regulated by the bilateral agreement.

      Italian jurist and migration expert Gianfranco Schiavone has a different opinion. “This type of procedure needs to be verified carefully because the notion of readmission applies currently in light of a directive, 115 of 2008, that regulates readmissions, but only among member countries of the European Union.”

      That is not the case for the two countries in question. Croatia is a European Union member since 2015, and it joined the visa-free Schengen zone at the start of 2023. Bosnia, on the other hand, has only recently been granted the status of EU candidate country.

      “This is de facto an expulsion of an alien citizen who irregularly arrived in a European country and should happen under the guarantee of the same European directive,” stated Schiavone.

      Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch published a report on May 3, saying “Croatian police regularly and often violently push back refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants to Bosnia and Herzegovina without assessing their asylum requests or protection needs”. The 94-page report, titled “‘Like We Were Just Animals’: Pushbacks of People Seeking Protection from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina,” finds that Croatian authorities engage in pushbacks, including of unaccompanied children and families with young children.

      “The practice is ongoing despite official denials, purported monitoring efforts, and repeated – and unfulfilled – commitments to respect the right to seek asylum and other human rights norms. Border police frequently steal or destroy phones, money, identity documents, and other personal property, and often subject children and adults to humiliating and degrading treatment, sometimes in ways that are explicitly racist,” the report says.

      “Pushbacks have long been standard operating procedure for Croatia’s border police, and the Croatian government has bamboozled European Union institutions through deflection and empty promises,” said Michael Garcia Bochenek, senior children’s rights counsel at Human Rights Watch and the author of the report. “These abhorrent abuses – and the official duplicity that facilitates them – should end.”

      Croatian authorities have mostly disclaimed responsibility for pushbacks, and the Croatian Ministry of the Interior did not respond to Human Rights Watch’s requests for a meeting or for comment on its findings, it says in the report.


    • Croatia accused of new mass expulsions of migrants to Bosnia

      The investigative journalism project BIRN reports that Croatia has been carrying out mass expulsions of migrants to its neighbor, Bosnia. The two countries claim the returns are lawful under a bilateral agreement.

      Migrants are being expelled from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina under a formal agreement between the two countries, rights groups say. Their claims are based on testimonies from migrants who said they were pushed back over the border by Croatian police, sometimes violently.

      In a recent report, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) says these alleged pushbacks are a “new phonemenon” and are not the same as the expulsions that took place from Croatia to Bosnia between 2018 and 2022, which have already been documented.

      According to the BIRN report, Croatian authorities have been sending migrants back across the border to Bosnia, which is outside EU territory, under a revived bilateral agreement between the two countries. This was only discovered by the premier of the canton of Una-Sana, in Bosnia’s northwest, after more than 760 migrants returned under the deal had already arrived in his canton.

      Bosnia’s security minister, Nenad Nesic, has denied that there is an influx of migrants into the country. But Sara Kekus, from the Center for Peace Studies in Zagreb, told BIRN that the number is increasing. He also said that those returned from Croatia had testified that they had tried to seek asylum there but had not been allowed to do so, or had not known who to ask. In some cases they had been given documents mostly in Croatian which they signed without understanding what they were.

      According to Kekus, some of the migrants, who included unaccompanied minors and families with young children, said they had been mistreated by Croatian authorities: “Complaints are that persons were kept in detention for several days and that the meals were rather meagre, one a day, bread and cheese and water,” he is quoted as saying.
      ’Illegal practice’

      The pushbacks were also confirmed by the Border Violence Monitoring Networ (BVMN), another NGO, which condemned the fact that Croatian authorities had acted in breach of the internationally guaranteed right to request asylum.

      The Croatian interior ministry denied this, telling BIRN, “every illegal migrant caught by the Croatian police has the right and is adequately informed about the possibility of expressing an intention to seek international protection.” The ministry also said its operations were not “expulsions” but returns, carried out under the bilateral agreement.

      But all returns of migrants from EU countries to ’third countries’ outside the bloc have to happen according to an EU law, Directive 2008/115. As Bosnia is not yet in the EU, these procedures need to be followed for returns from Croatia, as Italian lawyer and migration expert Gianfranco Schiavone told BIRN. “This is de facto an expulsion of an alien citizen who irregularly arrived in a European country and should happen under the guarantee of the same European directive.”

      Migrants ’treated like animals’

      The BIRN investigation into illegal practices being carried out by an EU member state at the bloc’s external border follows a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), which includes very recent testimonies of migrants who were pushed back from Croatia. In April, 2023, according to the report, two 15-year-old boys, Farooz D. and Hadi A., said Croatian police had caught them, driven them to the border and ordered them to walk into Bosnia, “disregarding their request for protection and their statements that they were under the age of 18.”

      HRW claims that in continuing to expel migrants, often using violent tactics, Croatia is acting in violation of international laws, including the prohibition against torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, and against refoulement – sending people to places where they would face harm. The Croatian government did not respond to HRW’s request for comment.


    • Croazia: manganelli anche contro i bambini migranti

      La Croazia respinge i migranti, tra i quali molti minori non accompagnati e famiglie con bambini, e rende impossibile l’accesso all’asilo. È ciò che emerge dall’ultimo rapporto di Human Rights Watch, mentre il ministro dell’Interno Božinović continua a smentire.

      A distanza di meno di un mese dalla conferenza stampa in cui il ministro dell’Interno croato Davor Božinović – cercando di giustificare se stesso e i suoi sottoposti di fronte alle prove di violazioni della polizia croata nei confronti dei migranti emerse nell’ambito di un’inchiesta giornalistica – ha dichiarato che la Croazia rispetta i diritti umani e che la polizia croata non effettuai respingimenti di migranti, il titolare del dicastero dell’Interno per l’ennesima volta è stato smentito dalla realtà, nella fattispecie da un rapporto di Human Rights Watch (HRW) che riporta le testimonianze dei migranti e dei rifugiati respinti dalla Croazia verso la Bosnia Erzegovina.

      Il rapporto intitolato “Come se fossimo animali: respingimenti di persone in cerca di protezione”, pubblicato lo scorso 3 maggio, conferma che negli ultimi anni le autorità croate hanno partecipato a respingimenti violenti dei migranti, compresi i minori non accompagnati e intere famiglie con bambini piccoli. Dal rapporto emerge chiaramente che i respingimenti continuano, nonostante le costanti smentite da parte degli alti funzionari dello stato e le ripetute promesse (mai mantenute) di voler garantire l’accesso all’asilo.

      “Da tempo ormai i respingimenti sono diventati una prassi consueta della polizia di frontiera croata, e il governo croato continua a ingannare le istituzioni europee distogliendo l’attenzione dalla questione e facendo vane promesse. Questi deplorevoli abusi, così come l’ambiguità istituzionale che li facilita, devono cessare”, ha dichiarato Michael Garcia Bochenek, consulente senior di Human Rights Watch per i diritti dei bambini e autore del rapporto.

      Nel periodo compreso tra novembre 2021 e aprile 2023 i ricercatori di HRW hanno intervistato oltre cento rifugiati e richiedenti asilo perlopiù provenienti da Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran e Pakistan. La maggior parte delle persone intervistate sostiene di aver subito respingimenti violenti – anche decine di volte – da parte della polizia croata, che ha sempre ignorato le loro richieste di asilo. Ad esempio, il diciassettenne Rozad N., proveniente dal Kurdistan iracheno, racconta che negli ultimi due anni lui e la sua famiglia, compreso suo fratello di sette anni e sua sorella di nove anni, sono stati respinti 45-50 volte. Un ragazzo iraniano, Darius M., oggi diciottenne, tra il 2020 e il 2021, quindi quando era ancora minorenne, è stato rimandato dalla Croazia verso la Bosnia Erzegovina ben 33 volte, mentre un suo connazionale, Farhad K., ventuno anni, insieme ai genitori e alla sorella di quattordici anni, è stato respinto dalla polizia croata più di 20 volte.

      Il Danish Refugee Council solo nel periodo tra gennaio 2020 e dicembre 2022 ha registrato quasi trentamila respingimenti dalla Croazia verso la Bosnia Erzegovina. In molti casi (12% nel 2020, 13% nel 2021) tra i bersagli della polizia croata c’erano anche bambini.

      Nel rapporto di HRW si sottolinea che il numero effettivo di persone respinte dalla Croazia è indubbiamente superiore a quello stimato, soprattutto considerando che gli agenti croati, con il sostegno dell’agenzia Frontex, pattugliano anche il confine con la Serbia e quello con il Montenegro.

      Il copione è quasi sempre lo stesso: quando intercetta i migranti la polizia croata li riporta verso luoghi difficilmente raggiungibili lungo il confine, ordinando loro di allontanarsi dal territorio croato. Nel loro ritorno verso i paesi confinanti, i migranti respinti spesso si trovano costretti ad attraversare fiumi e torrenti, a inerpicarsi sulle rocce e camminare tra fitti boschi. Gli agenti croati non di rado costringono i migranti a ritornare in Bosnia Erzegovina scalzi, indossando solo biancheria intima, o persino completamente spogliati. Secondo la stragrande maggioranza delle testimonianze, ad effettuare i respingimenti sono persone in divisa che guidano veicoli della polizia e si identificano come agenti, lasciando così chiaramente intendere di agire in veste di pubblici ufficiali.

      Quasi tutti i migranti respinti affermano di essere stati picchiati almeno una volta dagli agenti croati o di aver assistito a scene di violenza perpetrate dalla polizia croata. “Ti guardano come se non fossi un essere umano, la violenza semplicemente è parte integrante della procedura”, racconta Zafran R., ventotto anni, descrivendo le percosse che gli sono state inflitte dagli agenti croati. “La prima volta che la mia famiglia ha cercato di attraversare il confine, nell’ottobre 2020, la polizia ci ha catturati, prendendo a botte me e mio padre. Ho detto agli agenti che mia madre era molto malata e che doveva andare in ospedale. Uno di loro ha risposto duramente: ‘Siamo poliziotti, non medici. Vattene in Bosnia, pezzo di merda! Perché siete venuti in Croazia?!’”, racconta un altro giovane migrante. “Alcune persone sono state brutalmente picchiate. La polizia croata si è impossessata dei loro cellulari, per poi distruggerli. Hanno bruciato i nostri effetti personali davanti ai nostri occhi, gridando: ‘Non vi vogliamo nel nostro paese, ritornate in Bosnia!’”, ricorda Laila, sedici anni, fuggita dall’Afghanistan.

      I racconti dei migranti respinti sono corroborati da testimonianze di molti operatori umanitari. Un volontario dell’associazione italiana Strada SiCura spiega che nella primavera del 2022, durante una visita in Bosnia Erzegovina, ha visto molte ferite che corrispondevano ai racconti che aveva sentito in precedenza. “Ho visto costole fratturate, diverse ferite alle gambe, lividi sul viso e altre parti della testa corrispondenti alle testimonianze delle vittime. Una persona riportava un’ustione sul petto che sembrava essere stata causata da un dispositivo elettrico”.

      I ricercatori di HRW hanno raccolto anche numerose testimonianze dei migranti che sono finiti in ospedale dopo essere stati picchiati dalla polizia croata affrontando poi un lungo periodo di convalescenza. Così il diciannovenne Ibrahim F., proveniente dal Camerun, ha spiegato che alla fine del 2021 gli agenti croati lo avevano picchiato così fortemente che non poteva camminare per due mesi.

      “Abbiamo sentito anche alcune testimonianze secondo cui le donne migranti avrebbero subito molestie e abusi sessuali da parte degli agenti croati. Così ad esempio un migrante ghanese, Emmanuel J., ha raccontato che quando, nel maggio 2022, la polizia croata aveva intercettato un grande gruppo di migranti con cui lui viaggiava e tra i quali c’erano anche otto donne, alcuni agenti avevano ‘molestato le donne’ palpeggiandole nelle parti intime”, scrive HRW, ricordando che anche in precedenza alcuni rifugiati avevano riferito di essere stati stuprati con rami e costretti dalla polizia croata a spogliarsi completamente e sdraiarsi l’uno sopra l’altro.

      I ricercatori sono venuti a conoscenza anche di diversi episodi di violenza nei confronti dei bambini. “Molti bambini piccoli sono stati costretti ad assistere a scene in cui i loro padri, fratelli maggiori e cugini venivano pestati a pugni e calci e presi a manganellate. Gli agenti della polizia di frontiera croata più volte hanno sparato vicino ai bambini e puntato le armi contro di loro. Sono stati registrati anche alcuni episodi che hanno visto gli agenti croati spintonare e picchiare bambini di sei anni”.

      Nel suo rapporto, HRW riporta anche la testimonianza di una donna proveniente dall’Afghanistan che nel febbraio del 2021 è stata respinta dalla Croazia insieme alla sua famiglia. “Ad un certo punto [gli agenti croati] hanno iniziato a prendere a schiaffi e picchiare i bambini. Poi hanno ordinato loro di addentrarsi in un bosco. Quando poi li ho raggiunti, i bambini erano sdraiati a terra. Un agente ha detto loro di alzarsi e togliersi i vestiti. La polizia li picchiava con manganelli mentre si spogliavano”, ha raccontato la donna, spiegando che dopo le prime violenze e umiliazioni gli agenti hanno ordinato alla sua famiglia di ritornare a piedi in Bosnia Erzegovina. “Per tutto il percorso ci colpivano con bastoni alla schiena e alle gambe, scagliandosi in particolare contro i bambini”.

      Lorena Fornasir, medico in pensione e una delle fondatrici dell’organizzazione umanitaria Linea d’Ombra di Trieste, conferma che simili violenze comportano conseguenze psicologiche incommensurabili per le vittime, conseguenze che di solito si manifestano come disturbo da stress post-traumatico. Le osservazioni di Lorena Fornasir corroborano i dati emersi da una recente ricerca sulla situazione dei rifugiati in Serbia, secondo cui le persone respinte dalla Croazia mostrano sintomi più pronunciati di depressione, ansia e stress post-traumatico rispetto ad altri migranti.

      Nel frattempo, come si sottolinea anche nel rapporto di HRW, le autorità croate continuano a negare qualsiasi responsabilità dei respingimenti alle frontiere, sforzandosi di confutare le prove, ormai indiscutibili, di violenze della polizia che spesso infligge gravi lesioni ai migranti, confisca e distrugge i loro effetti personali e li sottopone a trattamenti umilianti e degradanti. Michael Garcia Bochenek ha confermato a Novosti, che il governo croato non ha voluto commentare i dati emersi dal rapporto, né tanto meno ha voluto rispondere alle domande di HRW che ha chiesto un incontro con i rappresentanti del governo per discutere anche del controverso meccanismo indipendente di monitoraggio dell’operato della polizia.

      Si tratta di uno strumento creato su iniziativa della Commissione europea nell’ambito del nuovo Patto sulla migrazione e l’asilo. Pur trattandosi formalmente di un meccanismo indipendente, è stato il ministero dell’Interno croato a decidere a chi affidare il monitoraggio e quali metodi utilizzare. Il primo rapporto, pubblicato nel 2022, ha confermato i dubbi sull’effettiva indipendenza del meccanismo creato dal governo croato. È infatti emerso che l’unico scopo di questo strumento, peraltro finanziato con risorse europee, è quello di legittimare l’attuale stato delle cose alle frontiere esterne dell’UE, completamente ignorando le violenze nei confronti dei migranti.

      Che anche l’UE continui a chiudere un occhio di fronte alle violazioni dei diritti umani alle sue frontiere esterne, lo conferma il fatto che nel dicembre 2022 gli stati membri hanno dato il via libera all’ingresso di Zagabria nell’area Schengen, inviando così un forte messaggio che l’Europa tollera respingimenti e altri abusi. C’è però ancora tempo per invertire la tendenza. HRW ritiene infatti che la Commissione europea debba sollecitare le autorità croate affinché pongano fine ai respingimenti e forniscano informazioni attendibili sulle azioni intraprese per indagare sulle violazioni dei diritti dei migranti.

      “I respingimenti non devono diventare una consuetudine. Le istituzioni europee devono dimostrare fermezza nel chiedere alla Croazia di assumersi la propria responsabilità delle sistematiche violazioni del diritto dell’UE e delle norme internazionali”, conclude HRW.


      aussi ici:

  • #No_Name_Kitchen is leaving the #Border_Violence_Monitoring_Network

    We are No Name Kitchen, a movement created by activists and people on the move in Serbia at the beginning of 2017. The first time we heard about a pushback we didn’t even know what it meant, but everybody talked about it all day long. Months later, we started a joint initiative with other groups working in Northern Serbia to put together in a common database all the testimonies of border violence that we were collecting. The goal was to achieve a unified methodology that would bring robustness to our figures, strengthen our capacity to raise awareness and advocate for a change. We called it the Border Violence Monitoring project (later on, BVMN).

    More than five years later, that little baby has grown: we have compiled more than 1,600 violence reports, developed many tools, reached high-level policymakers and media, and made a lot of good noise. Still, we have not put an end to border violence, that’s true, but we know it will happen sooner or later.

    We have loved this project right from the very beginning, but the project´s management seems to have taken a particular direction, which, for us, is no longer in line with NNK´s values of respect, fairness and transparency, for the reasons described below:
    1 – Undervaluation of fieldwork:

    NNK has produced almost 50% of the total reports published in BVMN´s history, and we are proud to have been the sap of this tree. It is not an easy task: to monitor violence at the borders you need an attitude, a plan and a method, but above all, you need to be at the borders. For this obvious reason, the partners´ fieldwork is the backbone of this project. There is nothing more essential than the activists who identify the abuses, develop trust with those who suffer the violence, listen to the stories and share the reports.

    Besides this, and for years, the communication managed by the BVMN coordination staff has been oriented to present BVMN as an organization in itself (click for examples), confusing activists, media, politicians and donors alike, who cannot understand that it is not BVMN, but field partners, such as NNK, Collective Aid or Mobile Info Team, who make that work.

    2 – Management of resources:

    The proposals that are regularly submitted by the BVMN´s fundraising staff to potential donors describe how BVMN will use the funds to collect testimonies, systematize reports and advocate for a change in policy making. The reality, instead, is that up to 85% of the resources are not allocated to field monitoring activities, but rather to BVMN off-field expenses, mainly connected to salaries.

    In this regard, NNK believes that this financial approach, while the rest of the partners have to raise funds on their own, where field partners can´t present themselves as BVMN, is unbalanced and undermines the identity of the network.

    Furthermore, NNK and other partners have shared multiple concerns regarding the lack of access to BVMN´s accountability and the irregular processes carried out to select new staff in the past, or to raise salaries, more recently, skipping the partners´ Assembly to make use of BVMN’s resources with low transparency.

    Last, a very illustrative example of the unfairness we refer to: NNK has had surrealistic conversations with donors who have said: “Sorry, but we can´t fund your activities because we are already funding an organization called BVMN to collect reports in those places where you want to do so”, referring to sites where NNK has been the only one to collect reports for years.
    3 – Lack of mutual care:

    Since the end of 2020 NNK has received multiple testimonies of colleagues within the network who claim to have suffered different forms of mistreatment and lack of respect while developing BVMN-related activities. Taking a look at all the stories together, we identified three severe problems: first, there are some people putting strong pressure on their workmates. Second, most people are afraid to talk, recognizing a culture of fear, where the same people who fight every day to denounce other kinds of violence suffered by the people on the move, keep silent about the practices they themselves suffer; and last, all the testimonies point at the same people.

    The network was created to take care of the people on the move, but to manage to do this, we first need to take care of ourselves. There is no way we can accept certain behaviors, and today we request to put an end to this, because, we, Kitcheners, are activists, we are lionesses: if somebody touches one of us, they touch us all.

    For this reason, NNK decides to leave the network, revealing the past to take care of our future.

    Disclaimer: NNK will continue to collect testimonies, to report and to denounce without any break, but we will do it differently, more creative, more audiovisual, more partners, making an special effort to reach that part of the European civil society who ignores the neverending drama at the borders, and keeping our priority number one: supporting the people on the move on their right to raise their voices.

    #BVNM #Route_des_Balkans #violence #Balkans #migrations #asile #réfugiés

  • Reportage tra i “nuovi” respinti dalla Croazia verso i campi della Bosnia ed Erzegovina

    Da fine marzo la polizia croata ha attivato una “inedita” pratica di rintraccio, detenzione ed espulsione collettiva delle persone in movimento verso la Bosnia, trasportandole in bus alla frontiera o ai centri di detenzione. Il tutto con una parvenza di formalità. Le Ong ne denunciano la palese illegittimità. E la complicità europea

    Con l’inizio del Ramadan, Riaz (nome di fantasia) ha interrotto i tentativi di attraversare il confine verso la Croazia. Si trova nel campo di Lipa, centro di transito ma soprattutto di detenzione nel Nord-Ovest della Bosnia ed Erzegovina, nel Cantone di Una-sana. Si è svegliato tardi, fa freddo e ha una sciarpa nuova con i colori della vecchia bandiera afghana. “Qui hanno riportato tante persone dalla Croazia. Stanno arrivando autobus pieni”, dice.

    Da marzo, infatti, le autorità del cantone bosniaco confermano che i campi di Borici e Lipa stanno ricevendo persone espulse collettivamente dalla Croazia sulla base di accordi bilaterali stipulati proprio con la Bosnia. Rintracciate sul territorio croato, le persone in movimento vengono detenute per poi essere trasportate in autobus al confine e consegnate alla polizia bosniaca (l’ha denunciato il Border violence monitoring network, ripreso in Italia dalla rete RiVolti ai Balcani).

    “Abbiamo parlato con una famiglia curda riammessa nel campo per famiglie di Borici, a Bihać: fermati vicino Slavonski Brod, in Croazia, sono stati portati in un seminterrato e poi dopo qualche giorno in un magazzino dove hanno ricevuto un foglio di espulsione di un anno dall’area economica europea, con la minaccia di 18 mesi di detenzione”, racconta Marta Aranguren, dell’organizzazione No Name Kitchen. Anche Ines dell’associazione locale Kompas 071 descrive dinamiche simili: “Diversi testimoni riferiscono di aver dormito a terra su cartoni per giorni, senza cibo e poca acqua, alcuni minacciati con cani in caso di lamentele”. Esprime la sua preoccupazione: “Improvvisamente è apparso un foglio che legalizza ogni sopruso: uno per far pagare il trasporto della riammissione o le notti in detenzione e uno che giustifica la confisca di telefoni o oggetti personali”.

    Si tratta di riammissioni dalla parvenza solo formale che a differenza dei respingimenti praticati per anni (e ancora oggi) cercano di presentarsi con una base legale. Milena Zajović Milka, attivista dell’organizzazione Are you syrious? e del Border violence monitoring network spiega che “l’ordine di espulsione dall’area economica fa riferimento alla legge sugli stranieri della Croazia, mentre la riammissione si basa su un accordo bilaterale tra due Paesi, che non può prevalere sulla Convenzione di Ginevra e su altre dichiarazioni internazionali”.

    Le criticità sono diverse. Non sempre è stata fornita una copia dei documenti di riammissione nella lingua delle persone espulse, né sarebbero stati presenti traduttori. In più non è chiaro come venga dimostrato che le persone riammesse siano entrate dalla Bosnia ed Erzegovina. “Dalle testimonianze sembra che non abbiano avuto opportunità di chiedere asilo, né di poter far ricorso alla decisione di riammissione, come previsto invece dalla stessa Legge sugli stranieri croata”, spiega Silvia Maraone operatrice di Ipsia Acli, organizzazione che opera dentro il campo di Lipa.

    “In sintesi sono tre le fasi che hanno portato alla nuova pratica delle riammissioni collettive a cui stiamo assistendo da fine marzo”, riprende Zajović Milka. “Dopo anni di respingimenti illegali, a fine del 2021 numerose prove hanno costretto la Croazia a cambiare per la prima volta il suo modus operandi. Poi, l’anno scorso, è stato introdotto un foglio di espulsione di sette giorni, un primo tentativo di regolarizzare l’allontanamento delle persone dal Paese”.

    Non solo la Croazia ma anche la Commissione europea, che ha finanziato e finanzia il Paese per la gestione delle frontiere europee (così come la Bosnia ed Erzegovina, si veda anche il caso di Lipa), si sono trovate nell’imbarazzante situazione di dover rispondere delle illegalità commesse alle frontiere. “Con questo foglio è diventato più facile passare attraverso la Croazia -prosegue Zajović Milka-. Nel frattempo, dall’inizio di quest’anno, centinaia di persone vengono rimpatriate in Croazia per via del regolamento di Dublino, che prevede il ritorno nel primo Paese di ingresso nell’Unione europea”. La Croazia, entrata questo gennaio nell’area Schengen, deve gestire le persone in arrivo nell’Ue, provando a evitare (o a tentare di celare) le violenze per cui è stata sanzionata. D’altra parte, la Bosnia, recentemente promossa a candidata nell’Ue, è disponibile ad accogliere le persone riammesse, non senza tensioni interne.

    Nonostante negli scorsi anni diversi tribunali, in Italia, Austria e Slovenia, si siano pronunciati contro le riammissioni basate su accordi bilaterali, la Commissione europea incoraggia questa pratica. Il Patto sulla migrazione e asilo proposto nel settembre 2020 pone l’enfasi sugli accordi bilaterali tra Paesi per implementare le procedure di ritorno e riammissione in Paesi terzi o di origine. “Stiamo vedendo un rafforzamento di Frontex, la creazione di nuovi centri di detenzione alle frontiere esterne europee e a maggiori finanziamenti per nuovi database volti a facilitare le deportazioni da Bosnia e Serbia, incoraggiate a firmare accordi di ritorno con i Paesi di origine”, riflette Zajović Milka. Il campo di Lipa, finanziato dall’Unione europea, ne è la prova, come aveva pronosticato anche la rete RiVolti ai Balcani.

    Secondo i dati dell’Organizzazione internazionale per le migrazioni, inoltre, nel periodo tra il 6 e il 19 marzo 2023 solo 132 persone sono state registrate a Lipa, su un totale di 1.512 posti.

    Riaz cammina tra i container vuoti con il telefono in mano mentre sistema la sua felpa verde militare. Gli piace perché gli ricorda la sua uniforme da poliziotto che indossava prima del ritorno al potere dei Talebani. Abbandonato da tutti gli eserciti internazionali, non ha avuto altra scelta se non intraprendere il viaggio in forma forzatamente irregolare dall’Afghanistan fino alla Bosnia ed Erzegovina.

    “La maggior parte delle persone deportate se ne va subito. Alcuni sono deportati con gli autobus, altri lasciati nella foresta”, spiega. Usa erroneamente il termine “deportazione” per descrivere pratiche diverse che ai suoi occhi hanno lo stesso effetto. Le recenti riammissioni non hanno infatti fermato i respingimenti illegali. Mentre viaggia verso il confine sloveno Suleyman (nome di fantasia), ragazzo afghano, racconta al telefono l’esperienza di qualche giorno prima. “Sono stato sette giorni in detenzione senza cibo e da bere solo acqua sporca. Ci hanno preso i telefoni, i soldi; hanno bruciato i vestiti e gli zaini”. Lasciato in un bosco sul confine bosniaco è tornato a piedi a Lipa, per ripartire tre giorni dopo verso la Croazia. Il racconto si interrompe, chiude la chiamata. “Ci ha fermato la polizia, non so che cosa ci succederà”, scrive in un messaggio.

    “Tutto sembra lasciato al caso -osserva Zajović Milka-: alcune persone saranno riammesse in Bosnia, altre respinte illegalmente, altre potranno chiedere asilo e altre otterranno il documento di espulsione di sette giorni. Secondo Ines di Kompas 071 l’effetto è chiaro: “La Bosnia è una sorta di purgatorio per le persone in transito, continuamente respinte. È un gioco che va avanti da anni ma ora stanno cercando di rendere questa pratica legale”.


    #Croatie #refoulements #push-backs #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #Lipa #réadmissions #accords_de_réadmission


    ajouté à la liste métaliste sur les accords de réadmission en Europe :

  • Inside Croatia’s Secret WhatsApp Group

    How high-ranking Croatian officials presided over clandestine communications about border operations

    When Lighthouse Reports filmed and published (https://www.lighthousereports.com/investigation/unmasking-europes-shadow-armies) footage in 2021 of Croatian police officers in black balaclavas beating refugees while illegally forcing them back across the border into Bosnia and Herzegovina, the victims’ sharp screams echoing through the forest, the Croatian government was quick to evade responsibility.

    The illegal treatment, Croatian Interior Minister Davor Božinović assured, was an isolated case. The police officers responsible had not acted on the instructions of the government, and neither ministers nor police chiefs had known anything about it, he claimed.

    Migration experts, asylum lawyers and human rights activists were sceptical. They suspected that high-ranking Croatian officials knew about the pushbacks, which took place under a police operation known as ‘Korridor’ – which is partially financed by the EU – and that perhaps they even ordered them.

    Now we, in collaboration with Der Spiegel, Nova TV, Novosti weekly, Telegram news portal and ORF, have obtained evidence indicating that these suspicions were correct – in the form of leaked WhatsApp communications.

    Screenshots leaked to Lighthouse Reports and partners reveal that top Croatian officials have presided over a clandestine WhatsApp group called ‘OA Koridor II- Zapad’, in which Croatian border police shared sensitive information about apprehensions of foreign nationals, including disturbing photographs, between August 2019 and February 2020.

    According to government reports (www.sabor.hr/sites/default/files/uploads/sabor/2020-11-26/143106/IZVJ_POLICIJA_2018_2019.pdf), OA Koridor II Zapad was or is one of several sibling operational actions in Croatia “related to combating irregular migration and crimes related to smuggling of people”. Police sources said the violent pushbacks we filmed in 2021 took place under another one of these operations.

    The WhatsApp group sat outside any official means of communication and away from the usual monitoring procedures, and there are strong indications that the foreign nationals referenced in the messages went on to be subject to illegal pushbacks.

    An analysis of the 60 screenshots we received found that there were 33 participants in the WhatsApp group, and we were able to establish the identity of just over two-thirds of them, partly by using digital forensics software such as Pipl and Maltego, which enable the search of various websites where these numbers were used for registration.

    We found that among them were Croatian high-ranking officials including the head of border police Zoran Ničeno and head of the public relations department Jelena Bikić, who reports directly to Minister of Interior Božinović.

    The WhatsApp group was used to exchange information about apprehensions of more than 1,300 people of mostly Afghan, Pakistani and Syrian nationality. These messages were often accompanied by photos of the individuals, their faces clearly visible, in some cases being forced to lie face down on the ground or remove their shoes.

    Experts and police sources told us that sharing such information on a privately-owned platform such as WhatsApp breaches multiple police regulations. They also said they believed the group was likely used to unofficially document the apprehension of migrants who were systematically pushed back across the border in breach of Croatian and European law, in order that there was no trace of this action.

    In one WhatsApp message, the head of border control in Zagreb police administration can be seen saying he had asked on the evening of 13 February 2020 for five police vans to carry out “odvraćanje” after apprehending a group of 80 migrants. Odvraćanje is the Croatian word for “rejection” or “deterrence”, which is said to have become a code word for pushbacks in recent years. Police sources and experts are clear in saying that this message indicates that an illegal pushback was taking place.

    We spoke to a Pakistani man who gave testimony of a pushback to a volunteer from the Border Violence Monitoring Network, a grassroots coalition, back in 2019. We were able to match this, with a high degree of confidence, to a message in the WhatsApp group from August 2019 describing the apprehension of 85 foreign nationals. In his testimony, taken the day after the arrest, the man reported that the group was pushed back, with violence used against some of them, and not given the chance to claim asylum. We spoke with him last month and while he said he couldn’t remember the exact date, he recognised the scenario and one of the individuals seen in the photo.

    On multiple occasions, the WhatsApp group also was used to exchange information about journalists visiting the border area. In one case, the group’s members were informed that Bernt Koshuch, a journalist from Austrian broadcaster ORF, had been spotted in the wider area of Cetingrad, and a photo was shared of him and a colleague. Mr Koschuch confirmed to us that he had been in the area at that time. He later joined our investigation.

    Croatia’s Korridor operations benefit from European funding, with millions of euros flowing to Zagreb each year and EU states paying for overtime, accommodation and food for Croatian border guards – yet to date, the EU has not initiated any infringement proceedings against the country. “The current silence, impunity and even implicit encouragement by the Commission and other member states, only fuel these gross violations against vulnerable people in search of protection,” says MEP Tineke Strik.

    Bodo Weber, senior associate at the Democratisation Policy Council in Berlin, said: “Overall, this group confirms what I have been researching for several years and other observers have long suspected: The Croatian police’s well-documented pushback campaign is clearly being directed from within the Ministry of Interior.”


    #Croatie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #whatsapp #groupe_whatsapp #contrôles_frontaliers #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #violence #violences_policières #Korridor #opération_Korridor #push-backs #refoulements #OA_Koridor_II_Zapad #preuves #photographies #Zoran_Ničeno #Zoran_Niceno #Jelena_Bikić #Jelena_Bikic #odvraćanje #odvracanje

  • Principio di non-refoulement è solo un articolo che non viene rispettato

    Quello che emerge dal quinto rapporto del network Protecting Rights at Borders (PRAB) “Picchiati, puniti e respinti” 1, è l’ennesima immagine drammatica di quanto accade alle porte esterne dell’Unione Europea, alla porte di quella comunità che ha tra i suoi principi fondativi (e fondamentali) la protezione e il rispetto dei diritti dell’uomo.

    Stando dunque alla pubblicazione di PRAB, nel 2022 sono state raccolte segnalazioni di pushback da oltre 5.756 persone. Le pratiche di respingimento, messe in atto dalle forze dell’ordine dei Paesi d’ingresso all’Europa, sono pratiche sistematiche ed estremamente violente che violano la normativa internazionale ed europea.

    Inoltre, per ribadire quanto le pratiche di respingimento vadano contro i diritti i diritti dell’uomo, la Convenzione di Ginevra del 1951, con l’articolo 33, stabilisce il principio di non-refoulement (non respingimento).

    «1. Nessuno Stato Contraente espellerà o respingerà, in qualsiasi modo, un rifugiato verso i confini di territori in cui la sua vita o la sua libertà sarebbero minacciate a motivo della sua razza, della sua religione, della sua cittadinanza, della sua appartenenza a un gruppo sociale o delle sue opinioni politiche.

    2. La presente disposizione non può tuttavia essere fatta valere da un rifugiato se per motivi seri egli debba essere considerato un pericolo per la sicurezza del paese in cui risiede oppure costituisca, a causa di una condanna definitiva per un crimine o un delitto particolarmente grave, una minaccia per la collettività di detto paese»

    Si tratta di un principio fondamentale del diritto internazionale. È importate sottolineare che per effetto della giurisprudenza della Corte europea dei diritti dell’uomo, tale principio si applica indipendentemente dal fatto che la persona sia stata riconosciuta rifugiata e/o dall’aver formalizzato o meno una diretta domanda di protezione.

    Le pratiche messe in atto dalle forze dell’ordine alle frontiere della cosiddetta fortezza europea e al proprio interno, sono in violazione del diritto della stessa Europa. Ricordiamo l’articolo 19 della Carta dei diritti fondamentali dell’Unione Europea:

    «Protezione in caso di allontanamento, di espulsione e di estradizione.
    1. Le espulsioni collettive sono vietate.
    2. Nessuno può essere allontanato, espulso o estradato verso uno Stato in cui esiste un rischio serio di essere sottoposto alla pena di morte, alla tortura o ad altre pene o trattamenti inumani o degradanti»

    È evidente come ancora una volta l’obbligo nel quadro giuridico contraddice la realtà.

    Dal lavoro di PRAB emerge che vi è un sistematico uso di respingimenti. Il report ne riporta quasi 6mila, ma i numeri complessivi sono sicuramente più alti dal momento che questi sono solamente dati raccolti da testimonianze dirette. Nelle due zone di confine dove è più alto il transito di persone migranti tra Italia e Francia (Oulx e Ventimiglia), i respingimenti sono una pratica sempre più comune.

    Ad esempio, se si guarda il numero di serie presente sulla documentazione ufficiale (Refus d’entree) consegnata alle persone respinte dalla polizia di frontiera francese nel 2022, emerge che i numeri sono estremamente più elevati: a Ventimiglia sono 17.749 le persone respinte e a Oulx oltre 3.600. Questi dati sono importanti in quanto sottolineano come le pratiche di respingimento e le barriere d’accesso siano molto più diffuse e si verificano su scala molto più ampia di quella registrata da PRAB.

    Anche in altri territori italiani l’uso sistematico dei respingimenti è in aumento. “Assistiamo a continue riammissioni lungo i porti adriatici dall’Italia alla Grecia e a respingimenti verso l’Albania. Si tratta di trattamenti inumani, come la confisca e la distruzione degli effetti personali, la svestizione forzata e l’esposizione a temperature estreme. Il governo italiano cerca di negare che ciò avvenga. Ma la situazione sembra peggiorare“, conferma Erminia Rizzi di ASGI.

    Nella maggior parte dei casi i respingimenti avvengono in maniera violenta. Sono tantissime le testimonianze che raccontano come la polizia di frontiera si sia comportata in modo brutale: manganellando le persone migranti, confiscando tutti i loro effetti personali per poi distruggerli, negando loro acqua e cibo, obbligandoli a restare svestiti a temperature estreme.

    Uno dei confini in cui le violenze sono all’ordine del giorno è ancora quello che separa la Croazia dalla Bosnia. Ma le numerose violazioni dei diritti umani che erano state denunciate e riportate dalle persone solidali che lottano quotidianamente contro tali pratiche, sono state messe da parte nel momento in cui la Croazia è entrata ufficialmente nella zona Schengen. Per l’ennesima volta le istituzioni Europee hanno chiuso gli occhi di fronte alle molteplici violazioni e violenze: ancora una volta i diritti umani sono stati sacrificati per raggiungere compromessi politici ed economici.

    Il 2022 è stata un anno di grandi contrasti per quanto riguarda la solidarietà e l’accoglienza: le persone che fuggivano dalla guerra in Ucraina sono state accolte mentre le persone migranti provenienti da paesi africani e/o mediorientali sono stati respinte: vi sono due pesi e due misure basate sul profilo etnico, cosa che viola la Dichiarazione Universale dei Diritti Umani. Nel 2022 l’Unione Europea ha applicato per la prima volta una direttiva speciale per concedere un permesso temporaneo da chi scappa dalla guerra. Non si tratta di una nuova direttiva poiché risale al 2001 ma prima di quest’anno non era mai stata applicata. Il rapporto PRAB dichiara che l’attivazione di tale direttiva è una decisione storica ma basata su un doppio standard: benvenuti a un confine, respinti ad un altro. Questa è la realtà ai confini della fortezza Europa.

    Charlotte Slente, Segretaria generale della Danish Refugee Council, afferma che «la pratica di chiudere un occhio sulle violazioni dei diritti umani alle frontiere dell’UE deve essere interrotta. È giunto il momento di sostenere, rispettare e far rispettare i diritti di coloro che si trovano alle porte dell’Europa, indipendentemente dal loro Paese di appartenenza. Per anni sono state raccolte prove sulle pratiche di respingimento. Le prove sono innegabili. Questo schema non deve essere visto in modo isolato. Fa parte di una più ampia crisi dello Stato di diritto. La crisi alle frontiere dell’UE non è una crisi di numeri. È invece una crisi di dignità umana e di volontà politica, dovuta alla mancata attuazione dei quadri giuridici esistenti e all’applicazione delle sentenze giudiziarie».

    Con il 2023 è giunto il momento di porre fine alla pratica illecita e discriminatoria di chiudere gli occhi sulle violazioni dei diritti umani alle frontiere dell’Unione Europea. Il rapporto si conclude con cinque richieste: rispetto diritti umani e dignità umana a tutte le frontiere; porre fine all’uso sistematico dei respingimenti; introduzione di meccanismi di monitoraggio indipendenti alle frontiere; prevalenza di una cultura dei diritti rafforzata dal coraggio politico per sostenere le persone bisognose di protezione; apertura di percorsi d’entrata sicuri e legali.

    Sono tutte richieste più che lecite che dovrebbero esser già applicate. Ma il 2023 è veramente l’anno in cui tali richieste verranno accettate?

    Nell’anno in cui, solo per rimanere in Italia, il governo Meloni rivendica come legittimi i respingimenti al confine con la Slovenia, gli accordi con la Libia e ha deciso di stanziare oltre 40 milioni di euro per costruire nuovi CPR, è veramente l’anno in cui i governi degli Stati UE smetteranno di sacrificare i diritti umani per scopi politici ed economici?


    #refoulements #push-backs #migrations #asile #réfugiés #frontières #frontière_sud-alpine #2022 #rapport #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #chiffres #statistiques #violence #droits_humains

    • #Protecting_Rights_at_Borders: Beaten, punished and pushed back

      The fifth Protecting Rights at Borders report (#PRAB) reconfirms a pattern of a systematic use of pushbacks at EU Borders. The study recorded incidents involving 5.756 persons between 1 January and 31 December 2022.

      It appears evident that EU Member States continue making access to international protection as difficult as possible. These practises are systemic and integrated into countries’ border control mechanisms although they are in strict violation of EU law. The newly released PRAB report shows that many of those victims who were pushed back were not merely prevented from crossing a border. The data collected outlines that they were “welcomed” at the EU with a denial of access to asylum procedures, arbitrary arrest or detention, physical abuse or mistreatment, theft or destruction of property.

      Nationals from Afghanistan, Syria and Pakistan reported most frequently being the victim of pushbacks and in 12% of the recorded incidents children were involved. This data is unfortunately only the top of the iceberg.

      “The practice of turning a blind eye to human rights violations at EU borders must be stopped. It is high time to uphold, respect and enforce the rights of those at Europe’s doorstep, irrespective of their country of nationality. All people have the right to ask for international protection in the EU. For years, DRC jointly with its PRAB partners and many other actors, has been recording evidence on pushback practices. The evidence is undeniable,” says Secretary General of DRC, Charlotte Slente.

      Access to international protection, within the EU, is far from safeguarded - not merely due to a systematic use of pushbacks across EU borders or the unwillingness to let boats disembark, but also due to other policy developments.

      “This pattern should not be seen in isolation. It is part of a wider Rule of Law crisis. The crisis at the EU’s borders is not one of numbers. Instead, it is a crisis of human dignity and political will, created due to failure to implement existing legal frameworks and enforce judicial rulings”, says Charlotte Slente.

      Preventing access to territory with all means

      “In Greece, pushbacks at land and sea borders remain a de facto general policy, as widely reported including by UN bodies. However, instead of effectively investigating such allegations, Greek Authorities have put in place a new mechanism which does not ensure the guarantees of impartiality and effectiveness. At the same time, NGOs and human rights defenders supporting victims of alleged pushback remain under pressure and find themselves increasingly targeted", says Konstantinos Vlachopoulos of GCR.

      In Italy the systematic use of pushbacks is increasing.

      "We are witnessing continuous readmissions along the Adriatic ports from Italy to Greece and rejections to Albania. What we hear about is inhuman treatment, such as confiscation and destruction of personal belongings, forced undressing, and exposure to extreme temperatures. The Italian government tries to deny that this is happening. But the situation seems to be getting worse”, says Erminia Rizzi of ASGI.

      Welcome at one border, pushed back at another

      The situation is not equal at all EU borders. There are double standards based on ethnic profiling and they violate international human rights law. 2022 was the year that the EU provided protection – at least on paper – to 4.9 million people who entered the EU from Ukraine. The triggering of the Temporary Protection Directive was a historic decision.

      “In February 2022, Poland has opened its borders to admit large numbers of Ukrainian nationals fleeing war. Temporary protection was given to numerous persons seeking protection from the war in Ukraine. This welcoming approach of the Polish authorities did not affect the situation at the Polish-Belarusian border, where a humanitarian crisis continues since August 2021. There, third-country nationals are everyday violently pushed back, irrespective of their vulnerability or asylum claims”, says Maja Łysienia, SIP Strategic Litigation Expert.

      More information on the pushback data recorded by PRAB partners, the litigation cases brought to national and European courts related to border violence, as well as an analysis of current policy dimensions, can be found in PRAB V here: https://pro.drc.ngo/resources/news/prab-beaten-punished-and-pushed-back


    • Les chiffres à la #frontière_sud-alpine (#Italie / #France) :

      The number of pushbacks from France to Italy recorded through the PRAB project, for instance, also represents a fraction of the overall number of persons reporting pushbacks to Diaconia Valdese’s outreach teams. In Ventimiglia and Oulx in Italy, Diaconia Valdese has records of as many as 2,703 persons, and 2,583 persons, respectively, who reported experiencing pushbacks. If compared to other available statistics, even higher pushback numbers were recorded at the borders between Italy and France in 2022: In Ventimiglia, Italy, at least 17,7491 persons were pushed back by French Authorities, while in Oulx, Italy, it was at least 3,6902 persons.


      #Ventimille #Oulx #Hautes-Alpes #Alpes_maritimes #Briançon

    • Le sistematiche violazioni dei diritti umani ai confini europei: VI report della rete #PRAB

      Recentemente, un video pubblicato dal New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/2023/05/19/world/europe/greece-migrants-abandoned.html) ha rivelato respingimenti illegali di persone migranti dalla Grecia, sollevando un’ampia eco mediatica. La gravità delle accuse ha suscitato la reazione di Ylva Johansson (https://www.politico.eu/article/commission-ylva-johansson-greece-migrant-deportation), Commissaria europea agli Affari interni, che ha definito tali pratiche come “deportazioni”, e del primo ministro greco, Mitsotakis, che le ha giudicate “inaccettabili” (https://edition.cnn.com/videos/tv/2023/05/23/amanpour-greek-prime-minister-kyriakos-mitsotakis.cnn). Tuttavia, organizzazioni non governative e grassroots denunciano da anni la sistematicità delle violazioni dei diritti umani delle persone migranti ai confini europei.

      Nel Report What we do in the shadows, il VI report del network PRAB, sono state raccolte migliaia di testimonianze riguardanti le azioni compiute dalle forze di frontiera nei confronti dei potenziali richiedenti asilo, tra cui respingimenti, aggressioni e furti. In alcuni casi, tali azioni mettono a rischio la vita delle persone coinvolte, e ci sono anche situazioni in cui queste azioni si sono tradotte in tragiche perdite umane, come nei respingimenti dalla Polonia alla Bielorussia o nel caso di Fatima, una giovane ragazza di 23 anni uccisa dalla polizia macedone al confine tra la Macedonia del Nord e la Grecia a metà aprile, il giorno in cui l’Agenzia Europea Frontex ha iniziato la propria missione operativa nel paese balcanico.

      Migliaia di testimonianze raccolte nel VI report di PRAB

      Durante il periodo gennaio-aprile 2023, sono stati registrati un totale di 10.691 casi individuali di persone respinte alle frontiere europee. Di questi, 1.611 hanno partecipato a interviste approfondite da parte di uno dei partner PRAB per registrare i dati demografici, le rotte migratorie e le violazioni dei diritti a cui sono stati esposti.

      - Abusi fisici e aggressioni: Il 62% delle persone ha denunciato abusi fisici e/o aggressioni al confine tra Ungheria e Serbia, mentre il 54% ha segnalato lo stesso al confine tra Grecia e Turchia.

      - Coinvolgimento dei minori: Il 16% dei respingimenti riguardava minori, di cui il 9% viaggiava con la famiglia e il 7% era costituito da minori non accompagnati o separati dalla famiglia.

      - Mancato accesso alle procedure di asilo: Nel 44% dei casi registrati al confine tra Croazia e Bosnia-Erzegovina, nell’88% dei casi al confine tra Ungheria e Serbia e nell’85% dei casi al confine tra Italia e Francia, è stato segnalata la impossibilità di accesso alle procedure di asilo.

      Questo rapporto, insieme a molti altri, evidenzia ancora una volta le violazioni dei diritti che si verificano quotidianamente alle frontiere europee.

      I respingimenti e la brutalità della polizia sono di fatto uno strumento per la gestione delle frontiere, l’impunità è la norma e le vie della giustizia per le vittime sono scarse o inesistenti.

      Sulla base di un imperativo umanitario – che mira a salvare vite umane – negli ultimi anni, molte persone e organizzazioni umanitarie hanno sostenuto le persone in movimento. Mentre alcuni hanno contribuito a fornire l’accesso ai servizi di base, tra cui cibo, alloggio e assistenza medica, altri hanno intrapreso azioni legali per contestare le violazioni dei diritti alle frontiere dell’UE. Alcuni Stati membri europei hanno iniziato o continuano a criminalizzare coloro che forniscono assistenza, con l’obiettivo di porre fine alla solidarietà con le persone in movimento. In alcuni Paesi europei questa situazione si è ulteriormente aggravata, prendendo di fatto di mira i difensori dei diritti umani. Salvare vite umane non è solo un dovere morale, è un obbligo legale nel diritto internazionale dei diritti umani.



  • Mass deportations from Croatia and Hungary: Organisations complain of human rights violations

    More than 130,000 people were deported from Hungary to neighbouring Serbia without an asylum application being registered. Now Croatia is returning refugees on a large scale to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    Croatian police are currently carrying out mass deportations of refugees to Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to media reports on Monday (https://fena.ba/article/1525329/nastavljeno-organizirano-vracanje-migranata-iz-republike-hrvatske-u-centar-lipa), people from the Republic of Croatia are being taken by bus across the border and from there to the notorious Lipa men’s camp or the Borići reception centre. Both facilities are located in the border area near the town of Bihać.

    The Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN), which is active in the Balkans, had already pointed out the noticeable increase in deportations to Bosnia and Herzegovina last week (https://borderviolence.eu/reports/press-release-croatia-carries-out-mass-deportations-of-people-on-the-). According to the report, people are being intercepted by the police all over Croatia and sometimes taken away in unmarked vehicles. The people concerned were held for hours in prison-like basement rooms without access to food and water. There, the police issued them with deportation notices to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    The refugees had to sign the documents even though they did not understand their content. Appeals against the procedure were not possible, the report says. This also violated international law, BVMN complains. The groups were then transferred to other detention centres. The deportees were even forced to pay for accommodation, food and transport to the border.

    The BVMN suspects that the methods described are the implementation of compensatory measures announced by the Croatian Minister of the Interior, Davor Božinović, after the country’s accession to Schengen at the beginning of this year. In this context, 742 police officers were to be withdrawn from other border crossings with Slovenia and Hungary and pick up refugees in mobile teams in the border area with Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to the announcement.

    By receiving the deported of refugees, the government in Bosnia and Herzegovina is also following EU Commission guidelines. The country has adopted implementing protocols for readmission agreements with 16 EU states, which Brussels considers „overall satisfactory“. However, accelerated readmission procedures with neighbouring countries must be „fully and effectively implemented“, according to an October report (https://neighbourhood-enlargement.ec.europa.eu/system/files/2022-10/Bosnia%20and%20Herzegovina%20Report%202022.pdf). In 2021, the number of third-country nationals returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina under various readmission agreements amounted to 570, which is significantly lower than in previous years.

    For the implementation of EU requirements, Bosnia and Herzegovina cooperates with the Commission in a „Joint Readmission Committee“. In December, the country adopted a „Strategy on Migration and Asylum“ for the period 2021 to 2025 (https://balkaninsight.com/2022/12/09/bosnia-to-tighten-border-controls-in-line-with-eu-demands) and committed itself to following hundreds of new measures. In return, the country beckons the status of an EU accession candidate.

    Hungary is also deporting refugees en masse to neighbouring Serbia. According to information from „nd“, this now affects around 130,000 people who have not been given the opportunity to apply for asylum by the Serbian authorities in so-called fast-track procedures. The persons concerned have therefore not been entered in the Eurodac file in Hungary with their fingerprints and facial image. With such an entry, a country declares itself responsible for processing the asylum application.

    Bilateral readmissions without verification of a claim for international protection constitute a violation of the international principle of non-refoulement and EU law, the European Court of Justice had ruled. The EU border agency Frontex therefore stopped its activities on the Hungarian side of the border with Serbia two years ago. However, the agency subsequently launched a mission on the Serbian side.


    #refoulements #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Croatie #Hongrie #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #push-backs #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Bosnie

    • L’article original (en allemand):
      Massenabschiebungen aus EU-Balkanstaaten

      Betroffene und Organisationen beklagen Verletzungen der Menschenrechte

      Die kroatische Polizei führt derzeit massenhafte Abschiebungen von Geflüchteten nach Bosnien und Herzegowina durch. Laut Medienberichten vom Montag werden Menschen aus der Republik Kroatien mit Bussen über die Grenze und von dort in das berüchtigte Männerlager Lipa oder in das Aufnahmezentrum Borići gebracht. Beide Einrichtungen befinden sich im Grenzgebiet in der Nähe der Stadt Bihać.

      Auf die auffällig stark gestiegenen Abschiebungen nach Bosnien und Herzegowina hatte das in Balkanstaaten tätige Netzwerk Border Violence Monitoring (BVMN) bereits vergangene Woche hingewiesen. Demnach werden in ganz Kroatien Menschen von der Polizei abgefangen und teilweise in nicht gekennzeichneten Fahrzeugen weggebracht. Die Betroffenen seien stundenlang in gefängnisähnlichen Kellerräumen ohne Zugang zu Nahrung und Wasser festgehalten worden. Dort habe ihnen die Polizei einen Abschiebebescheid nach Bosnien und Herzegowina ausgestellt.

      Die Geflüchteten hätten die Dokumente unterschreiben müssen, obwohl sie deren Inhalt nicht verstanden. Rechtsmittel gegen das Verfahren seien nicht möglich gewesen, heißt es in dem Bericht. Damit werde auch internationales Recht verletzt. Anschließend seien die Gruppen zunächst in andere Hafteinrichtungen verlegt worden. Für die Unterkunft, Verpflegung und den Transport zur Grenze hätten die Abzuschiebenden sogar noch bezahlen sollen.

      Das BVMN vermutet hinter den beschriebenen Methoden die Umsetzung von Ausgleichsmaßnahmen, die der kroatische Innenminister Davor Božinović nach dem Schengen-Beitritt zu Beginn dieses Jahres angekündigt hatte. 742 Polizeibeamte sollten in diesem Zusammenhang von anderen Grenzübergängen zu Slowenien und Ungarn abgezogen und in mobilen Teams Geflüchtete im Grenzgebiet zu Bosnien und Herzegowina aufgreifen, so die Ankündigung.

      Auch die Regierung in Bosnien und Herzegowina befolgt mit der Erlaubnis, die Geflüchteten zurückzubringen, Vorgaben der EU-Kommission. Das Land hat für Rückübernahmeabkommen mit 16 EU-Staaten Durchführungsprotokolle verabschiedet, was Brüssel zwar als »insgesamt zufriedenstellend« bewertet. Jedoch müssten beschleunigte Rückübernahmeverfahren mit den Nachbarländern »vollständig und wirksam umgesetzt werden«, heißt es in einem Bericht vom Oktober. Die Zahl der Drittstaatsangehörigen, die im Jahr 2021 im Rahmen verschiedener Rückübernahmeabkommen nach Bosnien und Herzegowina zurückgebracht wurden, belief sich demnach auf 570 und war damit deutlich niedriger als in den Vorjahren.

      Für die Umsetzung der EU-Forderungen arbeitet Bosnien und Herzegowina in einem »Gemischten Rückübernahmeausschuss« mit der Kommission zusammen. Im Dezember hat das Land für den Zeitraum 2021 bis 2025 eine »Strategie für Migration und Asyl« verabschiedet und sich zur Befolgung von Hunderten neuer Maßnahmen verpflichtet. Im Gegenzug winkt der Status eines EU-Beitrittskandidaten.

      Auch Ungarn schiebt Geflüchtete massenhaft ins Nachbarland Serbien ab. Nach Informationen des »nd« betrifft dies mittlerweile rund 130 000 Personen, denen die serbischen Behörden in sogenannten Schnellverfahren keine Möglichkeit für einen Asylantrag eingeräumt haben. Die Betroffenen sind deshalb auch nicht in Ungarn mit ihren Fingerabdrücken und Gesichtsbild in der Eurodac-Datei eingetragen worden. Mit einem solchen Eintrag erklärt sich ein Land für zuständig zur Bearbeitung des Asylantrages.

      Die bilateralen Rückübernahmen ohne Prüfung eines Anspruchs auf internationalen Schutz stellen einen Verstoß gegen den internationalen Grundsatz der Nichtzurückweisung und EU-Recht dar, hatte der Europäische Gerichtshof festgestellt. Die EU-Grenzagentur Frontex hat deshalb ihre Tätigkeit auf der ungarischen Seite der Grenze zu Serbien vor zwei Jahren eingestellt. Anschließend hat die Agentur jedoch eine Mission auf serbischer Seite gestartet.


    • Press Release: Croatia carries out mass deportations of people on the move to Bosnia and Herzegovina

      This week, the Croatian police began a new and alarming practice of interception, detention and deportation of people on the move to Bosnia and Herzegovina en masse, transporting them by buses to the border crossings, where they are handed over to Bosnian authorities.

      According to the testimonies of the victims of the expulsion, which were confirmed yesterday by the authorities of the Una-Sana Canton, the Croatian police intercept people on the move across the entire territory of the Republic of Croatia, after which they are often escorted to police stations in unmarked vehicles.

      BVMN expresses great concern about this new practice and calls on the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Croatia to make an immediate clarification of the matter, and provide all rights guaranteed by law, including the right to international protection, access to appeals procedures, information regarding rights afforded by law, translation throughout proceedings and free legal assistance to all people on the move found in the territory of the Republic of Croatia.


    • Sa #thèse de #doctorat :
      La fabrique du parcours migratoire sur la route des #Balkans. Co-construction des récits et écritures (carto)graphiques

      Cette thèse de géographie analyse le #parcours_migratoire sur la route des Balkans, à la lumière de la parole des migrants, par la médiation du #récit_migratoire.

      Dans un contexte d’externalisation du contrôle des flux migratoires vers l’Union européenne, cette recherche place l’expérience du déplacement au cœur de l’analyse, pour répondre à la question suivante : Comment les migrants parviennent-ils à parcourir la route des Balkans, un espace où les États, par l’intermédiaire d’outils de contrôle, tentent de les interrompre ?

      Cette recherche questionne ainsi le déterminisme politique sur lequel se fonde l’externalisation qui voudrait que le contrôle façonne les choix des migrants, et par voie de conséquence, hypothèque l’accomplissement de leurs parcours. À l’inverse, cette thèse soutient l’idée selon laquelle le parcours migratoire relève d’une fabrique : les migrants parviennent à construire la continuité de leur parcours, là où le politique tente d’introduire des ruptures.

      Ce questionnement est posé dans une période qui constitue un temps fort de l’histoire de la route des Balkans : de septembre 2015 à fin août 2016, au moment de ladite « crise migratoire », lorsque l’intensité des flux migratoires est sans précédent dans la région (près de 900 000 migrants enregistrés selon le Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les Réfugiés) et lorsque les États des Balkans instaurent un dispositif politique inédit dans la région, le « corridor ».

      En accordant une place centrale à la parole des migrants, cette recherche contribue à la compréhension du parcours migratoire et à l’enrichissement de sa conceptualisation. Elle participe aussi aux réflexions éthiques développées autour de l’approche biographique.

      Enfin, elle place au centre de l’écriture scientifique une diversité de (carto)graphies. En cela, elle réaffirme la portée heuristique de ces outils qui constituent les points de départ et d’aboutissement du travail du géographe.

      #migrations #frontières #route_des_Balkans

  • L’Unione europea finanzia un nuovo centro di detenzione a Lipa, in Bosnia ed Erzegovina

    A pochi chilometri dal confine croato è sorta una nuova struttura di detenzione amministrativa per “facilitare” i rimpatri dei migranti che transitano lungo questo snodo di rotta balcanica. Per il commissario europeo Várhelyi, sostenitore del nuovo progetto, si tratterebbe di “falsi richiedenti asilo”. Cade il velo sul vero scopo di Lipa

    L’Unione europea ha finanziato un nuovo centro di detenzione nel campo di Lipa, in Bosnia ed Erzegovina. A pochi chilometri dal confine con la Croazia, la nuova struttura è stata costruita per facilitare i rimpatri dei migranti che transitano lungo questo pezzo di rotta balcanica. La conferma arriva ad Altreconomia dal Rappresentante speciale dell’Ue in Bosnia, Ferdinand Koenig. La costruzione dell’eufemisticamente definito “Temporary retention facility”, spiega Koenig, si sarebbe resa necessaria perché la struttura di detenzione amministrativa più vicina a Lipa è a Sarajevo Est, in località Lukavica, a 300 chilometri di distanza. Troppi per l’obiettivo europeo di bloccare i “falsi richiedenti asilo” -come li ha definiti il commissario europeo per il vicinato e l’allargamento, Olivér Várhelyi, a fine novembre 2022– al confine con la Croazia e poi organizzare rapidi rimpatri verso i Paesi d’origine.

    Arrivando da Bihać, la città più vicina a Lipa, la nuova struttura è stata costruita all’inizio del centro al posto del campetto di pallone. L’ufficio della delegazione Ue in Bosnia sottolinea come “l’unità di detenzione” sia separata dal centro da un “corridoio sicuro e da un ingresso indipendente” e la costruzione sia stata “agevolata” dal Centro internazionale per lo sviluppo delle politiche migratorie (Icmpd), un’organizzazione fondata nel 1993 su iniziativa di Austria e Svizzera e che opera in oltre 90 Paesi ed è molto attiva sul tema delle gestione delle frontiere (l’avevamo già “incontrata” in progetti riguardanti la guardia costiera tunisina). Questa avrebbe provveduto ad appaltare i lavori di costruzione della struttura. Non è dato sapere quale sia l’azienda né l’importo totale della costruzione: l’Icmpd ha riferito infatti ad Altreconomia che queste informazioni sono riservate. “Al termine dei lavori -risponde l’Icmpd- la gestione del centro sarà affidata al Servizio per gli affari degli stranieri (Sfa) del ministero della Sicurezza bosniaco”. Una gestione che prevede “uno staff dedicato e procedure operative standard chiare in linea con le norme internazionali in materia di migrazione” e che prevede un periodo di detenzione di “massimo 72 ore” prima del trasferimento al centro di Lukavica.

    Così il “centro multiuso” di Lipa, costruito sulle macerie di quello andato a fuoco nel dicembre 2020, svela il suo “vero” obiettivo: confinare, arrivando anche alla detenzione, per poi respingere. Come già raccontato dalla rete RiVolti ai Balcani nel report “Lipa, il campo dove fallisce l’Europa”, pubblicato nel dicembre 2021, il centro è distante due chilometri dalla strada statale asfaltata e a 24 chilometri da Bihać e da servizi essenziali come ospedali, poste, scuole, stazioni, supermarket o altre infrastrutture: un “confinamento di fatto” rispetto a cui il nuovo step della detenzione amministrativa è una finalità che secondo Gianfranco Schiavone, presidente del Consorzio italiano per i rifugiati (Ics) di Trieste è “solo apparentemente contrastante con le finalità iniziali ma in realtà già occultate nella iniziale indeterminatezza giuridica con cui il campo è sorto e si è sviluppato”. Non è nota la capienza di questa nuova struttura, si sa però che il Centro di Lipa, all’8 febbraio di quest’anno, “ospitava” appena 128 persone su una capacità di 1.500 (uomini, donne e minori). Ma l’aumento delle persone transitate lungo la “rotta balcanica” nel 2022 ha allarmato, nuovamente, le istituzioni europee.

    Il commissario Várhelyi a fine novembre 2022 ha dichiarato appunto che “i falsi richiedenti asilo devono essere detenuti fino al loro ritorno nei Paesi d’origine” annunciando “un nuovo progetto pilota da 500mila euro con la Bosnia ed Erzegovina”. In questo quadro gioca un ruolo fondamentale anche l’Organizzazione mondiale per le migrazioni (Oim), in primo piano anche a Lipa. La capo missione nel Paese e coordinatrice dell’area dei Balcani occidentali, Laura Lungarotti, ha scritto ad Altreconomia che l’Oim non è coinvolta né nella gestione né nella costruzione della struttura di detenzione “vista la (nostra) politica di ricerca di alternativa alla detenzione amministrativa” e che la parola detenzione “è stata erroneamente messa nello stesso annuncio”, riferendosi al comunicato stampa in cui Várhelyi presentava il progetto. L’organo delle Nazioni Unite si occupa invece di tutto ciò che riguarda i rimpatri volontari assistiti. Anche con riferimento al centro multiuso di Lipa, Lungarotti ha detto che Oim starebbe “devolvendo sempre più responsabilità al Servizio stranieri”. Pur senza essere coinvolta in primo piano rispetto alla nuova struttura e ai rimpatri forzati, l’Organizzazione assiste però lo Sfa nelle procedure di rimpatrio forzato. “Sarà effettuato un counseling continuo prima della partenza -le parole di Lungarotti- nel qual caso volessero poter rientrare volontariamente e anche altro supporto di salvaguardia dei diritti umani nel corso di tutto il processo”. Il diritto d’asilo in Bosnia ed Erzegovina, però, dati dell’Alto commissariato delle Nazioni Unite per i rifugiati (Unhcr), è un ologramma. Nel 2022 sono state registrate appena 149 richieste d’asilo, con 12 riconoscimenti di protezione con un tempo medio di analisi delle domande di 306 giorni. Quasi un anno, con scarsissime possibilità di ottenere una regolarizzazione: un elemento ormai consolidato.

    La costruzione di un centro di detenzione nasce come secondo tassello della strategia europea per “delegare” le espulsioni a Paesi terzi. Il primo passo è stata l’implementazione di accordi con i Paesi d’origine verso cui “rimandare” le persone. Caso di scuola è il Pakistan. Il 31 luglio 2022, con grande enfasi mediatica, un volo di linea con a bordo due persone residenti sul territorio bosniaco senza regolare permesso di soggiorno è atterrato a Islamabad. È stata la prima operazione di espulsione a seguito della firma di un’intesa con il governo pakistano del 23 luglio 2021, sempre su “mandato” delle istituzioni europee. “Di fatto è stata posta come prerequisito al Paese balcanico per entrare nell’Ue la sottoscrizione di accordi con Paesi terzi per facilitare le espulsioni dei migranti. È un tassello fondamentale -aveva spiegato allora ad Altreconomia la ricercatrice Gorana Mlinarevic-. Anche perché per diverse nazionalità, come quella pakistana, questo rappresenta l’unico modo per l’Ue di rimpatriare le persone. E Bruxelles lo sa bene”. Anche in quest’ottica a livello europeo qualcosa si muove: a inizio febbraio 2023, il nuovo direttore di Frontex, Hans Leijtes, ha fatto visita proprio al ministro dell’Interno del Pakistan per rafforzare la cooperazione con il Paese.

    L’Ufficio della delegazione Ue in Bosnia ed Erzegovina sottolinea nella sua risposta ad Altreconomia come “il governo bosniaco deve rafforzare le sue capacità e adottare tutte le misure necessarie per gestire efficacemente il centro di Lipa nel pieno rispetto dei diritti fondamentali, della legislazione nazionale e degli standard internazionali, anche per quanto riguarda lo screening e la registrazione, la protezione delle persone vulnerabili e la detenzione”. Un altro ologramma.


    #Lipa #Bosnie-Herzégovine #route_des_Balkans #Balkans #asile #migrations #réfugiés #financement #UE #EU #Union_européenne #externalisation #renvois #Temporary_retention_facility #détention #rétention #détention_administrative #International_Centre_for_Migration_Policy_Development (#ICMPD) #Lukavica #OIM #IOM #expulsions

  • Qu’est-ce que l’entrée de la #Croatie dans #Schengen peut changer à la route migratoire des Balkans ?

    La Croatie a fait son entrée, le 1er janvier 2023, dans l’espace Schengen. L’intégration de ce pays des Balkans dans la zone de libre circulation pourrait changer la donne à la frontière croate, où les #refoulements de migrants sont fréquents, observe la chercheuse Camille Le Coz. Par un effet de dominos, la situation en Bosnie voisine pourrait se durcir.

    La Croatie a fait son entrée, le 1er janvier 2023, dans l’espace de libre circulation européen Schengen alors que la route migratoire des Balkans connaît une forte hausse de fréquentation depuis l’été. Zagreb a enregistré 30 000 migrants irréguliers dans le pays au cours des dix premiers mois de 2022, soit une augmentation de 150% par rapport à la même période de l’année précédente.

    Pour Camille Le Coz, analyste au Migration policy institute, l’entrée de la Croatie dans Schengen permet d’"acter quelque chose qui était déjà en place sur le terrain". « La Croatie a été récompensée pour ses bons et loyaux services en faisant en sorte de limiter les arrivées de migrants [dans l’UE] », affirme-t-elle.

    Depuis son intégration dans l’Union européenne en 2013, la Croatie est chargée de protéger les frontières extérieures de l’UE, dont la majeure partie est partagée avec la Bosnie. Si les chiffres n’ont rien à voir aujourd’hui avec ceux de 2015, des milliers d’exilés tentent encore chaque année ce passage par la route des Balkans, via la Serbie ou la Bosnie.

    Depuis 2018, le nord de la Bosnie, à la frontière croate, s’est transformé en cul-de-sac pour ces migrants. Voulant montrer à Bruxelles sa capacité à protéger les frontières de l’Union, la Croatie a en effet déployé de nombreux garde-frontières sur la zone. Les refoulements se sont multipliés et, dans la plupart des cas, ils se sont accompagnés de graves violences, tortures et vols, régulièrement dénoncés. Depuis des années, les rapports d’ONG se multiplient sur les exactions commises contre les exilés à la frontière bosno-croate.
    Vers davantage de respect des droits humains ?

    Mais cela pourrait changer à la faveur de cette nouvelle situation, explique la chercheuse Camille Le Coz. « Le respect des droits de l’Homme fait partie des obligations liées à l’entrée dans Schengen. Il est donc possible que l’entrée de la Croatie mette plus de pression sur les policiers et les garde-frontières croates », pointe-t-elle. Les cas de non-respect des droits humains pourraient ainsi être davantage contrôlés.

    Cette entrée pourrait aussi s’accompagner d’aides pour améliorer le système d’asile dans le pays et d’une coopération sur les retours volontaires de migrants. À condition que les garde-frontières ne refoulent pas systématiquement les exilés qui entrent dans le pays pour demander une protection internationale.

    A contrario, et par un effet de dominos, la situation en Bosnie voisine, qui a récemment obtenu le statut de candidat à l’entrée dans l’Union européenne, pourrait se durcir.
    « Éviter à la Croatie d’avoir à pratiquer des pushbacks »

    Le 28 novembre, le commissaire européen Olivér Várhelyi a annoncé le financement d’un protocole d’accord entre l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) et le ministère bosnien de la Sécurité à hauteur de 500 000 euros. Cette somme doit servir à augmenter le nombre de « retours volontaires et forcés » des migrants vers leur pays d’origine. Le commissaire a également indiqué que le camp de Lipa, situé dans le nord de la Bosnie serait amené à devenir un centre de détention. « Les faux demandeurs d’asile doivent être détenus jusqu’à leur retour dans leur pays », a-t-il déclaré.

    Barbara Becares, chargée des relations avec la presse de l’ONG No Name Kitchen, qui vient en aide aux exilés en Bosnie et en Serbie, voit dans ce projet la volonté de Bruxelles d’"éviter à la Croatie d’avoir à pratiquer des pushbacks […] en gardant les personnes en Bosnie".

    Sur le terrain, les polices bosniennes et serbes œuvrent déjà à retenir les personnes le plus loin possible des frontières de l’UE, selon elle. « Les expulsions sont très courantes, autant en Bosnie qu’en Serbie, observe-t-elle. La police va chercher très tôt le matin les personnes qui dorment à l’extérieur des camps et les emmène dans des endroits éloignés des frontières ». En Bosnie, elles sont généralement emmenées dans le camp de Lipa, alors qu’en Serbie, elles sont conduites dans le sud du pays.

    Pour freiner les arrivées via la route des Balkans, Bruxelles compte aussi sur l’aide de la Serbie. Le pays est, lui aussi, candidat à l’adhésion à l’Union européenne et son intégration dépendra sans doute largement, comme pour la Bosnie, de sa capacité à montrer à Bruxelles qu’il contrôle ses frontières.

    En octobre, Belgrade a déjà, à la demande de Bruxelles, mis fin à l’exemption de visas pour les ressortissants tunisiens et burundais. L’obligation de détenir un visa pour entrer dans le pays a été étendue, le 1er janvier, aux ressortissants d’Inde et de Guinée-Bissau.

    #espace_Schengen #migrations #asile #réfugiés #frontières #route_des_Balkans #Balkans #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #refoulements_en_chaîne #récompense #frontières_extérieures #soutien_financier #accord #protocole_d'accord #OIM #IOM #retours_volontaires #retours_forcés #Lipa #rétention #détention_administrative #expulsions #push-backs #visas #Serbie

  • La Germania finanzia il controllo delle frontiere croate

    Questo report (https://www.borderviolence.eu/special-report-german-funding-to-croatian-border-enforcement-2) redatto da #Border_Violence_Monitoring_Network (#BVMN), con il supporto di PRO ASYL, riassume i risultati di un’investigazione sul sostegno delle autorità tedesche alle autorità di confine croate dal 2016 al 2021 (e fino al 2022 per quel che riguarda l’impiego di agenti di polizia).

    Il report fa luce sulle donazioni di attrezzature, l’impiego di agenti di polizia e ulteriori tipi di supporto. Inoltre, si esamina l’organizzazione della polizia croata rispetto alle operazioni di respingimento.

    Sia sul piano politico che su quello pratico, la Germania ha fortemente supportato la Croazia nel controllo delle frontiere e nei suoi sforzi di securitizzazione. Questo sostegno è proseguito nel corso degli ultimi anni nonostante le prove schiaccianti di una sistematica violazione dei diritti umani perpetrata dalle forze di polizia croate contro le persone in transito (POM – people on the move).

    Dal 2016 fino al primo quarto del 2021, almeno 24 agenti tedeschi sono stati impiegati in Croazia come agenti di collegamento a diverso titolo, in aggiunta a quelli che già lavoravano per l’Agenzia europea della guardia di frontiera e costiera (Frontex). Nello stesso periodo la somma totale tra donazioni di veicoli e attrezzature (comprese termocamere e altri dispositivi tecnologici di sorveglianza, e anche prodotti non legati alle frontiere) ammontava a €2.862.851,36. Inoltre le istituzioni tedesche hanno condotto almeno 87 sessioni di addestramento, visite ufficiali o valutazioni delle forze di polizia croate, su temi che variavano dalla prevenzione all’uso di cani poliziotto, dalla gestione dei confini alla sorveglianza. Il totale dei costi calcolati per l’addestramento nel periodo 2016-2021 è di €422.168,84.

    Una particolare preoccupazione è data dal consistente coinvolgimento e dalla fornitura di attrezzature da parte delle istituzioni tedesche alla Polizia di Intervento, che tra i vari settori della polizia croata, è stato identificato come l’attore principale nei respingimenti sistematici lungo il confine croato.

    Dal 2016 al 2021 la Polizia di Intervento ha ricevuto €158.171,98 in donazioni di attrezzature e €47.539,92 in addestramento. Ulteriori €321.527,70 sono stati forniti appositamente per la Polizia Speciale.

    L’entità dei violenti respingimenti sistematici lungo il confine croato e la struttura che c’è dietro, suggeriscono che l’attrezzatura fornita dalla Germania potrebbe essere connessa ai respingimenti lungo il confine croato che violano la legge internazionale.


    #Allemagne #Croatie #migrations #frontières #asile #réfugiés #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #externalisation #contrôles_frontaliers #externalisation_des_contrôles_frontaliers #rapport

    • Special Report: German Funding to Croatian Border Enforcement

      This report by the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN), with the support of PRO ASYL, summarizes the results of an investigation into the support of German authorities for Croatian border authorities from 2016-2021 (and for deployments of officers, until 2022). It sheds a light on donations of equipment, the deployment of officers, and further kinds of support. In addition, the organisation of the Croatian police with regard to pushback operations is discussed.

      On both political and practical levels, Germany has heavily supported Croatia in border enforcement and securitization efforts. This support has continued over the last several years despite overwhelming evidence of systemic human rights violations perpetrated by Croatian police forces against people-on-the-move (POM).

      From 2016 until the 1st quarter of 2021, at least 24 German officers were deployed in Croatia as liaison officers in different capacities, in addition to those working for the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex). In the same period, the total sum of the vehicle and equipment donations (including thermal cameras and other surveillance technology, as well as non-border related topics) amounted to €2,862,851.36. German institutions further conducted at least 87 trainings, official visits, or evaluations of Croatian police forces, on topics ranging from prevention, the use of police dogs, border management, and surveillance. The sum of the cost of the trainings in the period 2016 – 2021 calculated is €422,168.84.

      Of particular concern is the heavy involvement and provision of equipment by German institutions to the Intervention Police, which among other sectors of the Croatian police, has been identified as a key actor in systematic pushbacks along Croatian borders. In total, the Intervention Police received €158,171.98 in equipment donations and €47,539.92 in trainings from 2016-2021. A further €321,527.70 was provided specifically to the Special Police.

      The extent of the systematic violent pushbacks along the Croatian border and the structures behind them suggest that equipment provided by Germany could also be connected to pushbacks along the Croatian border that violate international law.


  • Sulla sconcertante ripresa delle “riammissioni informali” al confine italo-sloveno

    La riattivazione da parte del governo dei respingimenti dei cittadini stranieri che giungono alla frontiera orientale lascia un senso di afflizione e sconcerto, osserva l’avvocata Caterina Bove. E non solo sul piano umano quanto su quello giuridico. Solo un anno fa, infatti, quelle procedure erano state “demolite” dal Tribunale di Roma

    La notizia della ripresa delle operazioni di “riammissione informale” dei cittadini stranieri che giungono alla frontiera orientale italiana ci ha lasciato un senso di afflizione e sconcerto. Questo perché ci è noto -come è noto al governo- il destino che attende le persone riconsegnate alla rotta balcanica. Un destino che le vedrà con ogni probabilità divenire soggetti o meglio oggetti di riammissioni a catena dall’Italia alla Slovenia e dalla Slovenia alla Croazia e poi di un respingimento alle porte dell’Unione europea in Bosnia ed Erzegovina o Serbia.

    Ma soprattutto un destino che li costringerà ad affrontare -di nuovo- la violenza di questa rotta e in particolare le violenze perpetrate ai confini croati nonostante le denunce espresse e pubblicate in questi anni dai media, dalle Ong ma anche da alcuni organismi europei. Penso ad esempio al report del Cpt, cioè del Comitato del Consiglio d’Europa per la prevenzione della tortura e dei trattamenti inumani e degradanti.

    Dunque su un piano umano ancor prima che giuridico la notizia ci desta afflizione per ciò che di nuovo accadrà partendo dal territorio italiano. Ma lo sconcerto è anche e per quanto ci compete di tipo strettamente tecnico giuridico. Solo un anno fa il Tribunale di Roma ha dato conforto a ciò che come Asgi avevamo sostenuto e scritto circa l’illegittimità di queste procedure.

    Il Tribunale –con ordinanza del 18 gennaio 2021– ha chiarito come queste operazioni fondavano la propria base giuridica su un accordo -quello siglato tra il governo italiano e quello sloveno nel 1996, che non è mai stato ratificato dal Parlamento, come prevede l’art. 80 della Costituzione- che in quanto tale non poteva e non può derogare alle leggi vigenti interne, europee ed internazionali e che invece vi derogava drasticamente. Il Tribunale aveva appurato e sancito che si trattava di operazioni che, per il modo in cui venivano espletate, violavano apertamente e per esplicita ammissione scritta del governo, il diritto interno ed europeo sull’accesso alle procedure di asilo.

    Inoltre che violavano anche tutte le garanzie e le procedure previste dal Regolamento Dublino sull’attribuzione a uno Stato membro della responsabilità sull’esame di una determinata domanda di asilo e quindi sul trasferimento di una determinata persona verso quello Stato. Persona che prima di essere trasferita verso lo Stato astrattamente competente a esaminare la propria domanda di asilo deve avere la possibilità di interpellare un giudice e rappresentare le ragioni di insicurezza del trasferimento e dello stato di destinazione.

    Il Tribunale aveva anche appurato che le operazioni avvenivano senza la consegna agli interessati di alcun provvedimento scritto e anche senza alcuna informazione su ciò che stava accadendo loro, cioè sulla decisione di riconsegna alle autorità slovene. Le persone di fatto attendevano inermi in una condizione di detenzione de facto, in caserma, per poi venire coattivamente fatte salire su un furgone e consegnate appunto alle autorità slovene.

    Questo, secondo il Tribunale, era due o anzi tre volte illegittimo: perché violava il diritto di difesa di queste persone non mettendole in condizione di presentare un ricorso effettivo contro una decisione che ledeva fortemente i loro diritti, perché violava il procedimento amministrativo interno che prevede vengano informati i destinatari di una decisione amministrativa dell’esito di una certa decisione e delle motivazioni che la sorreggono, e perché violava l’art. 13 della Costituzione perché comportava una limitazione della libertà personale e un respingimento coattivo in uno Stato estero senza alcuna previa convalida giudiziaria.

    Ma ancora più in generale, dunque, a prescindere dallo status giuridico delle persone interessate, cioè indipendentemente dalla circostanza si trattasse di richiedenti asilo, e dalle modalità in cui le riammissioni avvenivano, il Tribunale ravvisava che queste operazioni violassero il principio di non respingimento, l’art 3 della Convenzione europea dei diritti dell’uomo e l’art. 4 della Carta dei diritti fondamentali dell’Unione europea, norme che impongono agli Stati di non respingere qualcuno verso un contesto dove rischi di essere sottoposto a trattamenti inumani e degradanti. E questo in considerazione della violenza esistente lunga la rotta balcanica e alla quale queste persone venivano riconsegnate.

    Dopo il pronunciamento del Tribunale di Roma, ragionevolmente mi viene da dire, il governo ha sospeso le riammissioni -almeno al confine orientale- e questo fino ad ora. Eppure a oggi le ragioni -e anche le circostanze- che avevano motivato questa dura pronuncia di illegittimità nel 2021 non sono cambiate. Quella decisione del Tribunale è stata oggetto di reclamo e in pochi mesi è stata annullata perché il Tribunale ha ritenuto non provata la legittimazione attiva del ricorrente (cioè la prova del suo effettivo coinvolgimento nell’operazione di riammissione riferita) ma la seconda decisione (di pochi mesi successiva, maggio 2021) in nessun modo –neanche tra le righe– ha inteso o sottinteso svilire la ricostruzione giuridica e i profili di illegittimità enucleati dalla prima decisione e non lo ha fatto perché sono profili di illegittimità chiari e incontestabili.

    A nostro modo di vedere, a prescindere dalle modalità concrete con cui le riammissioni informali sono state riprese e verranno espletate, queste procedure sono illegittime e non c’è modo di renderle o anche solo di farle apparire il contrario. Per questo chiediamo -come Asgi- che le procedure vengano bloccate ancor prima che un nuovo giudice debba pronunciarsi sulla loro illegittimità già così lucidamente evidenziata.


    #Trieste #Italie #frontière_sud-alpine #Slovénie #push-backs #refoulement #refoulements #réfugiés #asile #migrations #réadmissions_informelles #refoulements_en_chaîne #Balkans #route_des_Balkans


    Fil de discussion commencé en 2018 sur les réadmissions entre Italie et Slovénie :

  • 25,000 violent pushbacks at EU borders documented in the ‘Black Book’

    The Left in the European Parliament today launches the second edition of the “#Black_Book_of_Pushbacks”: over 3,000 pages mapping the systematic violence unfolding at Europe’s borders. The four volumes of the Black Book are a collection of more than one thousand testimonies of people on the move compiled by independent experts from the #Border_Violence_Monitoring_Network (#BVMN). It documents how almost 25,000 thousand people were beaten, kicked, humiliated and arbitrarily detained before being illegally pushed back, both at the EU’s external borders and from deep within the territory of its member states.

    Key data:

    - 1,635 testimonies impacting 24,990 persons
    - 4 volumes, consisting of more than 3,000 pages
    - 15 countries covered: Austria, Italy, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Albania 


    #Black_Book #refoulements #push-backs #frontières #migrations #réfugiés #asile #violence #frontières_extérieures #frontières_intérieures #rapport #statistiques #chiffres #Autriche #Italie #Slovénie #Grèce #Croatie #Pologne #Hongrie #Roumanie #Serbie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Bosnie #Monténégro #Kosovo #Bulgarie #Macédoine_du_Nord #Albanie #frontière_sud-alpine #Balkans #route_des_Balkans


    voir aussi ce fil de discussion :

    • - 15 countries covered: Austria, Italy, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Albania

      ce qui veut dire que si on inclut la France et ses 10aines de pushback à la frontière avec l’Italie (Montgenèvre en particulier) par semaine (jours !) on doit arriver à des chiffres nettement supérieurs...


  • Inchiesta sull’accoglienza selettiva: chi arriva in Italia via terra resta fuori

    Nel nostro Paese centinaia di richiedenti asilo sono rimasti in strada a fronte di almeno 5mila posti vuoti nei Centri di accoglienza. Il Viminale li avrebbe tenuti come “riserva” per gli sbarchi. Ma è una prassi illegittima.

    Nur, 25enne originario del Sud del Pakistan, è arrivato a Torino a metà giugno 2022 dopo un viaggio durato più di due anni lungo la “rotta balcanica”. Si presenta subito in questura per chiedere asilo: prova una, due, tre volte ma i funzionari continuano a chiedergli illegittimamente il domicilio in cui vive. Nur non ce l’ha perché dorme per strada. L’appuntamento, che dopo giorni riesce finalmente a ottenere, è fissato per l’inizio di agosto. Va in questura e appena uscito, con il documento che “formalizza” la sua domanda, si presenta in prefettura per chiedere accoglienza ma si trova davanti un muro. “Non ci sono posti disponibili”, gli risponde la funzionaria.

    “È difficile dirlo ma sono stato fortunato -ci racconta una volta entrato in un Centro di accoglienza (Cas) prefettizio tre mesi e mezzo dopo il suo arrivo-. Alcune persone hanno aspettato molti più mesi di me. Qui nessuno ci rispetta”. Da Torino a Trieste, passando per Roma, Firenze, Milano e Parma centinaia di richiedenti asilo provenienti dalla “rotta balcanica”, con l’inverno alle porte, dormono per strada. Le prefetture lamentano da mesi una “critica mancanza di posti” ma i dati ottenuti da Altreconomia sembrano fotografare una situazione differente. A fine giugno 2022, nonostante su diversi territori la mancata accoglienza fosse già un fenomeno diffuso, c’erano più di 5mila posti vuoti “sparsi” nei Cas di tutta Italia. Una stima al ribasso perché riguarda il 55% del totale. “I dati ci dicono che il sistema d’accoglienza ha tenuto persone per strada mentre aveva posti liberi. È illegittimo così come scrivere che ‘non c’è posto’: la normativa prevede l’obbligo di accoglienza di ogni persona dal momento della sua manifestazione di volontà di chiedere protezione”, spiega Gianfranco Schiavone, presidente del Consorzio italiano di solidarietà di Trieste (Ics). 

    Dalle risposte ottenute da 67 prefetture su 103 totali, infatti, emerge come il sistema dei Cas non sia mai andato sotto pressione. Di sicuro fino al 30 giugno 2022 quando, a fronte di quasi 25mila posti nei centri, riferiti solamente alla capienza indicata dagli uffici che hanno risposto, ce n’erano appunto più di 5mila vuoti. Una tendenza che, grazie all’elaborazione dei dati realizzata in collaborazione con Michele Rossi, direttore del Centro immigrazione asilo e cooperazione internazionale (Ciac) di Parma e dottore di ricerca in Psicologia sociale, emerge anche nel 2021. “Analizzando le dinamiche tra posti e presenze, la rete in media risulta occupata, sia nel 2021 sia nel 2022, al 77% della capienza e la ‘riserva’ del 20% non corrisponde al quinto d’obbligo dei contratti -commenta Rossi-. Sono posti disponibili ma inutilizzati anche di fronte a situazioni locali notoriamente sotto pressione. Con riferimento al campione analizzato sono circa 5mila, se proiettati per l’intera rete porta a una stima di 9-10mila posti vuoti a livello nazionale”. 

    Il lavoro di inchiesta si è scontrato in generale con una marcata opacità del sistema: l’elaborazione dei dati è stata complessa per scarsa omogeneità nelle informazioni fornite e soprattutto per la mancanza delle risposte di alcuni centri nevralgici (Roma, Reggio Emilia, Trieste tra le altre). La prefettura di Milano (e non solo) ci ha risposto per due volte, invece, che non era possibile fornire i dati perché si trovava “a fronteggiare l’emergenza sbarchi”. Eppure, anche dal ministero dell’Interno le indicazioni date dagli uffici territoriali sembrano essere state chiare: Genova e Palermo hanno richiesto un parere al Viminale proprio lamentando un presunto “eccessivo carico di lavoro” per dare seguito alla richiesta. Ma meno di due settimane dopo ci hanno fornito i dati: da Roma, evidentemente, hanno ricordato che la trasparenza non è un esercizio di stile.

    Dai dati ottenuti le tendenze ricostruite mettono in discussione la capacità del sistema -in termini di presenze, posti disponibili e capienza- di adattarsi in seguito a due eventi che avrebbero dovuto “scuoterlo”. Quello dell’agosto 2021 con la caduta di Kabul nelle mani dei Talebani e il conseguente aumento del numero di persone che ha cercato protezione in Europa, e quello del febbraio 2022 con l’invasione russa dell’Ucraina. Per Rossi è la “radiografia di un sistema che fallisce: non si ridimensiona in funzione del bisogno, non è flessibile e non garantisce tempestività nell’accoglienza. Le caratteristiche con cui si legittima il suo sovradimensionamento rispetto al sistema ordinario non trovano la minima conferma alla riprova dei dati”.

    Un paradosso. Il decreto 142 del 2015 che disciplina il funzionamento dei Cas, infatti, sottolinea come queste strutture debbano essere utilizzate in caso di “arrivi consistenti e ravvicinati di richiedenti asilo” al fine di sopperire alla mancanza di posti in quelle ordinarie o nei servizi predisposti dagli enti locali. Ma per affrontare l’accoglienza delle 120mila persone ucraine arrivate in meno di due mesi (a metà novembre circa 170mila), il governo italiano è dovuto correre ai ripari. L’ha fatto prevedendo un “terzo canale” di accoglienza diffusa gestito dalla Protezione civile. Nell’aprile 2022 è stato pubblicato un bando che, in meno di dieci giorni, ha intercettato 26mila posti su tutto il territorio nazionale incontrando grande disponibilità da parte del Terzo settore capace di coinvolgere società civile ed enti locali. “La risposta di fronte a questa disponibilità è stata minima e tardiva dissipando un enorme potenziale di sviluppo del sistema pubblico, mentre molte prefetture negavano l’accesso ai richiedenti affermando di dover destinare posti all’emergenza sbarchi. Qualcosa non torna”, sottolinea Rossi.

    Diversi operatori attivi nel settore dell’accoglienza hanno raccontato come la principale “scusa” addotta dalle prefetture fosse l’assenza di posti effettivi perché era necessario riservare alcune quote alle persone per le “emergenze” legate agli sbarchi sulle coste italiane. “Una buona programmazione imporrebbe al ministero di allestire più posti di accoglienza rispetto alle necessità e solo in questo senso riservare posti per gli sbarchi può essere corretto -sottolinea Schiavone-. Non lo è invece lasciare dei posti liberi con persone che dormono per strada: la legge prevede che non vi siano distinzioni tra i richiedenti asilo in base alla loro modalità di arrivo, via terra o via mare”.

    Dai dati raccolti non è stato possibile stimare il tempo medio di attesa di inserimento nei centri di chi arriva via terra. Diversi hanno ammesso però i ritardi: si va dalle due settimane di Alessandria, ai 12 giorni di Aosta, fino a Forlì che segnala un tempo medio di 30 giorni. Grosseto ha scritto che i tempi di attesa dipendono “dalle condizioni soggettive del migrante” così come Firenze che ha ammesso che “dipende dai posti disponibili in Cas”. Anche Bergamo ha implicitamente dichiarato una “selezione” sottolineando che “le persone in condizioni di fragilità e i nuclei familiari vengono accolti immediatamente”. In generale dalle 39 risposte arrivate su questo punto il 46% dichiara che l’ingresso è immediato, senza però distinguere tra chi arriva via mare e chi via terra.

    I dati raccolti si fermano a giugno 2022 e a metà novembre 2022 centinaia di persone continuano a dormire per strada. A Trieste, anche a causa dei mancati trasferimenti su altri territori, la situazione è drammatica. Così la “strategia” dell’amministrazione sembra quella di “forzare la mano”, revocando le misure di accoglienza per svuotare i centri. L’avvocata Caterina Bove, del foro di Trieste e socia dell’Associazione per gli studi giuridici sull’immigrazione, ha impugnato una revoca dell’accoglienza notificata a metà novembre a sette richiedenti asilo ospitati in un centro a Gradisca d’Isonzo allontanati da lì per aver acceso un fornelletto elettrico e aver provocato un “cortocircuito del sensore antincendio”. Il Tar del Friuli-Venezia Giulia le ha dato ragione “annullando i provvedimenti impugnati” e riconoscendo un risarcimento del danno “nella misura di cento euro a ricorrente”. “La violazione delle regole non può fondare la revoca delle misure di accoglienza, lo ha chiarito con due sentenze la Corte di giustizia dell’Ue. Invece più di 20 persone sono state allontanate nonostante fosse ormai tarda sera”, osserva Bove. Nonostante la sentenza del Tar, quando va in stampa la rivista, la prefettura non ha ancora riaccolto le persone per una mancanza di posti. 

    Durante un’informativa al Senato del 16 novembre il ministro dell’Interno Matteo Piantedosi ha sottolineato la presenza di 100mila persone nei centri di accoglienza spiegando che la “saturazione dei posti disponibili” è legata alla “criticità nel reperimento di nuove soluzioni alloggiative”. Secondo il ministro nel 2022 sarebbero state concluse 570 procedure di gara per contrattualizzare oltre 66mila posti: 76 di queste sono andate deserte con i posti messi a contratto che sono stati il 57% del totale programmato (37mila). I dati al giugno 2022 non confermano questa tendenza. “Quel che è certo è che l’accoglienza alle condizioni del ministero è diventata impossibile a causa di una sproporzionata riduzione dei costi che ha scoraggiato le associazioni che vogliono realizzare servizi di qualità -sottolinea Schiavone-. Il campo è rimasto aperto solo alle speculazioni di enti, spesso dichiaratamente profit, che gestiscono strutture parcheggio con bassissimi standard”.

    Il ministro ha poi lamentato l’aumento del 56% delle richieste d’asilo: un dato che però, in termini di pressione sul sistema d’accoglienza, va analizzato sia in termini assoluti (sono poco meno di 70mila) sia in relazione al numero di decisioni delle Commissioni territoriali che valutano la domanda. Anche questo dato è in aumento del 27% e quindi rispetto ai Cas, che accolgono fino a quando la persona non riceve l’esito, il maggior numero di sbarchi incide relativamente. “I casi sono due: o le prefetture non forniscono i dati adeguati oppure il ministero ha chiaro dove ci sono i posti, dov’è il bisogno, ma non agisce. E pubblicamente racconta la favola della saturazione”, conclude Schiavone. 

    Anche il dato delle revoche dell’accoglienza è un altro indicatore interessante. In alcune province il numero delle persone inserite nel 2022 è quasi pari al numero di persone che sono state “revocate”. È il caso di Torino (582 inseriti, contro 578 revoche), Agrigento (604 contro 527), Trapani (518 contro 357), Palermo (555 ingressi, 301 revoche): in sintesi, in questi territori, per ogni persona che è entrata un’altra abbandonava la struttura e liberava un posto. Allargando lo sguardo a livello nazionale le revoche sono il 44% delle presenze totali nel 2021 (7.340 su 16.635) e il 29% nel 2022 ma riferite solamente al primo semestre. “Anche questo dato sembrerebbe confermare una costante tensione nel mantenere ‘posti riservati’ senza ampliare il sistema e senza ruotare le presenze sui posti disponibili -conclude Rossi-. Questa dinamica, se confermata, fa sorgere interrogativi ineludibili: come funziona l’accesso? Chi seleziona e sulla base di quali criteri gli ingressi? Un sistema pubblico non può essere soggetto a tale aleatorietà”. Dagli sbarchi selettivi all’accoglienza per pochi, d’altronde, il passo è breve.

    #hébergement #Italie #sélection #places_réservés #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Méditerranée #Balkans #statistiques #chiffres #SDF #accueil_sélectif

  • Humanitarian support - cities of #Rijeka & #Zagreb

    The City of Rijeka was the first local community to organise humanitarian support and on Tuesday, November 22, the City of Zagreb followed suit – by opening a humanitarian site for migrants behind the Central Train Station next to the Paromlin building. Deputy Mayor #Luka_Korlaet stressed that the current city administration wants to present a humane face towards migrants, and that the whole process is coordinated in cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior.


    The humanitarian site serves as a short-term stop offering a warm meal, hygiene products, a heated tent and showers every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Koralet also stated that with Croatia joining Schengen, the “migration crisis will be behind us”, and that “from 1 January onwards, the circumstances will change significantly”.

    #Croatie #villes-refuge #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Balkans #route_des_Balkans

    via Inicijativa Dobrodosli (mailing-list du 25/11/2022)


    ajouté à la métaliste sur les villes-refuge :

  • ’Police come for us at night’: Belgrade, a crucial but hostile layover city for migrants on the Balkan route

    Serbia’s capital Belgrade serves as a layover for many migrants on the Balkan route. However, the hundreds of Syrian, Afghan or Moroccan migrants passing through every day only have two accommodation options: an overcrowded and remote camp, or the streets and parks of the city.

    Achraf takes a pinch of tobacco from the plastic wrapper. Carefully, he spreads it on a thin, translucent sheet of paper, and moistens the edges. The cigarette is rolled then lit, he takes a long puff, which forms a halo of white smoke around him. His gaze lands haphazardly on the horizon. The young man from Casablanca looks exhausted. It has been two years since he fled Morocco, three months since he left Turkey and two days since he arrived in Belgrade. A large hole on each one of his sneakers reveals his black socks.

    In the Serbian capital Belgrade, he kills time with three other Moroccan migrants, Mohsen, Osman and Amine, on the concrete stairs of the old main train station which has long been falling into disuse. Once the small group has collected some money, which they say will be “soon”, they plan to take the road to northern Serbia in order to reach countries in Central Europe, from where will go to France or Spain.

    The Balkan route, which for many migrants begins in Turkey, has seen an spike this year. According to estimates by the Belgrade-based NGO Klikaktive, almost 90,000 people have entered Serbia since the beginning of 2022, compared to 60,338 for all of 2021, according to combined data from UN refugee agency UNHCR and the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration of the Republic of Serbia (KIRS).

    For the migrants who have chosen to cross Serbia rather than Bosnia, another country along the Balkan route, Belgrade is a necessary layover city because of its central location. Taxis or buses coming from the south stop in the capital, while others go north toward the Hungarian and Romanian borders. The layover allows migrants to pause from their journey for a few days and plan the rest of their trip.
    ’Slapping, kicking and bludgeoning’

    The capital, however, is not a good place to rest. The only reception center in the region, located 30 kilometers away in the city of Obrenovac, is at capacity. On October 13, more than 300 people were camping in front of the center, including 16 unaccompanied minors. Numerous migrants prefer the rare green spaces of Belgrade, like the small park next to the old train station and the bus station.

    At dusk, small groups of people settle with their backpacks on the withered grass before spending the night there. No one lies down on the benches which line the small path, some of which are missing wooden pallets. A small newspaper stand at the park’s entrance offers migrants the possibility to recharge their phones for a few Serbian dinars.

    To eat and drink, Achraf and his traveling companions rely on locals, who gave them some food yesterday. “The police come for us at night, so we return here. At the station, they leave us alone.” It is impossible for the young Moroccans to find refuge inside the station: The doors of the imposing yellow building, which the municipality wishes to transform into a museum, is kept locked.

    Sleeping outside is an additional ordeal for these migrants, who are weakened by the first part of their journey. Before arriving in Belgrade, many became victims of violence on the borders of Europe: between Greece and Turkey, or between Serbia and Bulgaria. “When the police catch people there, they beat them up. A friend of mine was hit so hard on his head, he later went crazy,” says Achraf.

    Migrants and NGOs regularly denounce the violent pushbacks at the Bulgarian border with Turkey. Last May, Human Rights Watch reported that “Bulgarian authorities beat, rob, strip and use police dogs to attack Afghans and other asylum seekers and migrants, and then push them back to Turkey without any formal interview or asylum procedure”.

    At the end of 2021, the Bulgarian branch of the Helsinki Committee recorded 2,513 pushbacks from Bulgaria, involving almost 45,000 people. Many pushbacks have also occurred further south, on the border between Serbia and North Macedonia, where Serbia built a barbed wire fence in 2020.

    According to the latest data published by authorities on the subject, Serbia prevented more than 38,000 crossing attempts at its southern border in the same year. The deportations were “often very violent” and included “slaps, kicks, blows with rubber sticks, insults and threats”, says Nikola Kovačević, a human rights lawyer.

    ’People come every day’

    In order to find solace in the Serbian capital, migrants stop at the Wash Centre, located five minutes away from the bus station. Opened in 2020 by the Collective Aid association, it allows migrants to take a shower, wash their belongings and drink a cup of tea or coffee. On this cool and sunny October morning, about 15 people have gathered in front of the small building. Seated inside, Karim, a former police officer from Kabul with his hair in disarray, rubs his eyes before picking up a plastic cup of steaming tea.

    Today, he came to pick up a few clothes that Collective Aid donates to migrants when the NGO has enough in stock. “I don’t have any money at the moment, so I’m glad they gave me this today,” Karim says, pointing to his gray jogging pants.
    “It’s busy all day here at the moment,” Claudia Lombardo, who runs the Wash Centre with three other volunteers, told InfoMigrants. “Since June, between 70 and 80 people come to take a shower every day, and we run 30 washing cycles.” The center also offers visitors a small place where people can shave and clean themselves. Sanitary products for women are also provided. Moreover, migrants can take a shower every afternoon for an hour.


    At a small counter in front of the washing machines, which are stacked on top of one another, a tall young man opens a canvas backpack and pulls out some clothes. Mohamed, 30, has come to Belgrade for the second time in six weeks.

    The young Syrian tried to enter Romania from Majdan in the North of Serbia six times. Each time, the Romanian border guards violently pushed him back and stole his savings, he said. “I couldn’t stand the situation there anymore so I came back here to rest a little.” He has been sleeping at the Obrenovac camp the last two nights, where “the mattresses are infested with insects.”

    During the day, he comes to the Wash Centre, a place he knows well. “I discovered this place during my first visit to the city. When I arrived here [after leaving Turkey and crossing Greece, Albania and Kosovo], I was exhausted and sick. I wanted to buy medicine but no pharmacy would let me in,” he recalls, as his green eyes are widening.

    “I was wandering in the street when I came across the Wash Centre by chance. I found showers there and people I could talk with. It was liberating. They took care of me a little bit.”

    #hostile_environment #hostile_city #migrations #asile #réfugiés #villes #environnement_hostile #ville_hostile #Serbie #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #SDF #sans-abri #Wash_Centre #Collective_Aid #solidarité

    ping @karine4

  • Mascolinità in gioco lungo la Rotta Balcanica

    Papers, una rubrica di Melting Pot per la condivisione di tesi di laurea, ricerche e studi. Per pubblicare il tuo lavoro consulta la pagina della rubrica e scrivi a collaborazioni@meltingpot.org. Alma Mater Studiorum – Università degli Studi di BolognaCorso di laurea in Antropologia, religioni, civiltà orientali Mascolinità in gioco lungo la Rotta BalcanicaUn’esplorazione critica del confine da una prospettiva di genere di Arianna Egle Ventre (Anno Accademico 2019/2020) Introduzione Non esistendo a priori, il confine è un processo in itinere che non giunge mai ad un compiutezza; è uno spazio in costruzione la cui irresolutezza è meglio descritta dal termine inglese bordering, (...)

  • The city of Rijeka decided to help and provide a temporary reception center for migrants in the move

    Concerning the continuous arrival of refugees and other migrants in Croatia who, due to their unregulated residence, are denied access to accommodation facilities, hygiene facilities, and other services essential to life, local self-government units in Croatia (mainly Zagreb, Rijeka, Pazin, Buje, and Buzet) are currently facing with a serious humanitarian crisis. The city of Rijeka (https://www.novilist.hr/rijeka-regija/rijeka/na-rijeckom-zeljeznickom-kolodvoru-ureduje-se-prihvatni-centar-za-migrante-pogledajte-na-sto-to-sad-lici/?meta_refresh=true), as the first local self-government unit in Croatia, decided to provide a temporary reception center for migrants at the Rijeka railway station, which will include hygiene containers, mobile sanitary facilities, and tents for the distribution of meals, however, this decision was met with resistance from Croatian railroads infrastructure which opposes placing any containers or tents near the railway station.

    Similar to the Rijeka station, we are witnessing a dehumanizing situation also at the Zagreb Central Station for some time now, where people find refuge in an area without basic living conditions. This week we also witnessed a police intervention by which a group of people who were there was stuffed into a police van and taken in an unknown direction. Such practices allegedly take place daily. However, unlike in Rijeka, where the City and the Archdiocese are actively trying to find a solution to the current situation and provide people with basic humanitarian conditions, in Zagreb we are still waiting for the reaction of the local authorities. It is high time to stop postponing solidarity – we call on the City of Zagreb to react urgently and direct its resources to the organization of accommodation, access to showers and adequate sanitary facilities, help with food, and the organization of other services crucial to life.


    #Rijeka #Croatie #villes-refuge #accueil #réfugiés #migrations #asile #Zagreb #Pazin #Buje #Buzet #crise_humanitaire #Balkans #route_des_Balkans

    ping @karine4

  • At the heart of Fortress Europe: A new study about Austria’s role in border externalization policies in the Balkans

    On the 28th of September 2020, Ayoub N. and six of his friends were chain pushed back from Austria to Slovenia, Croatia, and eventually back to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), from where Ayoub had begun his journey to Austria a few weeks earlier. Ayoub, like many others, had been stuck for years in between the EU member states, in the Balkans, and this was just another attempt to reach the Schengen Zone. He continued trying even after this push-back. In July 2022, Ayoub was still stuck inside the Balkan Circuit (Stojić Mitrović and Vilenica 2019), a region of transit with many loops, within which movement is circular, going forward and backwards because of border violence.

    Exactly one year after Ayoub and his group of friends experienced the chain push-back, Austrian Interior Minister, Karl Nehammer, finished his trip to Kosovo, Albania, and Montenegro meant to coordinate joint frameworks for fighting what he calls illegal migration, terrorism, and organized crime. During the trip, he announced that a “Return Conference” would take place a few months later in Vienna. The gathering in February 2022 brought together high-ranking officials from more than 22 countries, including representatives of EU agencies and think tanks. The main focus of the event was supporting Western Balkan[1] states with effective deportation practices through the newly established “Joint Coordination Platform against irregular migration.” BiH was mentioned as one of the platform’s main partners, and during the press conference organized after the event BiH Security Minister Selmo Cikotić stated that “With the support of the EU and some proactive partners, like Austria, we could move from a crisis situation to migration management.”

    It is not known to the public how the “return mechanisms” discussed would materialize and on what legal grounds the return of people would take place. In 2021, a parliamentary request for information focused specifically on Austria’s plans to return people to the Western Balkans, while another asked details about the role of BiH. In response to the queries, the interior minister emphasized that Austria is “only” providing good practice, expertise, and training, while partner countries can state their specific needs and are, in the end, responsible for ensuring that the human rights of those concerned will be upheld. This is a common rhetorical practice in the context of EU border externalization policies, with EU countries only providing knowledge and equipment, while “accession” countries in the Balkans have to fulfil the dark side of Europeanization.

    Austria took over a key role in building up a network of multilateral stakeholders that enables the fortification of Europe on diplomatic and informal levels, while states and locations near and far from Central Europe face the consequences of these policies; BiH is one example.

    Lobbying for Externalization

    In July 1998, Austria took over the EU presidency. As its first intervention on the issue of EU-migration policy, it introduced the Strategy Document on Immigration and Asylum Policies, which was sent to the European Council for further discussion. In this document, Austria advocated for a unified approach to migration in the Schengen area, which at that moment comprised 15 countries. It proposed the “Europeanization of migration policy,” while describing the existing approach and structures dealing with migration as “relatively clumsy.” The document called for more cooperation with “third states” in exchange for economic and other benefits. The Strategy envisaged that “Fortress Europe” should be replaced by the “concentric circles of the migration policy,” which included EU neighboring countries. Further, the neighboring partners “should be gradually linked into a similar system” that would eventually be similar to the “first circle,” meaning the EU member states. As for “transit countries,” the main approach would be to “eliminate push factors” in them. The Strategy called for the “tightening of the pre-accession strategy… as far as migration policies are concerned.” In addition, it stressed the need for agreements with third countries that would allow the return of people whose asylum applications were rejected, as well as the introduction of policies that would deter migration in general. The paper also argued that the Geneva Convention was outdated and that individual rights should be replaced with “political offers” of EU membership, or other types of cooperation.

    By the end of the year, this proposal had been amended twice, but in the end it was rejected. A number of non-governmental organizations, including the International Federation for Human Rights, condemned the document on account of its harsh language and the restrictive measures proposed. Even though it was never adopted, the document remains a guideline, and some of its measures were put in place, especially in Austria. Along with several Balkan neighboring countries, Austria became more involved in security-related questions in the region, establishing various organizations and groups that are visibly active in the field, including the Salzburg Forum as one key intergovernmental group. Since the early 1990s, the forum functioned as a lobbying group, not only within the framework of the EU and on a regional level between its partners, but also on an often invisible level that reaches far beyond the EU. Austria played a key role in establishing the forum and is also one of its leading members. While the forum did not always achieve its strategic goals (Müller 2016, 28), it became a testing ground for fueling anti-Muslim and anti-migrant sentiments in Europe, and spearheaded plans for the dark future of EU border externalization policies. The multilateral cooperation within the Forum was based on debate, dialogue, exchange of ideas, and strategic planning; the establishment of its operative tool, the Joint Coordination Platform, is another step in cementing the externalization of border management to the Balkans.

    Coordinating “Migration Management”

    The Joint Coordination Platform (JCP) is a network that coordinates political and strategic intervention outside the Schengen Area, monitoring and controlling the EU’s external borders, as well as actions in third countries. Although it was already in the planning for several years, the JCP was inaugurated in Vienna after the Return Conference in February 2022. The JCP office is led by former Frontex Vice-President Berndt Körner and by lawyer Bohumil Hnidek,[2] and will provide a hinge function for Frontex operations in the Balkans (Monroy 2022). As the Frontex agency is not allowed to organize deportations to third countries, in the future it may support deportations from different EU countries to the Balkans, while the JCP would coordinate and monitor the rest of the “local” operations. In September 2022, the first deportations from Bosnia to Morocco with the support of the JCP already took place.

    The investigative journalist Matthias Monroy further links the Vienna-based think tank ICMPD, led by former Austrian Vice-Chancellor Michael Spindelegger (ÖVP), to the operational implementation of regional return mechanisms to the Balkans. As early as 2020, the JCP started training police officers from BiH for conducting deportations. The training of 50 “return specialists” was recently described by Austrian Interior Minister Karner: “We help with training, impart standards, but that doesn’t change the responsibility that remains in the respective countries. It is about observing all international standards.”

    To understand ICMPD’s practices on the ground, it is worth reviewing the project descriptions of its Western Balkans and Turkey office in recent years. The long-standing partner of the Salzburg Forum implements migration management, border management, and capacity building in the Balkans, for example by providing the border police in Kosovo[3] with technical and biometric equipment to register people on the move; and supporting the border police in Albania[4] with equipment for land border surveillance and maritime border surveillance and control. Capacity building in Albania means in particular providing patrol boats and surveillance vehicles. The regional capacity building projects further cover information campaigns for people in Afghanistan, Iraq, and people on the move in the Western Balkans.[5] Labelled as protection and support for migrants, ICMPD invests in the enhancement of migrant information systems[6] for authorities in BiH to implement entry control, registration, and data collection mechanisms. The “electronic biometric residence permit cards,” which should be made available through such projects, point not only to the on-ground preparation but also to the implementation of what investigative journalists call “extra-European Dublin.” This includes for example “Balkandac,” a fingerprint database in the Balkans that would allow countries to deport third-country nationals to countries with readmission agreements before entering the EU Schengen area.

    It is important to highlight that ICMPD has entered the Joint Coordination Platform with years of experience in implementing EU border externalization projects in Africa and the Middle East (Naceur 2021).

    Another active regional partner of the Joint Coordination Platform is Hilfswerk International. Next to the 1 million Euro in Austrian Development Aid that was used as an emergency relief fund through IOM in BiH in 2021, the Upper Austrian Federal Government donated 100,000 Euro to support the construction of a water system in the Lipa camp.[7] The project was implemented by Hilfswerk International, which has been working in the Balkans and especially in BiH as a humanitarian aid organization since 1996. While the organization covers a broad range of services in BiH, it recently joined the niche of network and capacity building in the field of “migration management” in BiH, Serbia, North Macedonia, and Montenegro.

    Hilfswerk International has joined the field of migration management in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a player that can offer extensive experience on the ground. Considering the top-down and dysfunctional approach implemented by IOM in the region, Hilfswerk International is an organization that is closely linked to Austria-based actors and accessible for unbureaucratic and, according to its managing director, pragmatic solutions. As Regional Director Jašarević stated in an interview about their most recent project:

    … we all know, and it is not a secret, that the EU does not want migrants on their territory. And what now? Should we leave them here to suffer or to disappear? It’s not possible.

    They [the JCP] can use our infrastructure here if needed, but they also organize some events themselves. They are connecting donors and infrastructure. They know what is going on at a much deeper level than we do. And we are happy to contribute. They are working very hard as far as I know. Very few people and very big plans, but very capable people. I think it will be more visible this year. But it has only just started.[8]

    Balkan Route: better coordination with Austrian aid

    Even at the end of the 1990s, Austria’s political landscape paved the way for defining the Western Balkans as a strategic buffer zone for Europe’s increasingly restrictive migration and asylum policies. What has been drafted as a strategy to contain migration in “concentric circles” has since developed into the full-scale implementation of land and sea border zones that legitimate legislation, control, tracking, management of, and violence against people moving in circuits while trying to reach the EU Schengen zone.

    Our study can be used as a tool to further investigate Austrian-based and Austrian-initiated organizations, security corporations, and individual actors that are heavily involved in violent EU border externalization from Vienna to Sarajevo and beyond.

    The full study can be accessed here.


    Müller, Patrick. 2016. “Europeanization and regional cooperation initiatives: Austria’s participation in the Salzburg Forum and in Central European Defence Cooperation.” Österreichische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft 45, no. 2: 24-34.

    Stojić Mitrović, Marta, and Ana Vilenica. 2019. “Enforcing
    and disrupting circular movement in an EU
    Borderscape: housingscaping in Serbia.” Citizenship Studies 23, no. 6: 540-55.

    Stojić Mitrović, Marta, Nidzara Ahmetašević, Barbara Beznec, and Andrej Kurnik. 2020. The Dark Sides of Europeanisation: Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the European Border Regime. Belgrade: Rosa-Luxemburg Stiftung Southeast Europe; and Ljubljana: Inštitut Časopis za kritiko znanosti. https://rosalux.rs/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/169_the-dark-side-of-europeanisation-_vladan_jeremic_and_wenke_christoph_rls.

    [1] The authors only use the term Western Balkans in relation to the process of EU border externalization and accession plans of Albania, BiH, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia. See Stojić Mitrović et al. 2020, 20-22.

    [2] Bohumil Hnidek is a lawyer and the former Director for International Cooperation and EU Affairs to the Ministry of interior of the Czech Republic.

    [3] MIK: Manage increased influx of migrants in Kosovo, April, March 2021 (Fact Sheet ICMPD, 4).

    [4] EU4SAVEALB: EU Support for the Effective Management of Green and Blue Borders in Albania, February 2019-April 2022 (Fact Sheet ICMPD, 7-8).

    [5] IKAM: Information and capacity building on asylum, legal and irregular migration in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Western Balkans, March 2021-March 2022 (ICMPD Fact Sheet, 9).

    [6] MiS BiH: Enhancement of Migration Information System for Strengthening Migration, Asylum and Border Management in Bosnia and Herzegovina, November 2021-March 2023 (ICMPD Fact Sheet, 9-10).

    [7] In mid-June 2022, people living in Lipa reached out to local volunteers in BiH to inform them that for a week they did not have running water. At that moment, the temperatures were over 40 degrees. Even though less than 400 people were in the camp (capacity is 1,500), people were crammed in containers (six in each) with one small fan, and were receiving a gallon of water per person a day. Every day, one cistern was used. According to the testimony, there was no water in the bathrooms and toilets, either. After the information was published on social media, people in the camp told local volunteers that the employees in the camp threatened some of the residents, warning them that they cannot talk about the camp and saying that if they did not like the place they could leave.

    [8] Interview Suzana Jašarević online, 15 March 2022.


    #Autriche #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #push-backs #refoulements #refoulements_en_chaîne #Slovénie #Croatie #migrerrance #violence #Balkan_Circuit #Return_Conference #Joint_Coordination_Platform_against_irregular_migration #renvois #expulsions #Joint_Coordination_Platform (#JCP) #Frontex #ICMPD #Michael_Spindelegger #return_specialists #spécialistes_du_retour #Salzburg_Forum #Kosovo #militarisation_des_frontières #complexe_militaro-industriel #Albanie #surveillance #surveillance_des_frontières #biométrie #Balkandac #empreintes_digitales #réadmission #Hilfswerk_International #Lipa #Bosnie #Bosnie_et_Herzégovine #Serbie #Macédoine_du_Nord #Monténégro

    • At the Heart of Fortress Europe

      The study provides a broad mapping of Austrian-based multilateral cooperation, actors, and or­ganisations that are heavily involved in EU border externalisation policies far beyond Austrian borders – and therefore in the violent and sometimes lethal approach to people on the move.

      Since the ‘long summer of migration’ in 2015 and the sealing of the Balkan Route in 2016, people on the move are trying to make their way to the European Schengen area via Bosnia-Herzegovina. According to Frontex, the Western Balkans has become one of the main migrant routes to Europe. The actors examined here are therefore of particular importance.



    • Balkans : la #Serbie, la #Hongrie et l’Autriche s’unissent contre l’immigration illégale

      La Serbie a accepté mercredi, en concertation avec la Hongrie et l’Autriche, de déployer des forces de police supplémentaires à sa frontière Sud avec la Macédoine du Nord, afin de lutter contre l’immigration illégale. L’Autriche va envoyer 100 policiers en renfort dans cette zone.

      La Serbie est parvenue à un accord avec la Hongrie et l’Autriche, mercredi 16 novembre, sur le déploiement de patrouilles de police conjointes le long de sa frontière Sud.

      « Nous avons convenu d’engager plus de police (...) à la frontière avec la Macédoine du Nord », a déclaré le président serbe Aleksandar Vucic, lors d’une conférence de presse organisée après la signature de l’accord avec les Premiers ministres hongrois et autrichien, Viktor Orban et Karl Nehammer.

      L’accord vise à freiner en amont les arrivées dans l’Union européenne (UE), la Serbie étant utilisée comme un pays de transit par les migrants. La route des Balkans occidentaux, via la Turquie, la Bulgarie, la Macédoine du Nord et la Serbie, reste la principale porte d’entrée dans l’UE pour les migrants. Près de 130 000 entrées irrégulières dans l’UE à partir de la route des Balkans occidentaux ont été enregistrées sur les dix premiers mois de l’année 2022, soit le nombre le plus fort depuis le pic de la crise migratoire de 2015, selon Frontex.
      « La migration illégale ne devrait pas être gérée, elle devrait être stoppée »

      Karl Nehammer a annoncé que son pays allait déployer 100 officiers de police pour aider son voisin serbe à patrouiller la frontière avec la Macédoine du Nord. Ces patrouilles seront secondées par des moyens techniques tels que « des caméras à vision thermique, des drones et des véhicules », a précisé le Premier ministre autrichien. Le même genre de matériel est déjà utilisé à la frontière serbo-hongroise où, depuis 2017, une clôture s’étend sur 160 km.

      Viktor Orban a, de son côté, affirmé que, depuis le début de l’année 2022, la Hongrie avait empêché 250 000 franchissements illégaux de frontières, dont beaucoup organisés par des passeurs armés. « La migration illégale ne devrait pas être gérée, elle devrait être stoppée », a-t-il ajouté, décrivant la situation à la frontière avec la Serbie comme « difficile ».

      Conséquence du mur érigé entre la Serbie et la Hongrie : les migrants se tournent vers les passeurs, seuls espoirs pour les aider à franchir. Résultat, dans la zone, leur mainmise s’exerce partout, dans les camps informels comme à l’intérieur des centres officiels, comme a pu le constater InfoMigrants sur place en octobre.
      En finir avec le « tourisme de l’asile »

      Toujours mercredi, Aleksandar Vucic a déclaré que son pays imposait désormais des visas aux ressortissants de la Tunisie et du Burundi, une mesure déjà annoncée en octobre mais qui entre ces jours-ci en vigueur.

      L’UE et la Suisse avaient fait pression pendant plusieurs semaines sur la Serbie afin qu’elle modifie sa politique des visas. Ces pays avaient reproché à la Serbie de servir de porte d’entrée vers l’UE à des migrants turcs, indiens, tunisiens, cubains et burundais, dispensés de visas jusque là pour venir dans le pays. C’est maintenant chose faite.

      Le président de la Serbie, du pays candidat à l’UE depuis 2012, avait promis que Belgrade alignerait sa politique des visas sur celle de Bruxelles « d’ici la fin de l’année » en commençant par la révocation des dispenses accordées aux Tunisiens, Burundais et Indiens. « Bientôt, deux autres pays seront soumis à cette même mesure car nous devrons avoir le même régime de visas que l’UE », a-t-il prévenu, sans préciser de quels pays il s’agissait.

      « Je suis reconnaissant envers le président de la Serbie pour tout ce qu’il fait pour en finir avec le ’tourisme de l’asile’ », a réagi, mercredi, Karl Nehammer.

      Ensemble, les Tunisiens, les Burundais, les Indiens, les Cubains et les Turcs représentent seulement 20% des migrants passés par la route des Balkans occidentaux depuis janvier 2022. La grande majorité des personnes qui transitent par la Serbie ne sont donc pas des exilés exemptés de visas. La plupart sont originaires d’Afghanistan et de Syrie.


  • #Route_des_Balkans : avec #Frontex, l’UE met les grands moyens pour enrayer les migrations

    La route des Balkans des réfugiés s’impose comme une priorité pour l’UE, qui accorde une enveloppe supplémentaire de 39,2 millions d’euros. Frontex va se déployer en #Albanie, en #Bosnie-Herzégovine, au #Monténégro et en #Serbie. La mission européenne vient aussi de signer un accord avec la #Macédoine_du_Nord.

    La #Commission_européenne a donné son #accord à une présence renforcée de Frontex, l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes, dans quatre pays des Balkans occidentaux. Cette autorisation porte sur les frontières entre l’UE, l’Albanie, la Serbie, le Monténégro et la Bosnie-Herzégovine. Bruxelles a aussi adopté un nouveau plan d’aides à hauteur de 39,2 millions d’euros, dans le cadre de l’#Instrument_d’aide_de_préadhésion (#IAP) pour le renforcement de la gestion des frontières dans ces pays candidats à l’intégration.

    Selon les accords actuellement en vigueur entre Frontex et l’Albanie, la Serbie et le Monténégro, des effectifs permanents de l’Agence européenne ne peuvent être déployées que sur les frontières de ces pays avec l’UE, sans exercer de compétences exécutives. Désormais, des #effectifs_permanents de Frontex pourront également être déployés sur les frontières de ces pays avec des États tiers. Cela veut dire, par exemple que des agents Frontex pourront patrouiller sur la frontière entre l’Albanie et le Monténégro ou entre la Serbie et la Bosnie-Herzégovine.

    Le plan d’aides financières annoncé servira surtout à financer du #matériel spécialisé (systèmes de #surveillance mobiles, #drones ou appareils biométriques). Ce plan financera aussi de la #formation et une aide à la mise en place et au fonctionnement de #centres_de_coordination_nationaux, dont des #centres_d’accueil et de #rétention des migrants. Ces 39,2 millions d’euros viennent renforcer les dispositifs sécuritaires pour un meilleur contrôle des frontières, dotés jusque là de 171,7 millions d’euros.

    “Nous nous concentrons sur le renforcement de la protection des frontières, la lutte contre les réseaux de trafiquants et l’intensification des #retours depuis la région.”

    La Commissaire aux Affaires intérieures #Ylva_Johansson a souligné que l’UE était très impliquée dans le soutien aux Balkans occidentaux au renforcement de la #coopération pour la gestion des migrations sur le terrain. « Voilà pourquoi nous proposons de négocier des accords de statut conformes au nouveau cadre juridique, qui permettront le déploiement de Frontex dans nos quatre pays partenaires avec la pleine force de son mandat, afin d’assurer que leurs frontières soient respectées et protégées conformément aux meilleures pratiques et normes européennes. »

    De son côté, le Commissaire européen à l’Élargissement #Oliver_Varhelyi estime que ce paquet arrive à point nommé, car les migrations restent, selon lui, un domaine dans lequel la collaboration avec les partenaires des Balkans occidentaux doit être renforcée. « Étant donné la pression migratoire accrue dans la région, nous nous concentrons sur le renforcement de la #protection_des_frontières, la lutte contre les réseaux de trafiquants et l’intensification des retours depuis la région. C’est dans ce but que nous renforçons notre soutien politique et financier. »

    Oliver Varhelyi a annoncé que la Commission avait l’intention d’augmenter ses financements en la matière d’ici 2024 pour les pays candidats des Balkans occidentaux, soit une enveloppe totale d’au moins 350 millions d’euros. Cette somme doit permettre à ces pays candidats de développer un système efficace de gestion des migrations dans tous les domaines, y compris l’asile, l’accueil, la sécurité aux frontières et les procédures de retour.

    #Balkans #migrations #réfugiés #asile #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #aide_financière #biométrie #militarisation_des_frontières #renvois #expulsions

    ping @isskein @karine4 @_kg_

    • Tracking the Pact: EU seeks to seal off Balkan Route with expanded Frontex deployments

      The European Commission wants to launch negotiations with Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Albania so that EU border agency Frontex can extend its zone of operations. Currently, Frontex operations in those states can only take place at the borders they share with EU member states, in accordance with the 2016 Frontex Regulation. Upgrading the EU’s agreements with the Balkan states to take into account the powers granted to Frontex by the 2019 Regulation will make it possible to deploy EU border guards at non-EU borders - for example, between Bosnia and Serbia, or between Serbia and Montenegro. An agreement with North Macedonia has already been signed. The aim is to halt the irregular movement of people through the Balkans towards “core” EU member states.

      In order to launch negotiations the Commission needs the approval of the Council of the EU, and has thus sent to the Council four recommendations that, once they are signed off, will allow it to enter into negotiations with each of the four states:

      - Albania (COM(2022) 690 final, in Council doc. 14060/22, LIMITE, 26 October 2022, pdf)
      – Bosnia and Herzegovina (COM(2022) 691 final, in Council doc. 14061/22, LIMITE, 26 October 2022, pdf)
      – Montenegro (COM(2022) 692 final, in Council doc. 14062/22, LIMITE, 26 October 2022, pdf)
      – Serbia (COM(2022) 693 final, in Council doc. 14063/22, LIMITE, 26 October 2022, pdf)

      An upgraded agreement with North Macedonia based on the 2019 Frontex Regulation has already been approved.

      Each of the documents contains an explanatory memorandum before coming to the draft text of the proposed Council Recommendations.

      For example, the proposal on Albania notes:

      “Albania lies on the Western Balkans migration route, which sees significant irregular migration towards the core of the European Union, both via land and across the Adriatic Sea...

      Given that Albania is a neighbouring third country that remains an important country of transit for irregular migration to the European Union, the value of cooperation between the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and the relevant authorities of Albania remains high. Albania has been a model for the successful deployment of Frontex joint operations to third countries, and it therefore represents an ideal candidate for the expansion of such cooperation.”

      Amongst other things, the memoranda note bilateral agreements signed by each of the states - for example, Bosnia has signed “readmission agreements with all the Western Balkan countries, Türkiye, Russia, Moldova and Pakistan whose practical implementation started in August 2022.” The intention is that Balkan states will not just prevent people from arriving in “core” EU territory - they will also deport them.

      There is no mention in any of the documents of the controversy the agency is mired in for its failure to uphold fundamental rights standards within the EU, in particular at the Greek-Turkish border, as confirmed by the recently-published report of the European Anti-Fraud Office.

      An annex to each of the above documents contains the negotiating directives for the Commission to follow, subject to possible amendment and then approval by the Council.

      - Albania (as above, ANNEX/ADD 1, pdf)
      - Bosnia and Herzegovina (as above, ANNEX/ADD 1, pdf)
      - Montenegro (as above, ANNEX/ADD 1, pdf)
      - Serbia (as above, ANNEX/ADD 1, pdf)

      Although marked ’SENSITIVE’ (as are the proposals for recommendations), the annexes merely state that the agreement with each country should meet the standards set out in the model status agreement adopted by the European Commission in December last year.

      The final terms of the agreements are of course subject to negotiations with each state, with the texts then sent to the Council and Parliament for approval (or not).

      This is likely to lead to certain discrepancies. For example, the current status agreements with Balkan states contain differences on the privileges and immunities of officials deployed on Frontex operations:

      “While the agreements with Albania, Montenegro, and North Macedonia include the provision that the executive director’s decision [on whether to waive criminal immunity or not] will be binding upon the authorities of the host state, no such article is found in the agreements with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.”

      Negotiations on status agreements that would allow Frontex operations in Senegal and Mauritania are also ongoing. When approved, Frontex operations in those two countries will be the first ones outside the European continent.


    • Communiqué de presse du Conseil de l’UE du 24 février 2023 au sujet du nouvel accord conclu entre Frontex et la Macédoine du Nord (signé en octobre 2022, déploiement opérationnel à partir du 1er avril 2023: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2023/02/24/border-management-eu-concludes-agreement-with-north-macedonia-on-fr).

      Le communiqué refait le point sur les accords entre Frontex et les Etats non UE :

      - Border management cooperation agreements in place with Albania (2019), Montenegro (2020) and Serbia (2020) under the previous rules.
      - In November 2022, the Council authorised the opening of negotiations with these countries to broaden these agreements. It also agreed to open negotiations for an agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
      - In July 2022, the Council also authorised the opening of negotiations for agreements with Mauritania and Senegal.
      - An agreement with Moldova, already under the new rules, entered into force on 1 November 2022.
      - The agreement with North Macedonia was signed on 26 October 2022. North Macedonia has reported its conclusion of the agreement, meaning it will enter into force on 1 April 2023 following today’s decision by the Council.


      Border management: EU concludes agreement with North Macedonia on Frontex cooperation

      The Council gave today its final green light to an agreement with North Macedonia on operational activities carried out by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex). The agreement will allow joint operations to be organised and Frontex border management teams to be deployed in North Macedonia, subject to the country’s agreement.

      As of 1st April, Frontex will be able to assist North Macedonia in its efforts to manage migratory flows, counter illegal immigration, and tackle cross-border crime. Reinforcing controls along North Macedonia’s borders will contribute to further enhancing security at the EU’s external borders.

      In line with the European border and coast guard regulation, the agreement also includes provisions for compliance monitoring and for the protection of fundamental rights.


      In 2019 a new Frontex regulation was adopted, broadening the agency’s mandate on several areas, including cooperation with third countries. The new mandate allows the agency to assist those countries with a status agreement throughout their territory and not only in the regions bordering the EU, as was the case with the previous mandate. It also allows Frontex staff to exercise executive powers, such as border checks and registration of persons. Status agreements allowing for joint operations can now be concluded with a wider range of countries and are no longer limited to neighbouring countries.

      Frontex had border management cooperation agreements in place with Albania (2019), Montenegro (2020) and Serbia (2020) under the previous rules. In November 2022, the Council authorised the opening of negotiations with these countries to broaden these agreements. It also agreed to open negotiations for an agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

      In July 2022, the Council also authorised the opening of negotiations for agreements with Mauritania and Senegal.

      An agreement with Moldova, already under the new rules, entered into force on 1 November 2022.

      The agreement with North Macedonia was signed on 26 October 2022. North Macedonia has reported its conclusion of the agreement, meaning it will enter into force on 1 April 2023 following today’s decision by the Council.


  • Hungary, Austria and Serbia leaders outline plan to curb migration Access to the comments

    The leaders of Hungary, Austria and Serbia met Monday in Budapest to find solutions on how to stem what they claim is the increasing number of migrants arriving in Europe.

    The three leaders agreed to take joint action to control the new arrivals along the migration route that leads through Serbia.

    Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer told reporters after the meeting that the joint action plan would include increased police cooperation along the borders as well as supporting Serbia when it comes to deporting migrants back to their home countries.

    "We will directly support Serbia to carry out repatriations and not only support technical know-how, but also do everything possible that is necessary, and financially support them,” Nehammer said.

    The Austrian chancellor lauded Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić’s announcement that by the end of the year, Serbia would align its visa policies with the European Union so that the visa-free regime with some non-EU countries is no longer used for migration purposes.

    Serbia is a candidate country for full-fledged membership in the bloc.

    “We will thus prevent the situation when someone uses Serbia as a country of arrival but not because of their real needs but for illegal migration toward the west,” Vučić said.

    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban called for an overall political change in how to approach migration and suggested so-called hot spot centres outside the European Union where asylum-seeker requests should be processed. He added that "we are not satisfied at all with the situation that has developed.”

    That procedure would, however, undermine the national laws of some European countries. Among them is Germany, which has enshrined in its constitution every foreigner’s right to apply for political asylum and have his or her request individually checked while staying in the country.

    Among the migrants recently detained in Austria who have applied for asylum to avoid immediate deportation, Indian nationals accounted for the biggest group in September, according to government data.

    Indian nationals need a visa to enter the EU but can enter Serbia without one. From there, many are trying to reach Western European countries with the help of traffickers, according to government claims.

    Monday’s meeting in the Hungarian capital came after announcements by the Czech Republic and Austria last week that they would launch temporary border controls at their crossings with Slovakia to stop migrants from entering.

    In addition to the meeting in Budapest, the interior ministers of Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia called on the EU on Monday to better protect the outer borders to curb the latest increase in migration.

    “We’re facing problems that affect all of Europe,” said Czech Interior Minister Vit Rakušan.

    While Serbia has not had any major incidents in handling prior waves of migration, Hungary has been accused of serious human rights violations in the past, including becoming the only EU country that has legalised pushbacks, some of which were said to have been violent.

    Orban is one of the most vocal anti-migration politicians in Europe, known for publically labelling non-European immigrants “Muslim invaders” in an interview with the German newspaper Bild in 2018 and stating migration was “poison” in 2016.


    #Hongrie #Autriche #Serbie #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #fermeture_des_frontières #coopération_policière #police #renvois #expulsions #visa #visas #Slovaquie #République_Tchèque

  • Migrations. Face au retour des Syriens, la #Tchéquie renforce le contrôle de sa frontière avec la #Slovaquie

    En raison de l’arrivée d’un nombre croissant de migrants clandestins majoritairement d’origine syrienne sur son territoire, la Tchéquie a rétabli des contrôles le long de sa frontière avec la Slovaquie. Une décision très moyennement appréciée à Bratislava.

    « Une mesure inutile qui désintègre Schengen. Et qui, et c’est le plus important, ne réduira la migration clandestine, pas même d’un demi-pied. » SME n’y va pas par le dos de la cuillère pour commenter la décision du gouvernement tchèque. Le grand quotidien slovaque exprime une forme d’incompréhension : « Alors que plus de 1 million d’Ukrainiens sont passés par la Tchéquie [ces derniers mois] et que plus de 300 000 d’entre eux y sont restés (!), il est totalement déraisonnable d’imposer des contrôles pour quelque 11 000 Syriens. Et ce, avec un pays [la Slovaquie] avec lequel ils [les Tchèques] prétendent avoir des relations ’plus que remarquables’. »

    À lire aussi : Réfugiés. De Syrie ou d’Ukraine : la solidarité à deux vitesses des pays d’Europe centrale

    Dans la nuit de mercredi à jeudi, la Tchéquie a renforcé les contrôles policiers à vingt-sept points de passage essentiellement routiers et ferroviaires de la frontière avec son voisin, avec lequel elle célébrera, à la fin de cette année, le trentième anniversaire de la partition de l’ancien État commun tchécoslovaque. Une décision identique a été prise également par l’Autriche, comme le note la Radio tchèque, qui souligne que, « selon Vienne, il s’agit d’une réaction à la décision tchèque ».

    « Pays de transit »

    Comme on peut le voir dans une petite vidéo publiée sur le compte Twitter du ministère, le ministre de l’Intérieur tchèque a expliqué que « le but de cette mesure, qui ne fait plaisir à personne, n’est pas de compliquer la vie des citoyens tchèques et slovaques, mais de faire clairement comprendre aux groupes de passeurs qu’il y a là un obstacle ». Ce vendredi matin, l’agence de presse tchèque CTK annonçait que « la police de Moravie du Sud [la région qui sépare les deux pays] avait arrêté onze passeurs et découvert 247 migrants lors des vingt-quatre premières heures qui ont suivi l’introduction des contrôles ».

    Pour l’heure, ce renforcement le long des quelque 250 kilomètres de frontière n’est prévu que pour une durée de dix jours, alors que la Tchéquie, comme le souligne sur un ton toujours très critique SME, « n’est qu’un pays de transit vers l’Allemagne ».

    Dans un communiqué de presse publié en début de semaine, la police tchèque indiquait avoir interpellé près de 12 000 migrants clandestins, très majoritairement d’origine syrienne et en provenance de Turquie, depuis le début de l’année. « Soit une augmentation interannuelle de 1 200 % », selon le quotidien Lidové noviny, qui note aussi qu’il s’agit là « d’un chiffre plus élevé qu’au plus fort de la crise migratoire en 2015 ». À l’époque, les pays d’Europe centrale dans leur ensemble avaient été vivement critiqués pour leur manque de solidarité avec les autres États européens quant à la répartition des réfugiés.

    Frontières de l’UE

    « La Slovaquie respecte la décision de la Tchéquie. Cependant, Bratislava souhaite que cette mesure soit discutée au niveau de l’Union européenne (UE), car la décision de Prague affecte également d’autres pays européens », a de son côté réagi le ministère de l’Intérieur slovaque. Comme on peut le lire sur le site Postoj.sk, celui-ci estime que l’adoption de cette mesure est d’abord la conséquence « d’une protection insuffisante des frontières extérieures de l’UE ». Autrement dit, vu de Bratislava, cela concerne essentiellement la frontière entre la Hongrie voisine et la Serbie. Selon l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières Frontex, cette voie d’entrée illégale dans l’espace Schengen n’a jamais été aussi active depuis six ans.

    Moins diplomate, le Premier ministre slovaque, Eduard Heger, a critiqué la Tchéquie, estimant que « ce n’est pas une façon de faire », comme le relève Dennik N. Dans le même quotidien, le président de la police slovaque reconnaît toutefois « ne pas avoir la capacité et les moyens de faire face aux migrants », tandis qu’un commentateur du journal Pravda, qui considère la décision tchèque comme « la sonnerie du réveil », regrette, lui, que « le ministère de l’Intérieur [ait] trop longtemps dormi si profondément ».


    #contrôles_frontaliers #frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #route_des_Balkans #réfugiés_syriens #contrôles_policiers #fermeture_des_frontières #Balkans

  • 3,000 migrants in camps along Serbo-Hungarian border

    Serbian police have discovered two irregular migrant camps near Subotica, at the northern border with Hungary, according to Serbia’s interior ministry. According to the NGO Asylum Protection Center, some 3,000 refugees are currently located along this border.

    Serbian police have discovered two makeshift camps with a strong concentration of migrants near Subotica, in the northern part of the country next to the border with Hungary, Serbia’s interior ministry said on Monday, July 18.

    Several dozen migrants mainly hailing from India, Pakistan and Syria were moved to a hosting center in the area, the ministry added.

    Thousands of migrants who take the so-called Balkan route settle temporarily in Serbia in areas bordering Hungary and Croatia as they wait to cross the border and continue their journey to European Union countries.

    According to Rados Djurovic, the director of Serbian NGO Asylum Protection Center, some 3,000 refugees are currently located along the border with Hungary.

    About 1,000 migrants cross into Serbia every day

    Djurovic said that about 1,000 migrants cross into Serbia every day, including 400 from North Macedonia and Kosovo, and 600 from Hungary.

    He added that Hungarian authorities send them back to Serbia. The same source said police officials are working to contain new flows along the Balkan route while fighting a growing number of trafficking organizations and rising crime involving rival groups of migrants and those who smuggle them.

    Gangs in the area are reportedly often involved in clashes and dramatic episodes of violence. One person died and several others were injured in a recent fight between rival groups in Subotica.

    Meanwhile, Slovenia over the past few days started to dismantle barbed wire at the border with Croatia. The fence was set up during the 2015-2016 migrant crisis. According to those working in the field, this could contribute to a rising number of migrants arriving in the region, in the hope of crossing this way towards Western Europe.


    #Subotica #frontières #route_des_balkans #Balkans #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Hongrie #Serbie #campement #encampement

  • Ensemble, nous construisons : École d’organisation féministe des Balkans

    Women from the Balkans shared their experiences during two-day feminist school

    Entre le 15 et le 16 mai, s’est tenue à Cappadoce, en Turquie, la première rencontre de l’École féministe de la région des Balkans. Comme l’une des activités qui ont résulté de l’École internationale d’organisation féministe Berta Cáceres[International FeministOrganizingSchool– Ifos], cette école a réuni des femmes d’Arménie, d’Albanie, de Bulgarie, de Géorgie, de Macédoine, de Bosnie, de Roumanie et de Turquie dans un échange et une expérience d’apprentissage. L’événement a été réalisé peu de temps après la Rencontre du Comité international de la Marche Mondiale des Femmes, qui a eu lieu dans la capitale de la Turquie, Ankara. Pendant l’école, les compagnes se sont réunies pour partager des expériences, parler de la construction du mouvement dans la région et de réfléchir à des stratégies pour construire l’économie féministe.


    #féminisme #balkans