• Réfugiés : les Balkans jouent les « #chiens_de-garde » de l’UE

    La #Serbie a commencé durant l’été à construire une barrière de barbelés sur sa frontière avec la #Macédoine_du_Nord. Officiellement pour empêcher la propagation de la Covid-19... #Jasmin_Rexhepi, qui préside l’ONG Legis, dénonce la dérive sécuritaire des autocrates balkaniques. Entretien.

    D. Kožul (D.K.) : Que pensez-vous des raisons qui ont poussé la Serbie à construire une barrière à sa frontière avec la Macédoine du Nord ? Officiellement, il s’agit de lutter contre la propagation de l’épidémie de coronavirus. Or, on sait que le nombre de malades est minime chez les réfugiés...

    Jasmin Rexhepi (J.R.) : C’est une mauvaise excuse trouvée par un communicant. On construit des barbelés aux frontières des pays des Balkans depuis 2015. Ils sont posés par des gouvernements ultra-conservateurs, pour des raisons populistes. Les réfugiés ne sont pas une réelle menace sécuritaire pour nos pays en transition, ils ne sont pas plus porteurs du virus que ne le sont nos citoyens, et les barbelés n’ont jamais été efficaces contre les migrations.

    “Faute de pouvoir améliorer la vie de leurs citoyens, les populistes conservateurs se réfugient dans une prétendue défense de la nation contre des ennemis imaginaires.”

    D.K. : Peut-on parler d’une « orbanisation » des pays des Balkans occidentaux ? Quelle est la position à ce sujet des autorités de Macédoine du Nord ?

    J.R. : Tous les pays des Balkans aimeraient rejoindre l’Union européenne (UE), cela ne les empêche pas d’élever des barbelés sur leurs frontières mutuelles, ce qui est contraire aux principes européens de solidarité et d’unité. Quand les dirigeants populistes conservateurs ne peuvent offrir de progrès et d’avancées à leurs citoyens, ils se réfugient dans une prétendue défense de l’État, de la nation et de la religion contre des ennemis imaginaires. Dans le cas présent, ce sont les réfugiés, les basanés et les musulmans qui sont visés, mais il y a eu d’autres boucs émissaires par le passé.

    La Hongrie a ouvert la danse, mais elle n’est pas la seule, il y a eu aussi l’Autriche, la Bulgarie et la Macédoine du Nord en 2016, quand Gruevski était au pouvoir, et maintenant, malheureusement, c’est au tour de la Serbie. La xénophobie des dirigeants de ces États se voit clairement dans leurs discours. La barrière en question n’inquiète toutefois pas outre mesure les dirigeants macédoniens, car ils savent que rien de tout cela n’empêche réellement les migrations, et que ce ne sont pas des barbelés qui vont maintenir les réfugiés de notre côté de la frontière. Surtout pas maintenant qu’ils ont été habitués aux déportations de masse.

    D.K. : Certains disent que cette barrière pourrait couvrir la totalité de la frontière serbo-macédonienne, soit presque 150 km. Cela peut-il freiner les migrations ?

    J.R. : Tout d’abord, il est physiquement impossible d’installer une telle barrière dans les montagnes. À quoi bon couper tant d’arbres, détruire la nature ? Cette barrière ne s’étendra que dans les plaines, comme dans beaucoup d’autres pays. Là où, de toute façon, il n’y a déjà pas grand monde qui passe. La majorité des voies migratoires empruntent des routes de montagnes, qu’il est physiquement difficile de contrôler. C’est d’ailleurs pour cela que beaucoup de migrants entrent en Macédoine du Nord, parce qu’ils peuvent passer par les montagnes. Quant aux autres, ils coupent tout simplement les barbelés.

    “Ceinte de barbelés, l’Europe du XXIe siècle mène une politique hypocrite.”

    D.K. : Les pays des Balkans acceptent-ils de jouer le rôle de chien de garde de l’UE ? Il n’y a aucun pourtant aucune demande officielle de Bruxelles pour la construction de barrières physiques...

    J.R. : L’UE n’a jamais demandé officiellement la construction de barbelés. Ce sont certains de ses États membres ayant pris la responsabilité de « défendre » l’Europe qui ont imposé cette pratique, et offert des barbelés aux pays d’Europe du Sud-Est. C’est ainsi que la route des Balkans a été bloquée en mars 2016, sur la décision de l’Autriche, parce que l’Allemagne commençait soi-disant à refouler les réfugiés, et pas du fait d’une décision officielle des institutions européennes. De même, l’accord entre l’UE et la Turquie, survenu à la même période, a d’abord été signé par un pays de l’UE, qui a ensuite convaincu les autres de faire de même. Ceci étant, les barbelés facilitent le travail des patrouilles de Frontex, l’agence de l’Union européenne chargée du contrôle et de la gestion des frontières extérieures de l’espace Schengen. La position de l’UE n’est donc pas unifiée, d’où l’impression que cette Europe du XXIe siècle, ceinte de barbelés, mène une politique hypocrite et refuse d’assumer ses responsabilités.

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/refugies-balkans-chiens-de-garde-UE
    #réfugiés #asile #migrations #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #externalisation #murs #barrière_frontalière #frontières

    –—

    sur le mur entre Serbie et Macédoine :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/872957

  • Réfugiés : #violences et #chaos dans le nord-ouest de la Bosnie-Herzégovine
    Traduit et adapté par Manon Rumiz (Article original : https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/aree/Bosnia-Erzegovina/Migranti-caos-Bosnia-204594)

    Squats démantelés, familles déportées et laissées sans aide au bord de la route, violentes manifestations anti-migrants.... Dans le canton d’Una-Sana (nord-ouest de la Bosnie-Herzégovine), la situation des réfugiés devient toujours plus dramatique.

    « C’est le chaos. » Voilà comment Silvia Maraone, qui coordonne les activités de l’ONG italienne Ipsia (https://www.facebook.com/IPSIA.BIH) à #Bihać, résume la situation actuelle dans le canton d’#Una_Sana, explosive depuis le milieu de l’été. « Les conditions imposées par le gouvernement local n’offrent plus de répit à personne. Même les familles, les femmes et les enfants n’ont plus accès aux #camps officiels. Quant aux transports en commun, ils sont désormais interdits aux réfugiés, ce qui permet aux trafiquants de faire des affaires encore plus lucratives. »

    Dans le même temps, la police expulse les #squats et tous les #camps_informels, renvoyant les réfugiés hors des frontières du canton. La population locale, de son côté, manifeste ouvertement son hostilité face à la présence massive de candidats à l’exil. Les agressions verbales et physiques se multiplient, ainsi que les attaques contre les volontaires.

    “Le canton d’Una Sana est plus que jamais le #cul-de-sac de la route des Balkans.”

    Du fait de la #pandémie et de la proclamation de l’#état_d’urgence, la situation s’est encore détériorée depuis le printemps. Les camps officiels, déjà pleins, n’accueillent plus de nouveaux entrants alors mêmes que les arrivées ont repris depuis la réouverture des frontières au mois de juin. Le canton d’Una Sana est plus que jamais le cul-de-sac de la route des Balkans, d’autant qu’à l’ouest, le jeu de domino entre les polices italienne, slovène et croate se poursuit, aboutissant au #refoulement des migrants interceptés dans cette zone frontalière de l’Union européenne.

    La seule réponse apportée par les autorités locales a été l’ouverture, en avril, d’un « #camp_d’urgence » à Lipa, entre Bihać et #Bosanski_Petrovac, dont le millier places a vite été rempli. Les squats se sont donc multipliés dans les #friches_industrielles et dans les bois. De toute façon, les migrants ne souhaitent pas rester ici et le « #game » continue : chaque jour, ils sont des centaines à tenter de déjouer la surveillance de la frontière croate avec l’espoir de ne pas être arrêté avant d’avoir atteint l’Italie.

    Le début du « chaos » qu’évoque Silvia Maraone remonte à la mi-juillet, avec l’expulsion du camp de fortune qui s’était créé à l’entrée de #Velika_Kladuša, près du camp officiel de #Miral, le long de la rivière #Kladušnica. Officiellement, l’opération a été déclenchée à cause des plaintes répétées des riverains. Début août, la police est revenue pour chasser les migrants qui avaient reconstitué un nouveau camp.

    « #Milices_citoyennes »

    Quelques jours plus tard, le maire de Bihać, #Šuhret_Fazlić, déclarait que la situation était aussi devenue insoutenable dans sa commune. « Cela n’a jamais été pire qu’aujourd’hui. Chaque jour, nous assistons à l’arrivée d’un flux incontrôlé de migrants. Il y en a déjà des milliers qui campent un peu partout. Une fois de plus, on nous laisse seuls », avant de conclure, menaçant : « Nous sommes prêts à prendre des mesures radicales ». Ce n’est pas la première fois que le maire de Bihać tire la sonnette d’alarme. Début 2018, au tout début de la crise, l’édile déplorait déjà le manque de soutien des autorités de la Fédération, l’entité croato-bosniaque dont dépend le canton, et nationales. À l’automne 2019, Silvia Maraone s’inquiétait aussi : « La situation ne fera qu’empirer dans les mois qui viennent si de nouveaux camps officiels ne sont pas ouverts d’urgence ».

    Selon les chiffres officiels, plus de 80% des réfugiés présents sur le sol bosnien se concentreraient dans le seul canton d’Una Sana. « Il sont plus de 5000, dont à peine la moitié hébergés dans des centres d’accueil officiels. Les autres dorment dans des bâtiments détruits ou dans les bois en attendant de tenter le game », poursuit Silvia Maraone. Ces dernières semaines, la population de Velika Kladuša a organisé des manifestations hebdomadaires contre la présence de migrants. Organisées sur les réseaux sociaux, ces rassemblements réunissent des habitants venus de tout le canton.

    Pire, des #milices citoyennes ont commencé à se mettre en place pour refouler les migrants. « Dans certains groupes Facebook, des membres signalent les plaques des véhicules qui transportent des migrants », observe Silvia Maraone. « Des routes ont même été bloquées, des pierres et des bâtons jetés sur les véhicules. » Ce n’est pas tout. « Des citoyens ont attaqué des migrants en pleine rue, tandis que les volontaires leur venant en aide se sont faits dénoncer à la police. » Le 17 août, les forces de l’ordre ont dû intervenir à Velika Kladuša où des dizaines de riverains s’étaient massés et avaient attaqué un bus où se trouvaient des migrants.

    Pour justifier de telles actions coup de poing, on trouve la rhétorique habituelle de l’extrême-droite complotiste : la prétendue violence de ces migrants et la menace qu’ils feraient peser pour la sécurité de la population locale. Des arguments balayés par les statistiques officielles, mais qui font mouche auprès de Bosniens fatigués par des décennies de divisions, de corruption et de misère.

    Deux jours après la violente manifestation du 17 août à Velika Kladuša, la cellule de crise du canton d’Una-Sana a décrété des mesures très dures : l’évacuation de tous les migrants vivant hors des structures d’accueil officielles, perquisition dans tous les lieux privés offrants des services aux migrants, interdiction de quitter les camps officiels, d’utiliser les transports en commun et d’entrer dans le canton pour tous les migrants. Des postes de contrôle ont aussi été mis en place sur les routes d’accès au canton.

    “Ils ont tout brûlé, vêtements, téléphones portables, sacs à dos. Ils nous ont frappés avec des matraques.”

    « Les personnes expulsées des squats n’ont pas toutes pu être accueillies au camp de #Lipa et ont été refoulées en #Republika_Srpska (l’autre entité de Bosnie-Herzégovine) », dénonce Silvia Maraone. « Même les familles avec enfants sont abandonnées sans aucune aide. » Ces restrictions à la #liberté_de_mouvement violent les #droits_humains fondamentaux, comme l’a dénoncé Amnesty International dans un communiqué, le 25 août. Le réseau Transbalkanska Solidarnost (https://transbalkanskasolidarnost.home.blog) demande aux autorités locales et aux organisations internationales de « mettre fin à la politique du silence », de condamner publiquement ces pratiques illégales, de poursuivre les responsables et d’assurer un accueil digne et sûr aux migrants.

    Transbalkanska Solidarnost a recueilli plusieurs #témoignages sur ces expulsions, dont celles de l’ONG No Name Kitchen à Bosanska Otoka. « Nous dormions dans une ancienne usine abandonnée près de Bihać quand la police est arrivée. Il devait y avoir 20 ou 25 policiers. Ils ont tout brûlé, vêtements, téléphones portables, sacs à dos. Ils nous ont frappés avec des matraques, puis nous ont expulsés ici où nous sommes sans nourriture, sans rien. Je me suis échappé d’Afghanistan pour me sauver et là je retrouve cette violence... Pourquoi ?! », se désole A., 16 ans. Selon les chiffres des associations, plus de 500 réfugiés se sont retrouvés bloqués sur la ligne de démarcation entre les deux entités bosniennes, personne ne voulant les prendre en charge.

    Malgré les menaces qui se font toujours plus fortes, les réseaux de #volontaires continuent de venir en aide aux migrants : distribution de produits de première nécessité, de vêtements et signalement des violences et des violations des droits. « Ce n’est pas facile », reconnaît Silvia Maraone. « Tout le monde vous regarde mal et ceux que vous aidez sont détestés… Nous restons prudents. » Son ONG, Ipsia ; intervient toujours dans le camp de Bira, géré par l’#Organisation_internationale_pour_les_migrations (#OIM) où elle gère le Café social et prépare un projet plus vaste, soutenu par des fonds européens, pour développer des activités, hors des camps, visant à améliorer les relations entre migrants et population locale. Il y a urgence. « Jamais le bras-de-fer avec le reste de la Bosnie n’a été aussi tendu. »

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/refugies-chaos-dans-le-nord-ouest-de-la-bosnie-herzegovine

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #camps_de_réfugiés #campements #IOM #extrême_droite #solidarité

    –-> « Quant aux transports en commun, ils sont désormais interdits aux réfugiés, ce qui permet aux trafiquants de faire des affaires encore plus lucratives »
    #ségrégation #transports_publics #transports_en_commun #apartheid

    –-> « l’#Organisation_internationale_pour_les_migrations (#OIM) gère le Café social et prépare un projet plus vaste, soutenu par des fonds européens, pour développer des activités, hors des camps, visant à améliorer les relations entre migrants et population locale. Il y a urgence. »
    En fait, ce qu’il faudrait faire c’est ouvrir les frontières et laisser ces personnes bloquées en Bosnie, où elles n’ont aucune intention de rester, de partir...

    ping @karine4 @isskein

  • The first cases of COVID-19 among the migrant population in BIH, in the #Bira camp, were also confirmed (balkans.aljazeera.net/video/bay-o-zdravstvenom-nadzoru-migranata-u-bih). Organizations working in the camps are trying to keep the situation under control, but there is always the possibility of spreading of the infection among the migrant population.

    Reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa Dobrodosli, mail du 04.09.2020

    #réfugiés #asile #migrations #covid-19 #coronavirus #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #route_des_Balkans #Balkans #camps_de_réfugiés

    ping @luciebacon @isskein

  • Brève biographie de Pano #Vassilev - Partage Noir
    https://www.partage-noir.fr/breve-biographie-de-pano-vassilev
    #Soviet #Anarchisme #Balkanski

    « Le 13 avril (1933) à 19 h dans une rue de Sofia, a été assas­siné par la police l’ouvrier anarcho-syndicaliste Pano Vassilev. Ce fut un assassinat lâche et perfide, et qui malheureuse­ment n’est pas un fait isolé : c’est un anneau de la chaîne des forfaits dans ce pays malheureux où le meurtre politique est devenu déjà une vertu, tandis que les assassins passent pour des héros et des patriotes. » (Extrait d’une lettre manuscrite en français de l’époque pour informer la presse #libertaire, signé par G.G.).

  • Region in northwestern Bosnia sets up roadblocks to deter migrants

    Authorities in northeastern Bosnia have deployed police officers along a main transit highway to prevent migrants from entering their territory. The migrants are finding themselves trapped as neighboring regions are blocking them from walking back too.

    The local authorities in Krajino, in the northwestern part of Bosnia, have begun enforcing their decision to ban all new migrant arrivals and have set up roadblocks to prevent migrants who are headed to western Europe from entering their territory. The Krajino authorities allege that they are bearing the brunt of ongoing migration and that other parts of the country are failing to step in and help out.

    The deployment of police and the order to turn back all the migrants they encounter is an apparent violation of Bosnia’s human rights and immigration laws, AP reports.

    The roadblocks are set up on the main highway connecting Krajina to the rest of the country. Police in neighboring administrative regions of Bosnia in turn started blocking migrants from walking back, reports AP.
    Ali Razah, a Pakistani migrant, is one of hundreds trapped in the middle. He told AP that various police units had blocked him and other migrants from moving in any direction. “There is no food, no water, nothing and we are staying on the grass,” he said.

    Anti-migrant protests

    The Krajino region, on the border with Croatia, is a major transit point for migrants and refugees who aim to reach the European Union. The two towns Bihac and Velika Kladusa with their refugee and migrant camps are located in the region’s northwestern corner and have become a bottleneck for migrants — as Croatian authorities have sealed the border to the EU-member state and are reported to conduct pushbacks across the border using violence against the migrants.

    Recently, local residents of Velika Kladusa have repeatedly staged anti-migrant protests, accusing migrants of assaults and violence against the local population. On Monday August 17, hundreds of people reportedly blocked a road near a migrant reception center, complaining of harassment and increasing misbehavior by migrants in the city. The residents claim that cases of aggression and intimidation by migrants had multiplied, and that migrants from rival groups often fought or set fire to warehouses or dilapidated buildings where they they were staying.

    There are about 1,300 irregular migrants in Velika Kladusa, according to estimates by the authorities reported in the media, many of whom are sleeping rough in the surrounding area. In northwestern Bosnia-Herzegovina along the Croatian border there are more than 7,000 migrants, according to ANSA.

    Political infighting

    Most migrants enter Bosnia across the Drina River on the eastern border with Serbia. From there, they cross the country to reach Krajina.

    Bosnia since 1995 has been split along ethnic lines into two highly autonomous parts - the Serb-run Republika Srpska and the Bosniak-Croat Federation. Local authorities in Krajina have long accused Bosnia’s central government of not doing enough to resolve the crisis in Bosnia and of using the migration issue to fuel political infighting.

    So far, the Bosnian Serb hard-line leader Milorad Dodik has blocked efforts to deploy the army along the border with Serbia to stem the arrival of migrants, AP writes, and he is said to have used the migration issue to promote his Serbian-first position. He has repeatedly pressed for Serbs to separate from multi-ethnic Bosnia and unite with Serbia. Dodik refused to accommodate any migrants in the country’s autonomous Serb-run half and instead pushed them into Krajina.

    ’Closing borders is not a solution’

    Migrant aid groups working on the ground, however, stress that local authorities lack the willingness for practical solutions too. “The big problem is that we do not see a willingness from the different governments – international, national or local – to make a solution, to sit together with different groups and try to find a way to make the situation less hard for everyone,” a member of the NGO ’No Name Kitchen’ which helps migrants and refugees in Bosnia and Serbia told the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIRN), reported the BalkanInsight, in light of growing tensions towards migrants.

    “Opening camps and closing borders is not a solution,” they told BIRN. “It is just a patch. So we have people in transit who have nowhere to go, no tents, no blankets… If they try to reach an EU country, it is common that they get pushed back and normally with violence. Camps paid for by EU money are full and renting a house is not allowed. At the same time, locals are exhausted,” ’No Name Kitchen’ told BIRN.

    https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/26832/region-in-northwestern-bosnia-sets-up-roadblocks-to-deter-migrants

    #militarisation_des_frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #frontières #Bosnie #barrages_routiers #fermeture_des_frontières #Krajino

  • #CoronaCapitalism and the European #Border_Regime

    As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect people’s lives all over the world, the violence against migrants and refugees has intensified. This article explores #CoronaCapitalism and the Border Regime in a European context. Corporate Watch uses the term “border regime” as a shorthand to mean all of the many different institutions, people, systems and processes involved in trying to control migrants.

    This article only shares the tip-of-the-iceberg of migrant experiences during the coronavirus pandemic and we know there are many other untold stories. If you would like to share your news or experiences, please contact us.

    Mass Containment Camps

    As the world descended into lockdowns in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus, tens of thousands of people have been confined in camps in the Western Balkans and Greece, as well as smaller accommodation centres across Europe. New and existing camps were also essentially locked down and the movement of people in and out of camps began to be heavily controlled by police and/or the military.

    The Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) has been trying to track what is happening across the Balkans. They write that in Bosnia-Herzegovina, “more than 5,000 people were detained in existing temporary refugee reception centres. They include about 500 unaccompanied minors and several hundred children with families. Persons in need of special care, patients, victims of torture, members of the LGBTQ population, persons diagnosed with mental disorders, and victims of domestic violence have also been locked down into ‘EU-funded’ camps.” Police officers guard the centres and emergency legislation enables them the right to ‘physically force persons trying to leave the centres to return.’

    120,000 people are locked down in containment camps across Greece and the Greek Islands. Disturbing accounts of refugee camps are ever-present but the pandemic has worsened already unbearable conditions. 17,000 refugees live at Moira Refugee Camp where there are 210 people per toilet and 630 people per shower. Coronavirus, uncertainty over suspended asylum applications and the terrible living conditions are all contributing to escalating violence.

    In detention centres in Drama and Athens in Greece, the BVMN report that, “Respondents describe a lack of basic amenities such as running water, showers, or soap. Cramped and overcrowded conditions, with up to 13 inmates housed in one caravan with one, usually non-functioning, toilet. Requests for better services are met with violence at the hands of officers and riot police. On top of this, there have been complaints that no special precautions for COVID-19 are being taken, residents inside told BVMN reporters that sick individuals are not isolated, and are dismissed as having ‘the flu’.”

    While movement restrictions were lifted for Greek residents on 4th May, lockdown is still extended for all camps and centres across Greece and the Islands. This decision triggered thousands of people to protest in Athens. Emergency legislation adopted at the start of March in Greece effectively suspended the registration of asylum applications and implied immediate deportation for those entering the Greek territory, without registration, to their countries of origin or to Turkey.

    Detention and the deportation regime

    While major country-wide lockdowns are an unusual form of restriction of movement, for decades European states have been locking people seeking safety in detention centres. Immigration Removal Centres are essentially prisons for migrants in which people are locked up without trial or time-limit. In the UK the detention system is mostly run for profit by private companies, as detailed in our UK Border Regime book.

    Despite preparing for a pandemic scenario in January 2020, it took public pressure and legal action before the British government released nearly 1000 people from detention centres. As of the end of May, 368 people were still locked up in the profit-making detention centres and many more are living in ‘accommodation centres’ where they have been unable to access coronavirus testing.

    During the pandemic, people have been revolting in several detention centres across France and Belgium. Residents at a refugee centre in Saxony-Anhalt in Germany went on a hunger strike in April to protest against a lack of disinfectant. Hunger strikes have also taken place at detention centres in Tunisia, Cyprus and France.

    Women in a police holding centre for migrants in Greece went on hunger strike in June. In a statement, they wrote: “We will continue the hunger strike until we are free from this captivity. They will either set us free or we shall die”.

    People staged a rooftop protest at a detention centre in Madrid at the start of the outbreak. This was before all the detention centres in Spain were, for the first time in their history, completely emptied. To put this into context, Spain had 6,473 detainees in 2019. Legal challenges have been leveraging the EU Returns Directive which allows detention pending deportation for up to 18 months, but stipulates that if “a reasonable prospect of removal no longer exists…detention ceases to be justified and the person concerned shall be released immediately”.

    With a worldwide reduction in flights, deportations became unfeasible, however, many are afraid that the deportation machine will restart as things “return to normal”.

    Worsening life in the ‘jungle’

    People living in squats and other improvised accommodation have also faced sweeping operations, with people being rounded up and taken to containment camps.

    For those that remained on the street, pandemic restrictions took their toll. In Greece, movement amidst the pandemic was permitted via letters and text messages. For people who did not have the right paperwork, they were fined 150 euros, sometimes multiple times.

    Similarly, in the French city of Calais, people who did not have the right paperwork were commonly denied access to shops and supermarkets, where they may have previously used the bathrooms or bought food to cook. With many volunteer groups unable to operate due to movement restrictions, the availability of food dramatically reduced overnight. Access to services such as showers, phone charging and healthcare also rapidly reduced.

    People in Calais also faced a rise in evictions: 45 evictions were recorded in the first two weeks of lockdown. These expulsions have continued throughout the pandemic. On Friday 10th July 2020, a major police raid in Calais forced more than 500 people onto buses to be taken to ‘reception centres’ across the region.

    In Amsterdam in the Netherlands, some migrants were forced to live in night shelters and made to leave during the daytime – facing constant risks of contracting COVID-19 and police harassment in the city. They protested “I would stay at home if I had one”.

    Many migrant solidarity groups working on the ground lost huge numbers of volunteers due to travel restrictions and health concerns. Access to material donations such as tents, which are commonly collected at the end of festivals, also reduced. A constant supply of these resources is needed because the police routinely take the migrants’ tents away.

    Militarisation of borders

    The pandemic has seen an increase in military forces at borders and camps, persistent police violence and the suspension of ‘rights’ or legal processes. Using ‘State of Emergency’ legislation, the health crisis has been effectively weaponised.

    In March at the beginning of the pandemic in Europe, FRONTEX, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency deployed an additional 100 guards at the Greek Land Border. This is in addition to the agency’s core of 10,000 officers working around Europe.

    In their 2020 Risk Analysis Report, FRONTEX wrote that “the closing of internal borders is binding border guard personnel, which some border authorities have long stopped planning for”. This illuminates a key complexity in border control. For years, Europe has shifted to policing the wider borders of the Schengen Area. As the virus spread between countries within that area, however, states have tried to shut down their own borders.

    Police forces and militaries have become increasingly mobilised to “protect these national borders”. In Slovenia, this meant the military was granted authority to ‘process civilians’ at the border through the government’s activation of Article 37a of the Defence Act. While in Serbia, the army was deployed around border camps to ensure mass containment. 400 new border guards were also dispatched to the Evros land border between Greece and Turkey in addition to an increase in fencing and surveillance technologies.

    Escalating Police Violence

    Although migrants are no strangers to police brutality, national states of emergency have enabled an escalation in police violence. In mid-April an open letter was published by the Eritrean community of the Calais jungle reporting escalating police brutality. It describes the actions of the CRS police (Compagnies républicaines de sécurité); the general guard of the French police, infamous for riot control and repression:

    “They don’t see us as human beings. They insult us with names such as monkey, bitch etc. And for the past few weeks, they have started to threaten our lives by beating us as soon as the opportunity arises. When for example they found a group of two or three people walking towards the food distribution, or in our tents, when we were sleeping. They accelerate in their vehicles while driving in our direction, as if they wanted to crush us. They also took people with them to places far from Calais, and beat them until they lost consciousness.”

    The statement continues with a chronological list of events whereby people were beaten up, hit, gassed, had their arms broken, and were struck on the head so hard they lost consciousness and were taken to hospital by ambulance.

    With fewer people on the streets during the pandemic, police evictions that were not previously possible due to street-level resistance became successful. This was evidenced in the eviction of the Gini occupation at the Polytechnic University in Exarchia, Greece, a location that the police have not dared enter for decades. Dozens of migrant families were rounded up and taken to a detention centre.

    Violent pushbacks across borders

    There has also been an increase in illegal and violent pushbacks. Pushbacks are the informal expulsion (without due process) of individuals or groups to another country. This commonly involves the violent removal of people across a border.

    For example, on April 22nd in North Macedonia, a group of people from Palestine, Morocco and Egypt were pushed back into Greece. Two men were approached by officers in army uniforms and forced onto a bus where officers began to beat them with batons and guns. So much force was used that one man’s arm was fractured. The other members of the small group were later found and abruptly woken by officers. One man was stamped on and kicked across his body and head. Their shoes were removed and they were told to walk the 2km back to the border where they were met with the other group that had been taken there.

    A group of 16 people in Serbia (including one minor) were told they were being taken to a new camp for COVID prevention. They were then forced into a van and driven for nine hours with no stops, toilet or water. They were released at a remote area of hills and told to leave and cross the border to North Macedonia by the officers with guns. When found attempting to cross again days later they were told by police officers, “Don’t come again, we will kill you”.

    In Croatia, police have also started tagging people that they have pushed back with orange spray paint.

    There are also reports that Greek authorities are pushing people back to Turkey. According to the Border Violence Monitoring Network, many people shared experiences of being beaten, robbed and detained before being driven to the border area where military personnel used boats to return them to Turkey across the Evros river. In mid April in Greece, approximately 50 people were taken from Diavata camp in the morning and removed to a nearby police station where they were ordered to lie on the ground – “Sleep here, don’t move”. They were then beaten with batons. Some were also attacked with electric tasers. They were held overnight in a detention space near the border, and beaten further by Greek military officers. The next day they were boated across the river to Turkey by authorities with military uniforms. Another group were taken to the river in the dark and ordered to strip to their underwear.

    As pushbacks continue, people are forced to take even more dangerous routes. In Romania in mid-April, a group were found drowning in the Danube River after their boat capsized. One person was found dead and eight are still missing, while the survivors suffered from hypothermia.

    Danger at Sea

    During the pandemic, increasing numbers of disturbing accounts have been shared by migrants experiencing violence at sea. Between mid March and mid May, Alarm Phone (a hotline for boat people in distress) received 28 emergency calls from the Aegean Sea.

    On the 29th April, a boat carrying 48 refugees from Afghanistan, Congo and Iran, including 18 children, tried to reach Lesvos Island in the early hours of the day. They were pushed back to Turkish waters:

    “We were very scared. We tried to continue towards Lesvos Island. It was only 20 minutes more driving to reach the Greek coast. The big boat let a highspeed boat down, which hunted us down. There were six masked men in black clothes. They stopped us and made many waves. With a long stick they took away our petrol and they broke our engine. They had guns and knives. Then they threw a rope to us and ordered us to fix it on our boat. Then they started pulling us back towards Turkey. After a while they stopped and cut the rope. They returned to the big boat and took distance from us. It was around 6am.

    Then two other boats of the Greek coastguard arrived which were white and grey and drove very fast towards us, starting to make circles around our boat. They created big waves which were pushing us in the direction of Turkish waters. Our boat was taking in water and the kids were screaming. Our boat started breaking from the bottom. We were taking out the water with our boots. We threw all our belongings in the sea to make our boat lighter. Many of us had no life vests. A pregnant lady fainted. The Greeks continued making waves for a long period. A Turkish coastguard boat arrived and stood aside watching and taking photos and videos for more than six hours. Only after 13:30 o’clock the Turkish coastguard boat finally saved us. We were brought to Çanakalle police station and detained for five days.”

    During two months of lockdown, civil monitoring ships (volunteers who monitor the Aegean sea for migrants arriving via boat) were not permitted. In Italy, ports were closed to rescue ships, with many feared lost at sea as a result. Allegations have also emerged that Greece has been using inflatable rafts to deport asylum seekers. These are rafts without motors or propellers that cannot be steered.

    The Maltese Army also hit the headlines after turning away a boat of migrants by gunpoint and giving them the GPS coordinates for Italy. This is after recent reports of sabotaging migrant vessels, and pushing back migrant boats to Libya resulting in 12 people dying. The Maltese government recently signed a deal with the Libyan government to “to coordinate operations against illegal migration”. This includes training the Libyan coastguards and funding for “reception camps”.

    The threat of the virus and worsening conditions have also contributed to a record number of attempts to cross the Channel. The courage and commitment to overcome borders is inspiring, and more successful crossings have taken place during the pandemic. Between March 23rd (when the UK coronavirus lockdown began) and May 11th at least 853 migrants managed to cross the Channel in dinghies and small boats.

    State Scapegoating and the empowerment of the far right

    Far-right politicians and fascist activists have used the pandemic as an opportunity to push for closed borders.

    The election of a new Far Right government in Slovenia in March brought with it the scapegoating of refugees as coronavirus vectors. News conglomerate, NOVA24, heavily publicised a fake news story that the first COVID-19 patient in Italy was a Pakistani person who came via the Balkan route.

    Meanwhile, Hungary’s Government led by Vicktor Orbán moved to deport resident Iranians after claiming they were responsible for the country’s first coronavirus outbreak.

    In Italy, Matteo Salvini, the populist leader of the opposition Lega party tried to blame the movement of migrants from Africa across the Mediterranean as a “major infection threat” shortly before the country was overwhelmed with the pandemic and its rising death toll.

    The racist scapegoating ignores data that proves that initially the virus was transmited predominatnly by tourists’ and business people’s globe-trotting in the service of global capitalism and the fact that those whose movement is restricted, controlled and perilous, who do not have the power and wealth, are the most likely to suffer from the worst effects of both the virus itself and the shut downs.

    The Aftermath of Asylum suspension

    Access to asylum has drastically shifted across Europe with the suspension of many face-to-face application processing centres and appeal hearings. This ‘legal limbo’ is having a severe impact on people’s lives.

    Many people remain housed in temporary accommodation like hotels while they wait for their claim to be processed. This accommodation is often overcrowded and social-distancing guidelines are impossible to follow there. One asylum seeker in South London even shared to The Guardian how two strangers were made to share his double bed for a week in one room. One of the people was later taken to hospital with coronavirus.

    Closed-conditions at Skellig Accomodation Centre, a former hotel in Cahersiveen, Co. Kerry, Ireland enabled the rapid spread of the virus between the 100 people living there. Misha, an asylum seeker confined there, said she watched in horror as people started falling sick around her.

    “We were sharing bedrooms with strangers. We were sharing the dining room. We were sharing the salt shakers. We were sharing the lobby. We were sharing everything. And if you looked at the whole situation, you cannot really say that it was fit for purpose.”

    People were ordered to stay inside, and meanwhile coronavirus testing was delayed. Protests took place inside and locals demonstrated in solidarity outside.

    Asylum seekers in Glasgow have been protesting their accommodation conditions provided by the Mears Group, who Corporate Watch profiled in 2019. Mears Group won a £1.15 billion contract to run the refugee accommodation system in Scotland, Northern Ireland and much of the north of England. Their profiteering, slum landlord conditions and involvement in mass evictions have been met with anger and resistance. The pandemic has only worsened the experiences of people forced to live in Mears’ accommodation through terrible sanitation and medical neglect. Read our 2020 update on the Mears Group here.

    In the UK, the Home Office put a hold on evictions of asylum seekers during lockdown. The Red Cross stated this spared 50,000 people from the threat of losing their accommodation. Campaigners and tenants fear what will happen post-corona and how many people will face destitution when the ban on evictions lifts this August.

    In addition, a face-to-face screening interview is still needed for new asylum claims. This creates an awful choice for asylum seekers between shielding from the virus (and facing destitution) or going to the interviews in order to access emergency asylum support and begin the formal process. While meagre, the £37.75 per week is essential for survival. One of the reasons the Home Office make face-to-face applications compulsory is because of biometric data harvesting e.g. taking fingerprints of asylum seekers. One asylum seeker with serious health problems has had to make three journeys from Glasgow to Liverpool in the midst of the pandemic to submit paperwork.

    Access to food and other support is also very difficult as many centres and support services are closed.

    Barriers to Healthcare

    It is widely recognised that systemic racism has led to the disproportionate deaths of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people throughout the pandemic. Research has shown Black people are four times more likely to die than white people, and Bangladeshi or Pakistani groups are three times more likely. Many people from these communities are migrants, and many work in the National Health Service and social care sector.

    Research by Patients not Passports, Medact, Migrants Organise and the New Economics Foundation has shown that many migrants are avoiding seeking healthcare. 57% of respondents in their research report that they have avoided seeking healthcare because of fears of being charged for NHS care, data sharing and other migration enforcement concerns. Most people are unaware that treatment for coronavirus is exempt from charging. They also often experience additional barriers including the absence of translation and interpretation services, digital exclusions, housing and long distances from care services.

    Undocumented migrants are incredibly precarious. A project worker interviewed for the Patients not Passports Report shared that:

    “One client lived in a care home where she does live-in care and she has been exposed to Corona but has stated that she will not seek treatment and would rather die there than be detained.”

    Elvis, an undocumented migrant from the Philippines, died at home with suspected coronavirus because he was so scared by the hostility of Government policies that he did not seek any help from the NHS.

    For those that do try to access healthcare, issues such as not having enough phone credit or mobile data, not having wifi or laptops for video appointments, and simply not being able to navigate automated telephone and online systems because of language barriers and non-existent or poor translation, are having a very real impact on people’s ability to receive support. Fears of poor treatment because of people’s past experiences of discrimination and racism even if they access the services is another barrier.

    Exploiting Migrant Labour

    The exploitation of migrant labour has always been essential to sustaining capitalist economies. The pandemic generated contradictory responses from politicians and capitalists alike. Germany’s agricultural sector lobbied hard for opening the border after they were closed, leading the country to lift its ban and let in over 80,000 seasonal workers from Eastern Europe. Yet dilapidated living conditions and overcrowding are sparking new COVID-19 outbreaks, such as the 200 workers that contracted the virus at a slaughterhouse in western Germany.

    In mid May, the Italian government passed a law regularising undocumented migrants, whereby undocumented workers have been encouraged to apply for six-month legal residency permits. There are believed to be about 600,000 undocumented workers in Italy but only people doing ‘essential’ work during the pandemic can apply, mostly in the agricultural sector. Thousands of people live in makeshift encampments near fruit and vegetable farms with no access to running water or electricity.

    Working conditions carry risks of violence. On 18 May, five days after Italy’s regularisation law passed, a 33-year old Indian migrant working in a field outside of Rome was fired after asking his employer for a face mask for protection while at work. When the worker requested his daily wage, he was beaten up and thrown in a nearby canal.

    Conclusion

    The coronavirus crisis has exposed and intensified the brutality required to sustain capitalism – from systemic racism, to violent border controls, to slave labour for industrial agriculture, the list goes on. Despite extremely difficult conditions, undocumented migrants have formed strong movements of solidarity and collective struggle in many European countries. From revolts in detention centres to legal actions to empty them, people are continually resisting the border regime. As people reject a ‘return to normal’ post pandemic, the fall of the border regime must be part of a vision for freedom and liberation in a world beyond capitalism.

    https://corporatewatch.org/coronaborderregime
    #capitalisme #covid-19 #coronavirus #frontières #Europe #migrations #violence #asile #réfugiés #camps #camps_de_réfugiés #containment #rétention #campements #technologie #militarisation_des_frontières #Grèce #Turquie #violences_policières #police #refoulements #push-backs #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #santé #accès_aux_soins #travail #exploitation #pandémie #Frontex #confinement #grève_de_la_faim #fermeture_des_frontières

    ping @isskein @karine4 @rhoumour @_kg_ @thomas_lacroix

  • hunger strike and protest of asylum seekers in Slovenia

    Hunger strike and protests taking place in detention Centre for Foreigners in Slovenia due to inhumane conditions and unlawful detention of asylum seekers.

    Published by Slovenian initiative Ambasada Rog on Facebook (also copied in English below)

    https://www.facebook.com/ambasadarog/posts/1237550896579544?notif_id=1597998208072700&notif_t=page_share&ref=notif

    Published also in Slovene media (only in Slovene unfortunately):

    https://www.mladina.si/200747/ustrahovanje-s-psi

    https://www.rtvslo.si/slovenija/v-postojnskem-centru-za-tujce-naj-bi-gladovno-stavkali/533938

    –—

    Barbara Vodopivec, Slovenia

    HUNGER STRIKE IN CENTRE FOR FOREIGNERS

    Yesterday, new videos of the events in the Centre for Foreigners came to light, where a state of emergency continues to prevail. After the protest at the end of July, the situation did not improve, and asylum seekers want to warn the public with hunger strike about the unbearable situation. In the footage, visibly enraged asylum seekers point to a crippled person lying on the ground who is in need of medical attention. It was precisely because of the ignorance of the police towards such unbearable living conditions that some asylum seekers began with hunger strike. As the footage shows, the police reacted to the protest by entering the premises in the evening with police dogs, intimidating asylum seekers to go back to the containers.

    What triggered the protest?

    As already reported by the media, in June the Ministry of the Interior began with new practice of imprisoning asylum seekers in detention Centre of Foreigners in #Postojna. This led to an overcrowded capacity of the centre and creation of a special “container department” which is set up in a large, barred warehouse where asylum seekers are left without basic care, many still injured and without clean clothes, awaiting a decision from the Ministry of the Interior. They receive food through the bars and there is nothing done to take care of their health (it is by no means quarantine, as the common areas are sometimes shared by over 100 people, and new ones are coming all the time). Despite detention most of them do not receive any decision on deprivation of liberty which they could appeal and they do not have any access to legal aid. They wait for weeks or months without any information and any contact with the outside world. Some manage to begin asylum procedure during detention and wait for a decision from the Ministry of Interior, but the majority is deported to camps in Bosnia and Herzegovina through violent Croatian police. Many have already been beaten and robbed by the Croatian authorities, and testimonies about the confiscation of money and violence by Slovenian police officers are also becoming more frequent.

    Such a regime of detaining asylum seekers is not implemented anywhere else in Europe, as it clearly violates basic human rights. If a foreign country kept European citizens locked up in containers for months while assessing their visa applications, it would undoubtedly be a major international scandal.

    What do detained asylum seekers demand?

    The message is simple: “We are not criminals, we just want to live normal lives”.

    For several years, Slovenia has been returning them to inhumane camps in Bosnia and Herzegovina, denying access to asylum procedures. Now, above all, they are being detained even during asylum procedure. The police does this arbitrarily, preventing asylum seekers access to legal aid and manipulating their statements in proceedings. They want fair and transparent procedures, and now they are imprisoned in inhumane conditions without a reason and without a decision, which they have not experienced in any other country. They will continue the strike until they are released.

    Reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop, le 21.08.2020

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Balkans #route_des_balkans #grève_de_la_faim #Slovénie

  • Un mur en Serbie...

    Last week, we wrote how Serbian authorities, in complete secrecy, started the construction of a razor-wire fence in the South to prevent the irregular entry of refugees from North Macedonia. The photos which first appeared on the Asylum Protection Center’s (APC) Twitter account show that the fence is being set up from #Presevo to the east, along the border with North Macedonia. It’s worrying how the Serbian local authorities interpret this action as a “one step forward in the Europeanization process” of the country (https://www.slobodnaevropa.org/a/srbija-dize-zicanu-ogradu-na-granici-sa-severnom-makedonijom/30789825.html). At the same time, Serbian NGOs have registered an increase in number of pushbacks, specifically Asylum Protection Center (APC) is recording an increase in the return of people to North Macedonia.

    Le tweet du Asylum Protection Center:


    https://twitter.com/APC_CZA/status/1293865742153261056

    Reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa Dobrodosli, mail du 24.08.2020
    #frontières #murs #barrières_frontalières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Balkans #Macédoine #refoulements #push-backs #Balkans #route_des_Balkans

    • La Serbie clôture sa frontière avec la Macédoine du Nord

      18 août - 18h30 :

      #clôture métallique sur sa frontière avec la #Macédoine_du_Nord, près de #Preševo. Le maire de cette commune, #Shqiprim_Arifi, a confirmé à Radio Free Europe que la construction de cette clôture faisait partie d’un accord avec l’Union européenne (UE). « Nous pensons que la clôture a pour fonction de sécuriser davantage les frontières des pays extérieurs à l’UE face aux réfugiés, qui vont finir par revenir de manière massive sur la route des Balkans. » Shqiprim Arifi ajoute qu’il a « personnellement de sérieuses réserves » sur cette façon de traiter les réfugiés. Les autorités serbes refusent de communiquer toute information sur cette clôture.

      Source : dernières info du Courrier des Balkans —> https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/les-dernieres-infos-refugies-balkans

    • La barrière frontalière est mentionnée dans cet entretien de #Jasmin_Rexhepi pour le Courrier des Balkans :

      La #Serbie a commencé durant l’été à construire une barrière de barbelés sur sa frontière avec la #Macédoine_du_Nord. Officiellement pour empêcher la propagation de la Covid-19... #Jasmin_Rexhepi, qui préside l’ONG Legis, dénonce la dérive sécuritaire des autocrates balkaniques. Entretien.

      D. Kožul (D.K.) : Que pensez-vous des raisons qui ont poussé la Serbie à construire une barrière à sa frontière avec la Macédoine du Nord ? Officiellement, il s’agit de lutter contre la propagation de l’épidémie de coronavirus. Or, on sait que le nombre de malades est minime chez les réfugiés...

      Jasmin Rexhepi (J.R.) : C’est une mauvaise excuse trouvée par un communicant. On construit des barbelés aux frontières des pays des Balkans depuis 2015. Ils sont posés par des gouvernements ultra-conservateurs, pour des raisons populistes. Les réfugiés ne sont pas une réelle menace sécuritaire pour nos pays en transition, ils ne sont pas plus porteurs du virus que ne le sont nos citoyens, et les barbelés n’ont jamais été efficaces contre les migrations.

      “Faute de pouvoir améliorer la vie de leurs citoyens, les populistes conservateurs se réfugient dans une prétendue défense de la nation contre des ennemis imaginaires.”

      https://seenthis.net/messages/877066

  • No Name Kitchen (https://www.facebook.com/NoNameKitchenBelgrade/posts/1035509443514006) is reporting on a refugee protest against the Slovenian government and police that began on Wednesday within the Detention Center for Foreigners in #Postojna. Dozens of men are currently located there, men who have previously spent months in Velika Kladuša and have suffered police violence and denials of their right to seek asylum. Now in Slovenia, they are detained in an abandoned industrial building in very bad conditions, while the Slovenian police is rejecting their asylum claims and pushing them back in Croatia, violating their human rights and proclaiming them “economic migrants”. Last week we reported on the ruling of the Slovenian Administrative court thematizing the right to seek asylum, for a more detailed analysis of the case in question read the article in Balkan Insight.

    –-> message reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa Dobrodosli, mail du 06.08.2020

    –---

    Texte du post sur FB:

    These images are sent to us showing an ongoing protest within the Detention Center for Foreigners in Postojna, Slovenia and they ask everybody to spread the information.
    These men, many of whom have spent months in #Velika_Kladusa (the city where No Name Kitchen works), in terrible conditions and suffering #violence from #police in every attempt to get to the European Union to seek asylum (and after a long journey that sometimes last year), have arrived to Slovenia only to face more threats of push-backs and arbitrary selection processes.
    They are protesting the news that they will be returned to Croatia in the next days and asked for our help to share this news
    It should be understood that this situation is situated in the midst of a broader reorientation of Slovenia’s push-back processes to Croatia. Increasingly, in the last weeks we have heard of people being taken out of state-run centers and returned to Croatia whereupon they are pushed back to Bosnia. Once again, let’s remember that these processes are illegal according to European legislation. In the video, people clearly shout that they want asylum to show clearly that they are asking for their protection demand to be processed, as it shoud be done by law.
    Our friends and colleagues at Infokolpa
    - based in Slovenia - are working to put together more detailed information about these cases to be shared within the next days. They remind us that for those who succeed in crossing the Schengen border, people find themselves in facilities that are comparable if not worse than camps like #Miral (paid by EU money) in Bosnia.
    Remember that if these people return to Bosnia, they will be locked up there again for who knows how long, and with the possibility of suffering strong violence and robbery every time they decide to try again to reach the European Union to search the asylum that they are asking for now, and that is being denied to them.

    #push-back #push-backs #refoulements #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontière_sud-alpine #Alpes #Slovénie #Croatie #frontières #protestation #résistance #Bosnie #Balkans #route_des_Balkans

    ping @isskein

  • In These Stunning Images, Ordinary Yugoslav Partisans Captured Their Revolution on Camera
    https://www.jacobinmag.com/2020/07/yugoslavia-partisan-photography-red-light

    In These Stunning Images, Ordinary Yugoslav Partisans Captured Their Revolution on Camera

    By Davor Konjikušić

    Most of the fighters who joined the partisan struggle in World War II Yugoslavia had never even held a camera, let alone considered themselves photographers. Yet organized efforts to create a “partisan photography” helped carry the image of their struggle to the masses — and showed that artistic production wasn’t just for professionals.

    #WWII #jugoslavie #partisan #photographie #balkans #

  • Organizing amidst Covid-19


    Organizing amidst Covid-19: sharing stories of struggles
    Overviews of movement struggles in specific places

    Miguel Martinez
    Mutating mobilisations during the pandemic crisis in Spain (movement report, pp. 15 – 21)

    Laurence Cox
    Forms of social movement in the crisis: a view from Ireland (movement report, pp. 22 – 33)

    Lesley Wood
    We’re not all in this together (movement report, pp. 34 – 38)

    Angela Chukunzira
    Organising under curfew: perspectives from Kenya (movement report, pp. 39 – 42)

    Federico Venturini
    Social movements’ powerlessness at the time of covid-19: a personal account (movement report, pp. 43 – 46)

    Sobhi Mohanty
    From communal violence to lockdown hunger: emergency responses by civil society networks in Delhi, India (movement report, pp. 47 – 52)
    Feminist and LGBTQ+ activism

    Hongwei Bao
    “Anti-domestic violence little vaccine”: a Wuhan-based feminist activist campaign during COVID-19 (movement report, pp. 53 – 63)

    Ayaz Ahmed Siddiqui
    Aurat march, a threat to mainstream tribalism in Pakistan (movement report, pp. 64 – 71)

    Lynn Ng Yu Ling
    What does the COVID-19 pandemic mean for PinkDot Singapore? (movement report, pp. 72 – 81)

    María José Ventura Alfaro
    Feminist solidarity networks have multiplied since the COVID-19 outbreak in Mexico (movement report, pp. 82 – 87)

    Ben Trott
    Queer Berlin and the Covid-19 crisis: a politics of contact and ethics of care (movement report, pp. 88 – 108)
    Reproductive struggles

    Non Una Di Meno Roma
    Life beyond the pandemic (movement report, pp. 109 – 114)
    Labour organising

    Ben Duke
    The effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the gig economy and zero hour contracts (movement report, pp. 115 – 120)

    Louisa Acciari
    Domestic workers’ struggles in times of pandemic crisis (movement report, pp. 121 – 127)

    Arianna Tassinari, Riccardo Emilia Chesta and Lorenzo Cini
    Labour conflicts over health and safety in the Italian Covid19 crisis (movement report, pp. 128 – 138)

    T Sharkawi and N Ali
    Acts of whistleblowing: the case of collective claim making by healthcare workers in Egypt (movement report, pp. 139 – 163)

    Mallige Sirimane and Nisha Thapliyal
    Migrant labourers, Covid19 and working-class struggle in the time of pandemic: a report from Karnataka, India (movement report, pp. 164 – 181)
    Migrant and refugee struggles

    Johanna May Black, Sutapa Chattopadhyay and Riley Chisholm
    Solidarity in times of social distancing: migrants, mutual aid, and COVID-19 (movement report, pp. 182 – 193)

    Anitta Kynsilehto
    Doing migrant solidarity at the time of Covid-19 (movement report, pp. 194 – 198)

    Susan Thieme and Eda Elif Tibet
    New political upheavals and women alliances in solidarity beyond “lock down” in Switzerland at times of a global pandemic (movement report, pp. 199 – 207)

    Chiara Milan
    Refugee solidarity along the Western Balkans route: new challenges and a change of strategy in times of COVID-19 (movement report, pp. 208 – 212)

    Marco Perolini
    Abolish all camps in times of corona: the struggle against shared accommodation for refugees* in Berlin (movement report, pp. 213 – 224)
    Ecological activism

    Clara Thompson
    #FightEveryCrisis: Re-framing the climate movement in times of a pandemic (movement report, pp. 225 – 231)

    Susan Paulson
    Degrowth and feminisms ally to forge care-full paths beyond pandemic (movement report, pp. 232 – 246)

    Peterson Derolus [FR]
    Coronavirus, mouvements sociaux populaires anti-exploitation minier en Haïti (movement report, pp. 247 – 249)

    Silpa Satheesh
    The pandemic does not stop the pollution in River Periyar (movement report, pp. 250 – 257)

    Ashish Kothari
    Corona can’t save the planet, but we can, if we listen to ordinary people (movement report, pp. 258 – 265)
    Food sovereignty organising

    Dagmar Diesner
    Self-governance food system before and during the Covid-crisis on the example of CampiAperti, Bologna (movement report, pp. 266 – 273)

    URGENCI
    Community Supported Agriculture is a safe and resilient alternative to industrial agriculture in the time of Covid-19 (movement report, pp. 274 – 279)

    Jenny Gkougki
    Corona-crisis affects small Greek farmers who counterstrike with a nationwide social media campaign to unite producers and consumers on local level! (movement report, pp. 280 – 283)

    John Foran
    Eco Vista in the quintuple crisis (movement report, pp. 284 – 291)
    Solidarity and mutual aid

    Michael Zeller
    Karlsruhe’s “giving fences”: mobilisation for the needy in times of COVID-19 (movement report, pp. 292 – 303)

    Sergio Ruiz Cayuela
    Organising a solidarity kitchen: reflections from Cooperation Birmingham (movement report, pp. 304 – 309)

    Clinton Nichols
    On lockdown and locked out of the prison classroom: the prospects of post-secondary education for incarcerated persons during pandemic (movement report, pp. 310 – 316)

    Micha Fiedlschuster and Leon Rosa Reichle
    Solidarity forever? Performing mutual aid in Leipzig, Germany (movement report, pp. 317 – 325)
    Artistic and digital resistance

    Kerman Calvo and Ester Bejarano
    Music, solidarities and balconies in Spain (movement report, pp. 326 – 332)

    Neto Holanda and Valesca Lima [PT]
    Movimentos e ações político-culturais do Brasil em tempos de pandemia do Covid-19 (movement report, pp. 333 – 338)

    Margherita Massarenti
    How Covid-19 led to a #Rentstrike and what it can teach us about online organizing (movement report, pp. 339 – 346)

    Dounya
    Knowledge is power: virtual forms of everyday resistance and grassroots broadcasting in Iran (movement report, pp. 347 – 354)
    Imagining a new world

    Donatella della Porta
    How progressive social movements can save democracy in pandemic times (movement report, pp. 355 – 358)

    Jackie Smith
    Responding to coronavirus pandemic: human rights movement-building to transform global capitalism (movement report, pp. 359 – 366)

    Yariv Mohar
    Human rights amid Covid-19: from struggle to orchestration of tradeoffs (movement report, pp. 367 – 370)

    Julien Landry, Ann Marie Smith, Patience Agwenjang, Patricia Blankson Akakpo, Jagat Basnet, Bhumiraj Chapagain, Aklilu Gebremichael, Barbara Maigari and Namadi Saka,
    Social justice snapshots: governance adaptations, innovations and practitioner learning in a time of COVID-19 (movement report, pp. 371 – 382)

    Roger Spear, Gulcin Erdi, Marla A. Parker and Maria Anastasia
    Innovations in citizen response to crises: volunteerism and social mobilization during COVID-19 (movement report, pp. 383 – 391)

    Breno Bringel
    Covid-19 and the new global chaos (movement report, pp. 392 – 399)

    https://www.interfacejournal.net/interface-volume-12-issue-1

    #mouvements_sociaux #résistance #covid-19 #confinement #revue #aide_mutuelle #Espagne #résistance #Irlande #Kenya #impuissance #sentiment_d'impuissance #faim #violence #Delhi #Inde #féminisme #Wuhan #Pakistan #PinkDot #LGBT #Singapour #solidarité_féministe #solidarité #Mexique #care #Berlin #Allemagne #queer #gig_economy #travail #travail_domestique #travailleurs_domestiques #Italie #Egypte #travailleurs_étrangers #Karnataka #distanciation_sociale #migrations #Suisse #route_des_Balkans #Balkans #réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés #FightEveryCrisis #climat #changement_climatique #décroissance #Haïti #extractivisme #pollution #River_Periyar #Periyar #souveraineté_alimentaire #nourriture #alimentation #CampiAperti #Bologne #agriculture #Grèce #Karlsruhe #Cooperation_Birmingham #UK #Angleterre #Leipzig #musique #Brésil #Rentstrike #Iran #droits_humains #justice_sociale #innovation #innovation_sociale

    ping @isskein @karine4

  • Bosnie-Herzégovine : un migrant tué près de la frontière croate

    3 juillet 2020 - 12h : Un migrant a été tué le 2 juillet alors qu’il essayait de traverser la frontière croate près de #Kulen_Vakuf, en Bosnie-Herzégovine, a confirmé la police du canton d’#Una-Sana. « Des habitants de Kulen Vakuf ont informé la police locale qu’un groupe de migrants portaient un homme blessé. Les policiers et l’équipe médicale ont déclaré que l’homme est malheureusement mort de ses blessures, causées par une #arme_à_feu. La blessure fatale était localisée dans le dos de la victime, provenant probablement d’un #fusil », explique Ale Šiljdedić, porte-parole de la police du canton d’Una-Sana.

    Selon les médias locaux, l’identité de la victime et des personnes qui le transportaient est pour le moment inconnue. Selon eux, ces personnes utilisaient les services du camp de réfugiés de Lipa et auraient essayé de passer en Croatie près de Kulen Vakuf.

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Les-dernieres-infos-Refugies-Balkans-Bosnie-Herzegovine-un-nouvea

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #décès #morts #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Croatie #Balkans #route_des_Balkans

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur les morts à la frontière sud-alpine :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/758646#message806449

  • La rotta balcanica. I migranti senza diritti nel cuore dell’Europa

    Lungo la “rotta balcanica” arriva in Italia e in Europa una parte rilevante dei rifugiati del nostro continente. Sono principalmente siriani, afghani, iracheni, iraniani, pakistani che fuggono da persecuzioni e conflitti pluriennali. Lungo tutta la rotta continuano a verificarsi misure che mettono a rischio le persone migranti come violenze, torture, respingimenti e restrizioni arbitrarie.

    Questo dossier rompe il silenzio sulla “rotta balcanica”, denunciando quanto sta avvenendo in quei luoghi e lanciando chiaro il messaggio che i soggetti vulnerabili del “game” non sono più soli.

    Lo ha curato la neonata rete “#RiVolti_ai_Balcani”, composta da oltre 36 realtà, tra cui Altreconomia, e singoli impegnati nella difesa dei diritti delle persone e dei principi fondamentali sui quali si basano la Costituzione italiana e le norme europee e internazionali.

    https://altreconomia.it/prodotto/la-rotta-balcanica
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Balkans #route_des_balkans #game #the_game #rapport

    ping @isskein

  • Histoire • Xavier Bougarel : La division Handschar. Waffen SS de Bosnie - Le Courrier des Balkans
    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Histoire-o-Xavier-Bougarel-La-division-Handschar

    La 13e division SS Handschar, créée en 1943, est une troupe musulmane originaire de Bosnie-Herzégovine. Recrutée par les Allemands, elle regroupe des Bosniaques chargés de lutter contre les partisans yougoslaves. Une fois entraînés sur le territoire français, ces combattants sont déployés dans les campagnes de Bosnie et contribuent aux plus grandes violences et exactions perpétrées contres les populations civiles durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Pour la première fois, un ouvrage va au-delà des clichés qui président à l’histoire de cette division.

    Xavier Bougarel, grand connaisseur des archives locales, s’intéresse aux motifs réels de la création de cette division #SS, au profil et aux motivations de ses combattants, à la vie religieuse en son sein, aux formes de son engagement contre les #partisans de #Tito, et aux raisons de sa dislocation finale. Ce faisant, il propose aussi une nouvelle lecture de la #SecondeGuerreMondiale dans les #Balkans, marquée par l’importance des enjeux matériels, la multiplicité des stratégies individuelles de survie, et les changements incessants d’alliance et d’allégeance politiques et militaires.

    Diplômé de l’Institut d’études politiques de Paris en 1990, Xavier Bougarel est chercheur au CNRS. De septembre 2013 à août 2016, il a été affecté au Centre Marc Bloch à Berlin pour mener des recherches en archives sur la 13e division SS « #Handschar ».

    #musulman #france #WWII #livre

  • Bosnian Leader Alija Izetbegovic: From Prisoner to President | War | Al Jazeera

    After Yugoslavia fell apart in the early 1990s and descended into a bitter regional conflict, Alija Izetbegovic fought for the survival of his country and people.

    The first president of the independent Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Izetbegovic was no stranger to controversy and had served five years of a 14-year prison sentence in the 1980s.

    This two-part documentary series uses interviews with members of his family and major regional figures as well as archive footage and reconstruction to tell the chequered history of this part of the Balkans through Izetbegovic’s eyes.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/aljazeeraworld/2020/06/bosnian-leader-alija-izetbegovic-prisoner-president-200624081832879.html

    #Alija_Izetbegovic #BosnieHerzegovine #documentaire #balkans

  • THE DARK SIDE OF EUROPEANISATION. Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Border Regime

    While the external borders of the European Union have remained largely closed for people on the move since 2016, the two neighbouring states, Serbia, and Bosnia & Herzegovina, have become the main transit countries in Southeast Europe, with migrations taking place in a clandestine manner, often back and forth and exposed to brutal border pushbacks. Examining migration movements, policies, public discourses and struggles in the Balkans between the summer of migration in 2015 and the pandemic crisis in 2020, this study provides an analysis of the impact of the EUropean border and migration regime in the region, which has become a #buffer_zone for people on the move. Tracing the complex interplay of EU, state and local institutions, it offers insight into how policies of the securitisation and militarisation of the EU’s external borders are intertwined with the region’s EU accession process.

    https://www.rosalux.rs/en/dark-side-europeanisation
    #rapport #border_regime #Bosnie #Balkans #Serbie #migrations #asile #réfugiés #frontières #frontières_extérieures #transit #Europe #EU #UE #militarisation #sécurisation #militarisation_des_frontières

    ping @luciebacon @isskein

  • Coronavirus : ces réfugiés pris au piège dans les Balkans alors que les frontières de l’Europe sont fermées

    Les fermetures de frontières destinées à contenir la propagation du coronavirus bloquent les efforts des réfugiés qui tentent de quitter la Grèce pour l’Europe centrale

    Après une longue et épuisante attente, Nabil a finalement atteint l’Europe continentale. Mais alors que le continent lutte encore face à la propagation du coronavirus, ce réfugié syrien s’est retrouvé là où il avait commencé – bloqué et avec peu d’indications sur ce qui l’attend.

    La pandémie de coronavirus qui balaie la planète a obligé les pays à fermer leurs frontières et à piéger ainsi des milliers de réfugiés et de migrants en route pour l’Europe.

    Ce réfugié syrien de 25 ans est actuellement coincé dans un appartement exigu à Athènes avec cinq autres migrants et voit ses finances s’épuiser.

    La route vers la Grèce a été longue pour Nabil. Le jeune réfugié dit avoir été torturé en Syrie avant de fuir la guerre pour se rendre en Jordanie, où il a été exploité pendant six années éreintantes.

    Il a survécu au naufrage d’un canot pneumatique pendant une traversée mortelle entre la Turquie et Lesbos et passé huit mois dans un camp de réfugiés. Avant la fermeture de la frontière en mars, il a finalement réussi à rallier l’Europe avec un faux passeport. Mais son voyage de sept ans a de nouveau été brusquement interrompu.

    Depuis la Grèce, il avait pour projet de passer illégalement en Albanie et de traverser les Balkans occidentaux (région regroupant la Croatie, la Bosnie-Herzégovine, l’Albanie, le Kosovo, la Macédoine du Nord, le Monténégro, et la Serbie) – une voie migratoire importante – pour tenter d’arriver en Europe centrale.

    Mais comme beaucoup d’autres, il a vu ses plans échouer en raison de la fermeture des frontières imposée dans le monde entier pour tenter de contenir la propagation du COVID-19.

    « Les frontières étaient déjà fermées le jour où nous avons essayé de passer, donc nous avons été contraints de retourner à Athènes », raconte-t-il.

    Nabil passe désormais son temps à apprendre des langues et à regarder des séries télévisées sur Netflix dans « un appartement de misère ». Il ose à peine quitter la maison de peur d’être pris et expulsé, surtout avec une présence policière accrue dans les rues de la ville.

    Il est par ailleurs particulièrement important pour lui de prendre des précautions contre le COVID-19 afin d’éviter de se rendre à l’hôpital.

    Des pays de transit
    La circulation dans les pays des Balkans occidentaux – généralement considérés comme des « pays de transit » – a été interrompue, selon les organisations humanitaires.

    Le nombre de nouveaux arrivants en Europe du Sud-Est a chuté de 85 % en mai par rapport à avril 2019 et de 83 % par rapport à mars, selon Neven Crvenkovic, porte-parole régional du HCR (Haut Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés) pour l’Europe du Sud-Est.

    « Sans aucun doute, ceci est dû aux divers degrés de mesures restrictives introduites depuis l’émergence de la menace du COVID-19 », explique-t-il à MEE.

    Plus précisément en Bosnie-Herzégovine, un pays qui accueillait 700 migrants par semaine avant les mesures de confinement liées au coronavirus, les arrivées hebdomadaires se sont élevées en moyenne à environ 35 personnes au cours du dernier mois, selon l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM).

    En Grèce, pays en première ligne de la crise des réfugiés en Europe, le nombre d’arrivées de migrants a chuté de façon spectaculaire depuis le début de la fermeture des frontières. En avril, il y a eu moins de 40 arrivées dans les îles de la mer Égée, contre 1 423 en mars et environ 1 500 en avril 2019, selon le HCR.

    Les départs vers le continent ont également diminué.

    Au cours de la période de sept semaines comprise entre le 23 mars et le 10 mai, 2 192 départs ont été enregistrés, soit une moyenne de 313 par semaine, alors que près de 2 000 départs ont été comptabilisés durant la semaine précédant cette période.

    Les mesures de confinement ont ralenti le traitement des dossiers des migrants et l’assistance aux demandeurs d’asile, ce qui a entraîné des retards ou la suspension des procédures d’asile, notamment l’enregistrement des demandes et les entretiens de détermination du statut de réfugié.

    À la mi-mars, l’OIM et le HCR ont annoncé une suspension temporaire de leur programme de réinstallation – considéré comme une bouée de sauvetage vitale pour les familles vulnérables – suite aux restrictions de voyage et aux problématiques sanitaires.

    Dans certains pays, les migrants doivent rester confinés dans des centres d’asile et d’accueil, ce qui entraîne une surpopulation qui rend les mesures d’isolement difficiles à appliquer. L’enfermement a également intensifié la menace de violence sexiste et les risques pour la protection de l’enfance.

    Une liberté de circulation entravée
    Aux côtés de partenaires locaux, le HCR conteste actuellement les restrictions de mouvement imposées aux demandeurs d’asile ainsi que les conditions de vie dans les centres qui ne permettent pas aux résidents de respecter les mesures de sécurité, selon Neven Crvenkovic.

    Si la Bosnie-Herzégovine a assoupli les restrictions imposées à l’ensemble de la population il y a trois semaines, la circulation des migrants est toujours confrontée à de fortes contraintes.

    Pour lutter contre l’impact des mesures de couvre-feu strictes imposées aux 5 200 migrants confinés dans six centres d’asile dans les cantons de Sarajevo et d’Una-Sana en Bosnie, l’OIM a organisé des livraisons de nourriture et supervise des sorties pour récupérer de l’argent via Western Union.

    « Nous ne pouvons en transporter qu’une poignée par jour », explique Peter Van der Auweraert, chef de mission en Bosnie-Herzégovine et coordinateur pour les Balkans occidentaux, qui précise que les migrants doivent de ce fait attendre jusqu’à dix jours pour avoir accès à de l’argent liquide.

    « Cela entraîne de la frustration et il y a aussi le problème de ces personnes qui ne peuvent pas poursuivre leur voyage et qui deviennent donc anxieuses. Le fait de ne pas pouvoir sortir pour se promener crée également des tensions dans les centres », ajoute-t-il.

    Le nombre d’incidents de sécurité a augmenté pendant le Ramadan, poursuit Peter Van der Auweraert, qui explique que le jeûne représentait une contrainte supplémentaire. « Les restrictions à la liberté de circulation ont certainement un impact sur la santé mentale des migrants. »

    Bien que le nombre de migrants soit resté stable presque partout en Bosnie-Herzégovine pendant la crise sanitaire, se situant entre 6 000 à 6 500 personnes au total, leur nombre à Bira – une région septentrionale proche de la frontière croate – a diminué d’un millier contre toute attente, affirme Peter Van der Auweraert.

    Il prévoit également un afflux de migrants dans les semaines à venir à la suite à la levée des restrictions en Serbie, où 9 000 migrants sont répartis dans différents centres.

    Une vérité difficile à accepter
    Même lorsque les frontières rouvriront, ce qui lui permettra de poursuivre son voyage, Nabil craint que les passeurs ne gonflent les prix de leurs services – l’été est une période migratoire faste et en raison de la crise du COVID-19, la circulation restera probablement plus difficile que la normale pour ceux qui traversent les frontières illégalement, ce qui fera grimper les tarifs.

    Pour l’instant, il ne peut qu’attendre, mais comme il n’a aucun moyen de gagner de l’argent et que ses proches ont du mal à lui en envoyer, son désespoir grandit.

    « Après avoir payé le loyer cette semaine, il ne me restera plus que cinquante euros. J’espère que quelque chose va changer car je ne veux pas être sans abri ici », confie-t-il. Nabil a même envisagé de se livrer aux autorités et de se laisser expulser.

    « C’est une période très difficile pour tout le monde. Je dois rester calme. Je ne veux pas anéantir tout ce que j’ai fait. Je n’aurais jamais imaginé finir dans un camp de réfugiés », affirme-t-il.

    « Quand ma famille m’appelle, je dis toujours que je loge dans un très bel hôtel. Même aujourd’hui, ils ne connaissent pas ma situation. Je suis sûr qu’ils seraient dévastés s’ils connaissaient la vérité. Après sept années passées d’efforts pour venir en Europe afin de construire une nouvelle vie, je suis épuisé, et voilà ce qui arrive. »

    https://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/reportages/coronavirus-refugies-syrie-frontieres-balkans

    #covid-19 #migration #migrant #balkans #grece #bosnieherzegovine #confinement #surpeuplement #camp #entrave #libertedecirculation #incident #violence #diminution #afflux #deconfinement

  • Info Park
    Weekly 3 – 9 June 2020

    Serbia
    ➢ Filip Radovanović (23), who was arrested in Obrenovac after the attack on a refugee reception center, concluded a plea agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office, which sentenced him to eight months in prison. Filip caused an incident on 6 May, when he broke through the fence of Obrenovac reception center with his car, which he broadcasted live on his Facebook profile spreading anti-migrant hate messages.
    ➢ Belgrade police kept a regular presence at Luka Ćelović (or so-called Afghani) Park forcing refugees to leave or hide, yet Info Park mobile team counted approximately 100 migrants on average in the park (daily minimum was 70 while on the other days 140 individuals were present in the park). Still, lots of migrants are visible throughout
    central Belgrade.
    ➢ The bordering areas with Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary, and Romania are seeing increasing number of migrants staying in the open, waiting for an opportunity to cross the border. The number of people on the move (outside of regular camps) is estimated to be over 1,500.

    Croatia
    ➢ On Friday, 5 May, Zagreb-based Center for Peace Studies (CMS) filed a criminal complaint with the State Attorney’s Office in Croatia against unknown perpetrators among police officers on suspicion of degrading treatment and torture of 33 people and their violent, illegal expulsion from the territory of Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Moreover, according to the 2019 Aida Country Report on Croatia, the Croatian police pushed back as many as 1,514 people by force in the period between January and November 2019.

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    ➢ CARE International released a report in March about the treatment of migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina while the updated version of the assessment was released in late May
    2020. The report detailed incidents of violence at the hands of Croatian police and authorities. Additionally, the report said that the situation worsened because of the
    restrictions imposed by COVID-19 pandemic and that all international nongovernmental organizations predicted that such a trend would continue when the summer arrives, and restrictions are lifted

    Greece
    ➢ Greece has shifted the problem with accommodation for refugees and other migrants from islands to the mainland. According to UNHCR, around 9,000 refugees started leaving accommodation in camps, apartments and hotels in Greece to vacate much needed accommodation for asylum-seekers currently living in overcrowded conditions on the Greek islands – the move which may push many into poverty and homelessness. This followed the passing of a new law in March 2020 that reduced the grace period for newly recognized refugees to move out of organized accommodation from six months to 30 days.

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #serbie #camp #croatie #refoulement #plaintepenale #bosnieherzegovine #camp #grece #transfert

  • Asylum seekers illegally returned from Italy to Slovenia, NGOs claim

    Two migrant-aid organizations are accusing authorities in northeastern Italy of illegally returning asylum seekers to Slovenia. They also claim that readmission procedures between Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia prevent people from asking for asylum in the EU.
    The Italian Consortium of Solidarity (ICS) and Catholic charity Caritas in Trieste published a statement on May 28, saying that they were strongly concerned about “the implementation of informal readmissions of migrants” from Italy to Slovenia.

    The two organizations provide housing to immigrants in the province of Trieste in northeastern Italy, near the border with Slovenia.

    ICS and Caritas said that it is illegal for authorities to return those who intend to apply for asylum. They said asylum requests must be registered before authorities check whether the applicant might have applied in another EU country. Under the Dublin Regulation, asylum seekers can be transferred back to the first EU country where they were registered.

    Migrants ’illegitimately sent away from EU’?

    ICS and Caritas also claimed that readmission procedures between Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia enabled authorities to “illegitimately turn away... those who have entered to apply for protection” from European Union territory. These people, “are subjected to grave violence throughout the so-called Balkan route,” they said in their statement.

    Pierpaolo Roberti, the security councilor of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, where Trieste is located, responded to the statement, saying that authorities will “move ahead with informal readmissions.” He said that the police and the prefect had his “full support.” Roberti belongs to the far-right League party, which is known for its harsh anti-migrant policies.

    He said he hopes that “as many people as possible continue to be readmitted to Slovenia and, in addition, that we strive to totally stop that migration flow.”


    https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/25114/asylum-seekers-illegally-returned-from-italy-to-slovenia-ngos-claim
    #Slovénie #Italie #push-back #push-backs #renvois #frontière_sud-alpine #refoulements #refoulement #Alpes #frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés

    ping @isskein

    • AYS Special: Italian Court StopsDeportation to Slovenia, Meanwhile Pushbacks Continue

      Italy has become the latest link in chain push backs where literally thousands of people — often violently — end up in the overcrowded camps of Bosnia and Serbia.

      Contradictory approaches in Italy

      An Italian court stopped deportation to Slovenia on the grounds that there is a risk for an asylum seeker to be subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment due to the high possibility of him (or her) being further expelled to Croatia and then to Bosnia or Serbia. However, although the court stopped the deportation of a single individual, collective push-backs from Italy are becoming increasingly common in the months since the judgement made by the court in Genova (April 7th). Thus Italian courts are acknowledging the cruel and inhumane treatment that a returnee is subjected to but, on the other hand, the Italian government is massively increasing the scope of push-backs to Slovenia, as is evident in the recent decision to deploy the army with police jurisdiction.

      16.000 people were returned to Croatia from Slovenia in the last two years.

      These are people who were caught and were processed in police stations with charges of illegal border crossing. When a person asks for asylum in slovenia, he is often faced with threats or the asylum claim is simply ignored and in the official records he is reported as an “economic migrant” — a category invented by the Ministry of Interior and the Police and not encompassed by any law. If one is classified as an “economic migrant” who has no interest to seek asylum, he can be returned to Croatia under a bilateral readmission agreement from 2006.

      The Court in Italy is concerned over systemic deficiencies in the Slovene asylum system and finds real risk for an asylum seeker to be subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment if deported to Slovenia. Meanwhile, reports of daily informal deportations from theItalian — Slovene border are becoming more and more common.

      COURT RULING: “…the risk of the applicant being subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment in Slovenia seems justified …

      In early April a court in Genoa, Italy found that:

      “Based on the submitted documentation and additional information obtained by this court proprio motu, the applicant’s complaint — given the conditions of receiving refugees in Slovenia and systemic shortcomings in the asylum procedure — seems justified. (…)

      In this case, the risk of the applicant being subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment in Slovenia seems justified (…) The data collected raise serious concerns about the reception and asylum system currently in force in Slovenia and in general about the atmosphere of cultural intolerance and discrimination prevailing in civil society, among government leaders and between police forces towards foreigners who have entered the country illegally, who have lodged or intend to lodge an application for international protection.”

      The complaint was lodged by a Pakistani asylum seeker, represented by Alessandra Ballerini, who had first filed the application for international protection in Slovenia and was consequently expected to be deported from Italy to Slovenia according to the Dublin regulation.

      The complaint stipulated that such a deportation would violate, inter alia, paragraph 2 of Article 3 of the Dublin Regulation due to systemic deficiencies in the asylum system in Slovenia. The court agreed and refused to deport the asylum seeker to Slovenia, “because of the danger that he would be treated there contrary to fundamental humanitarian principles and contrary to the provisions of Article 4 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights”.

      As reported by Primorski dnevnik, the judges came to this conclusion taking into account reports of non-governmental organizations on the deteriorating treatment of migrants in Slovenia in the past two years and a 2018 report by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which confirms allegations by non-governmental organizations of collective expulsions and violence against migrants in the Balkan region, including Croatia and Slovenia.

      Reports of several Slovenian and International NGOs and civil society actors (Amnesty International, Are You Syrious?, InfoKolpa, Border Violence Monitoring Network) highlight the issue of the Slovenian police authority’s illegal restrictions of access to asylum and practice of forced returns of asylum seekers without a proper assessment of whether their human rights would be violated in other countries via an informal procedure and without the possibility to appeal the deportation (push-backs).

      This was shown by several fact-finding missions: a survey from 2018 by Amnesty International obtained testimonies of 51 people in Velika Kladuša and Bihać in BiH, who were returned to the hands of the Croatian authorities by the Slovenian police, despite the fact that they wanted to apply for asylum in Slovenia.

      Report on illegal practices of collective expulsion at the Slovene-Croatian border by InfoKolpa documents numerous cases of groups of migrants rejected by Slovenian police and returned to Croatia and further to Bosnia despite explicitly showing intention to file for asylum in Slovenia between 11th September and 7th November 2018 via an Alarmphone report; reports by No Name Kitchen and Balkan Violence Monitoring show collective expulsion and violent return of asylum seekers to the Bosnian border surrounding Velika Kladuša as a routine occurrence initiated by Croatian and Slovenian police forces.

      In one year there were 4,653 out of a total of 9,149 intercepted migrants that were collectively deported to Croatia. The above-mentioned reports also cite further official statistics from the Slovenian police, which show a change in practice between May and June 2018, when returns to Croatia increased sharply, while at the same time the number of people applying for asylum dropped severely. Police statistic from police station of a border town Črnomelj state that in May 2018, 371 of the 379 migrants considered (97.88% of all) applied for asylum; after receiving different instructions from the Chief of police, in June only 13 of the 412 migrants, ie 3.15%, lodged an asylum application.

      NGOs accuse the Slovenian government and police of preventing refugees from filing asylum applications and of carrying out collective forced returns without a proper and individual assessment of whether their human rights will be violated in other countries and without the possibility of appeal.

      Returns to Croatia are carried out on the basis of a controversial bilateral agreement between the two countries from 2006 (when Croatia was not yet a member of European Union), which enables informal returns under an abbreviated procedure. According to the court in Genoa, such an abbreviated procedure violates Slovenia’s human rights obligations.

      These findings are further corroborated by an official 2018 report of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which confirms allegations by non-governmental organizations of collective rejection and violence against migrants in the Balkan region, including Croatia and Slovenia.

      Primorski dnevnik cites the court decision featuring portions of NGO reports, saying:

      “Threats, violence, abuse of power and denial of fundamental rights have become common practice at border police stations, and collective deportations to Croatia are repeated daily with the support and awareness of senior police and government officials, despite the high risk of further police violence and theft in Croatia.”

      Slovenian daily newspaper Dnevnik asked Slovenian police for comments on the judgement, and they replied that their procedures were legal and professional, that the guidelines for the work of police officers had already been made public and that UNHCR had not discovered any irregularities when visiting police stations. The Ministry of the Interior replied that they were fully implementing EU legislation in the field of international protection, and that they were not aware of the ruling and could not comment on it.

      Though there was a decrease of irregular entries into Slovenia during the past few months there was an increase of record irregular entries recorded by Italian authorities. This has resulted in minor diplomatic tension between the countries where Slovenia has been dismissed as not being diligent enough in their Schengen gatekeeping duties.
      We suspect that there are two reasons that Italian authorities are recording an increase of border crossings:

      First, as InfoMigrants reported, as part of covid-19 measure the Italian authorities announced temporary legalisation of undocumented residents. We suspect that this might be a reason for a greater number of people reporting themselves and, thus, creating a spike in official records. Connected with this reason might be the Covid-19 measures as traveling became more difficult a greater number of people might be pressed to weather the virus in border municipalities (such as Trieste).

      Migrants (as well as border tensions with Slovenia) are traditionally a convenient distraction for the Italian government(s) in time(s) of crisis. To show its commitment to regulating the frontier the Italian government deployed the armed forces to aid police in intercepting migrants via the last stretch of the Balkan route. As Uroš Škerl reported for the daily newspaper Dnevnik in the last month Italy returned more people than in the previous four months combined (29 compared to 27 from January to April). In a statement for Dnevnik Gianfranco Schiavone of the NGO Consorzio Italiano di Solidarietà — Ufficio Rifugiati Onlus stated:

      “What is new in the last week is that the Italian police started to return people for whom we are convinced that they have the same circumstances as their colleagues that applied for asylum and stayed in Italy.”

      These returns are now conducted with the aid of the armed forces whose deployment the interior ministry justified as “an answer on illegal migrations”. Schiavone is skeptical of the military as they are not trained to conduct border patrols and handle asylum seekers adding: “this is all just political theater”.

      This latest act of EU migration policy melodrama has actors that are less fortunate than others. According to Dnevnik there have been three groups of people (14,17,8) returned to Slovenia and we suspect that at least one of these groups (if not all) has ended up in Velika Kladuša (BIH). A video emerged with a statement of a member of one of these groups containing claims of violent treatment during the Italy-BIH pushback was published recently by a migrant/activist: “This boy who left his fingerprints in Trieste and applied for asylum ، was deported to Slovenia and gradually back to hell”.

      So, on the one hand, Italian courts have found that push backs are cruel and inhumane, yet at the same time the same government has doubled down on its commitment to condemning people to this fate that its own courts find inhumane and cruel.

      Although the condemnation of deportation is a necessary first step, unless this idea is used to hold the security forces to account for their oppression and torture of people, it will remain a hollow ruling. Europeans like to look down on the USA due to their police violence on minorities, state hypocrisy towards its own values and their border walls. Maybe we should stop looking across the ocean and look closer to home.

      Written by: Iza Thaler and Miha Turk from InfoKolpa

      Find daily updates and special reports on our Medium page.

      If you wish to contribute, either by writing a report or a story, or by joining the info gathering team, please let us know.

      We strive to echo correct news from the ground through collaboration and fairness. Every effort has been made to credit organisations and individuals with regard to the supply of information, video, and photo material (in cases where the source wanted to be accredited). Please notify us regarding corrections.

      If there’s anything you want to share or comment, contact us through Facebook, Twitter or write to: areyousyrious@gmail.com

      https://medium.com/are-you-syrious/ays-special-italian-court-stops-deportation-to-slovenia-meanwhile-pushbacks-
      #refoulements_en_chaîne

    • Even from Trieste, Italy.

      “Working every day in the street with people-on-the-move has allowed medical volunteers in Trieste to witness the worsening situation at the Italian border with Slovenia. Here is a sum-up of the radical changes in the last two months, highlighting growing repression towards transit groups and a spike in pushbacks from Italian territory. The events are relayed in three distinct stages: from the start of the pandemic, the development of tighter police controls, and finally the expansion of pushbacks through the dubious “informal readmission” process”

      https://www.borderviolence.eu/news-from-trieste-covid-19-and-pushbacks

      Reçu via la mailing-list de Migreurop, le 15.06.2020

    • The Slovenian Administrative Court issued a judgement confirming that the Slovenian police committed chain pushbacks (https://www.cms.hr/hr/pravna-pomoc-azil-i-statusna-pitanja/slovenski-sud-potvrdio-hrvatska-sudjelovala-u-lancanom-nezakonitom-protjerivanju) in which Croatia also participated, as a result of which a person seeking international protection in Slovenia ended up in Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to the judgement, the young man identified as J.D. must be returned to Slovenia, he must be given the opportunity to seek asylum again and he must be paid compensation in the amount of € 5,000. This judgement demonstrated the importance of the work of Infokolpa, a civic initiative and a member of the Border Violence Monitoring Network, which played a key role in gathering evidence. Namely, in the judgment, the Slovenian court relied on their reports and the reports of other organisations within the BVMN, as well as media reports. It is precisely in such cases that the importance of independent reports and the importance of documenting violent pushbacks of refugees can be seen.

      However, in addition to warning of the illegal actions of the Slovenian police, this judgement also proves the role of the Croatian police in chain pushbacks of refugees to Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is time for the Croatian authorities to conduct effective investigations and make concrete efforts to stop this illegal practice.

      The brutality of pushbacks from Croatia was also experienced by a group of 16 refugees who were tortured and humiliated for five hours by unknown perpetrators in late May before being pushed back to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Precisely because of this inhumane and illegal treatment of people in search of safety, the Centre for Peace Studies filed a criminal complaint (https://www.cms.hr/hr/azil-i-integracijske-politike/cms-podnio-kaznenu-prijavu-koja-je-poveznica-policije-i-naoruzanih-nasilnika-u-c) with the State Attorney’s Office of the Republic of Croatia against unknown perpetrators who tortured the group. Eight armed men in unmarked black uniforms and with balaclavas on their heads, which according to the description given by the victims may belong to a special unit of the Ministry of the Interior, the so-called “Corridor” operation (https://net.hr/danas/hrvatska/zastrasujuca-devijacija-akcije-koridor-policija-sve-dogovara-na-whatsappu-a-pose), treated in an inhumane manner people in search of protection. Armed men wearing black tied the refugees to trees, shot at their heads and feet, beat them with everything they could get their hands on, took all of their belongings under threat of death, and in the end humiliated them by rubbing mayonnaise, ketchup and sugar into the wounds they had previously inflicted. Then, they handed the refugees, some of whom could not walk due to their serious injuries, over to the police, while the police officers then pushed them back to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The victim’s testimonies suggest a cooperation between the perpetrators in black and the police. The Centre for Peace Studies once again stressed the importance of promptly conducting an effective and independent investigation into these crimes and sanctioning the perpetrators.

      Reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa Dobrodosli, mail du 29.07.2020

      #Croatie #refoulements_en_chaîne #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #justice #corridor_operation

    • Slovénie : la justice reconnaît l’illégalité des expulsions vers la Croatie et la Bosnie-Herzégovine

      C’est un précédent de taille : le tribunal administratif de Ljubljana a donné raison à un jeune Camerounais qui demandait l’asile en Slovénie, mais que la police a illégalement expulsé en Croatie, et qui s’est finalement retrouvé dans les camps de Velika Kladuša et Bihač, en Bosnie-Herzégovine.

      La justice slovène a confirmé dans son verdict (https://www.borderviolence.eu/wp-content/uploads/PRESS-KIT-FOR-INTERNATIONAL-MEDIA.pdf) rendu public le 17 juillet dernier que la police slovène avait commis une expulsion illégale, à laquelle la Croatie a également participé, et à la suite de quoi un Camerounais de 23 ans, J. D., qui voulait demander une protection internationale en Slovénie, s’est retrouvé en Bosnie-Herzégovine.

      J. D., qui fait partie d’une minorité anglophone persécutée au Cameroun, a été détenu deux jours durant par la police slovène. Bien qu’il ait demandé l’asile à trois reprises, sa requête n’a jamais été prise en compte. Il a d’abord été illégalement expulsé vers la Croatie, puis vers la Bosnie-Herzégovine. À la suite de la décision du tribunal administratif de Ljubljana, il a désormais le droit de revenir en Slovénie et d’y demander l’asile. L’État slovène a été condamné à lui verser une indemnité de 5000 euros. Ce jugement n’est toutefois pas définitif, l’État ayant la possibilité de faire appel devant la Cour suprême.

      L’affaire a été suivie par InfoKolp, membre du Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN). Dans son verdict, la justice slovène s’appuie sur un rapport de 50 pages remis en mai 2019 par InfoKolp, ainsi que sur des rapports du BVMN et de divers médias, dont Radio Študent, présente dans les camps de Velika Kladuša et de Bihač, dans le nord-ouest de la Bosnie-Herzégovine. Ce verdict constitue un important précédent qui établit les violations en série des droits de l’Homme, mais aussi l’existence d’une « chaîne » d’expulsions illégales « systématiques et routinières », selon les termes de l’avocat du plaignant, depuis la Slovénie vers Bosnie-Herzégovine avec l’aide de la police croate.

      “Une « chaîne » d’expulsions illégales « systématiques et routinières ».”

      Ce verdict confirme également ce que les ONG et institutions soulignent depuis des années : des expulsions illégales de réfugiés et de migrants ont lieu, auxquelles de nombreux pays de l’Union européenne participent. Il s’agit donc d’un indicateur fort pour les institutions européennes de ce qui se passe sur le territoire de l’UE, ainsi qu’à ses frontières extérieures et intérieures, à savoir des violations des droits de l’Homme et de l’État de droit. L’affaire étaie en outre les témoignages de milliers de réfugiés et de migrants qui ont subi des violences, expulsions illégales et violations du droit d’asile, alors que les autorités croates refusent toujours de mener des enquêtes.

      Depuis le début de l’année 2018, la police slovène a renvoyé en Croatie quelque 20 000 personnes qui ont subi des mauvais traitements de la part de la police croate. Dans le meilleurs des cas, elles ont été débarquées d’une fourgonnette à la frontière avec la Bosnie-Herzégovine, mais le plus souvent, elles ont été insultées, battues et torturées par la police.

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Slovenie-la-justice-reconnait-une-chaine-d-expulsions-illegales-v

    • Italy-Slovenia border: ASGI’s open letter to the Italian government and UNHCR

      Background

      On July the 24th 2020, in the Italian Parliament’s lower Chamber, Undersecretary Variati on behalf of the Ministry of the Interior answered urgent questions by MP Riccardo Magi on the situation of the so-called “informal readmissions” of foreign citizens at the border between Italy and Slovenia. The response provided by the government in a note is exceptionally troubling, since it clearly violates principles of domestic and EU law on basic human rights. It should be stressed that the note contains a number of contradictions and provides no legal or case-law grounds for what it asserts.

      Before briefly examining the note’s content, it is worth recalling that “readmission” is a simplified procedure allowing a States to send a foreign citizen back at the border to the country s/he came from, when the foreigner does not meet the criteria for admission into the destination country. The basis for these actions is contained in bilateral States agreements, which must not conflict with European and international provisions on movement of people, the right to international protection and fundamental rights.

      Unregulated readmissions

      First of all, the Ministry has openly confirmed that informal readmissions do take place (without any written decision provided to the interested party), which obviously prevents the person to appeal the measure. The Ministry justified this modus operandi by making generic reference to “consolidated practices” of “accelerated readmission procedures”. As already highlighted in the open letter (still unanswered) that ASGI sent to the Government CCing UNHCR on June 5th, the expression “readmissions without formalities” contained in the bilateral Agreement between Italy and Slovenia for the readmission of persons at the border, signed in Rome on September 3rd 1996, certainly cannot be understood as implying no obligation to issue a written decision, as it is indisputable that the action taken by public security with forced accompaniment in Slovenia has effects on the legal situation of the person. Instead, it should be correctly understood in the sense that the procedures for reporting and coordinating readmission operations between the Italian and Slovenian authorities can take place without procedural burdens.

      Irrelevance of the application for international protection

      The assertion that readmissions by foreign citizens are applied “even if the intention to seek international protection has been expressed” is disconcerting. The right to international protection is a fundamental right and access to the asylum procedure and the identification of the country in charge of examining the application are regulated by EU law, notably by the Dublin III Regulation which states that “Member States shall examine any application for international protection lodged by a third-country national or a stateless person on the territory of any Member State, including at the border and in the transit areas”. The obligation for the Member State to register the application for international protection lodged at the border must be respected in all circumstances, even in cases where the applicant has crossed the border of a Member State irregularly from another Member State. The criteria of competence which establish which country will have to examine the asylum application are precisely indicated in the Regulation which in any case strictly excludes that the principles and procedures contained in the inter-state Readmission Agreements may apply.

      Subsequently, the text takes on ambiguous and contradictory tones, reassuring that “all the irregular migrants found are informed, through an interpreter, of the possibility to request international protection”, specifying that a special information booklet is distributed for this purpose. This assertion not only is contradicted by numerous testimonies collected, in Italy and abroad, but in any case would be a pointless exercise, in light of the imminent fate (i.e. readmission) that awaits also those who express their intention to seek asylum. As a further confirmation of this, the ministerial note states that “if the conditions for the readmission request are met and the same is accepted by the Slovenian authorities, there will be no formalization of the request in the police headquarters”. Declaring one’s intention to seek protection therefore produces no apparent legal effect and, consequently, entails no obligation for the Italian authorities, since if Slovenia accepts the readmission application “by completing and sending a special form in which the elements supporting the application are indicated” the foreign citizen is readmitted to Slovenia like those who have not asked for protection, therefore as an irregular foreigner. The note also does not consider that in this case the foreigner would be readmitted to Slovenia as an asylum seeker, thus opening the way to chain rejections as it has already happened in a number of cases.

      Risk of “chain” refoulements

      In relation to this practice, documented by numerous international reports, the Ministry of Interior merely replies that “Slovenia and Croatia are members of the European Union” and consequently “they are to be considered intrinsically safe countries, in terms of human rights and international conventions on the matter”. ASGI expresses serious concerns about the Slovenian and Croatian asylum systems and, above all, about the possibilities of effective access to the asylum procedure. According to Eurostat data, in the first four months of 2020, Croatia registered 400 applications for international protection, equal to 0.3% of the EU total. In Slovenia there were 490 applications registered against 6840 asylum applications registered in Italy. Furthermore, as already highlighted in the ASGI note of June 5th 2020, the right of States to reject or expel those who are not entitled to enter or remain on national territory, albeit lawful as an expression of the principle of state sovereignty, finds specific limits in that States have not only the obligation to recognize, guarantee and protect the human rights of people under their jurisdiction, but also the duty to respect human rights treaties and not to transform them into ineffective norms. The Italian government cannot pretend to ignore that migrants readmitted from Italy to Slovenia and then from Slovenia to Croatia are subsequently transferred coercively to Serbia or Bosnia-Herzegovina, that these operations take place without any written decisions being adopted and served on the foreigners and that migrants are subjected to brutal violence by both the Croatian police and members of private militias. The practice of chain refoulements was also recently recognized by the Slovenian Administrative Court which on July 16th recognized the unlawfulness of the readmission from Slovenia to Croatia and then from Croatia to Bosnia of an asylum seeker. The Slovenian judge ruled that the police had not informed the interested party of his right to apply for international protection, in clear violation of national and EU law. The readmission also violated the ban on collective expulsion because the applicant was not notified of a removal order, nor was he given legal and linguistic assistance before his readmission to Croatia. As regards chain refoulement, the ruling found “sufficiently reliable reports on the possible risks from the point of view of article 3 of the ECHR” both in Croatia, where the applicant was initially removed, and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he was subsequently rejected.

      Likely ineffectiveness, against the background above, of a service to assist migrants at border crossings

      Lastly, the note ends with the reassurance that an assistance service for foreigners in the province of Trieste will be soon activated and will be operated by CIR (Consiglio Italiano per i Rifugiati). In light of the above considerations (i.e. the substantial uselessness of the application for international protection in order to prevent the readmission mechanism), it is highly questionable whether such a service would have any effectiveness and foreign citizens could access it.

      Conclusion

      In conclusion, the note with which the Ministry of the Interior made known its position on the so-called informal readmissions of foreign citizens, including asylum seekers, on the Italian-Slovenian border, represents an ideological endorsement of unlawful procedures implemented in total contempt for domestic and EU law. Despite the controversial and sometimes obscure asylum policy in Italy, so far there hasn’t ever been such a flagrant infringement of the legality, one that may make Italian and European institutions face possible responsibilities for violations of fundamental rights taking place on the border with Slovenia.

      Due to this very serious situation

      ASGI asks the Italian government

      to immediately end the practices of unlawful readmissions at the Italian-Slovenian border;
      to give precise indications to the peripheral government offices to respect the right of asylum and in particular the effective right to access the territory and request international protection adequately;
      to report urgently before the Parliament on the situation at the eastern border by providing all the necessary data and specifically reporting on the operating procedures with which the readmissions have so far been implemented.

      ASGI asks UNHCR

      to take an open public position on the note of the Italian Government in relation to the readmissions of applicants for international protection. For understandable reasons related to its mandate, UNHCR often operates through actions of moral suasion that do not take a public dimension. However, situations, such as that covered by this analysis, require that public opinion, institutions and associations have the full right to know UNHCR’s position on such serious events taking place in the territory of the European Union;
      to implement effective direct monitoring of the situation on the eastern border which has so far been completely lacking, in the awareness that the illegal situation described has already led to the rejection of hundreds of asylum seekers and that stopping this situation must become a top priority on the part of the United Nations agency responsible for defending the very existence of the right to asylum.

      For further information, please refer to the ASGI note of June 5th 2020 and to the recent dossier “La rotta balcanica” (“The Balkan Route”) by the Network “Rivolti ai Balcani”.

      https://en.asgi.it/informal-readmissions-balkan-route-asgi-letter-government-unhcr

    • Cries for help from the Balkan Route. Access to asylum remains a problem in Slovenia.

      “They don’t care about us. We have reached the refugee shelter several times, and they send us back to Croatia.”

      This is part of a message I received on Whatsapp on July 29 from 19-year-old Mohammed from Morocco who was writing from a center in south west Slovenia where he was being held in detention.

      Mohammed explained that he had previously managed to enter Slovenia several times, crossing over the mountains, but was pushed back initially to Croatia, and then again to Bosnia and Herzegovina or Serbia. This illegal deportation practice has been documented in recent years by a number of human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch and the Council of Europe, as well as some European parliamentarians.

      NGOs and human rights collectives including Amnesty International and Border Violence Monitoring Network have also said that since July 2018, people on the move have been denied their legal right to apply for asylum by Slovenian police, who have been part of an illegal chain of push backs from the EU, along Italy and Croatia to Bosnia or Serbia.

      Mohammed further told me that since July 19 he had been held alongside a number of other potential asylum seekers in the Aliens Center in #Postojna, a town in Slovenia midway between Ljubljana and the Italian border.

      Usually, people held in this center are in the process of being deported after their asylum claims have been denied, or their stay in the country has been deemed illegal, as defined by the Aliens Act. However, until recently, asylum seekers and those wanting to seek asylum like Mohammed were not being placed there unless there were specific circumstances where they were deemed a flight risk or a danger to public order.

      Through text messages, photos and videos, some of those inside the center managed to reach out to journalists like myself, as well as to some NGOs, and civil society groups.

      A group of activists subsequently organized protests on August 25 in an attempt to raise awareness about what is going on, supporting ongoing protests being held within the center by those being held in detention. They warned the public about this practice by the Slovenian police and drew parallels with the so-called Hungarian model of locking people up during their asylum process.

      Threats and deportations

      The center in Postojna where people are being detained consists of a large hangar-like building that has only lately been equipped with 14 containers. Each has six beds. Additionally, there are two sanitary containers serving as bathrooms and toilets.

      The official capacity of the complex is 180 beds, but the number of those locked-up varies daily. At the beginning of August, through email correspondence, police said that 145 people were held in the center, including 42 in the process of deportation and 65 who had requested asylum but who had not yet received an official response..

      Out of the total number, 38 individuals were registered asylum seekers.

      A few days later, police reported that 142 individuals were being held in the center, including 111 asylum seekers.

      People held in Postojna claim that when they were brought in, police told them they would be quarantined due to the pandemic.

      The General Police Directorate denied that the center in Postojna is being used as a form of quarantine, claiming that only basic medical check-ups are carried out. But in answer to questions, they also state that “the majority stays there for more than 14 days,” the quarantine period recommended by the World Health Organization for those who have been in close contact with somebody with COVID-19.

      https://vimeo.com/453221076

      Messages from those in the center claimed that even the right to request asylum was being denied, despite promises by police upon entering the center that everyone would get a chance to apply.

      Some, like Mohammed, say they have already gone through the experience of being deprived of the right to apply for asylum, and then being deported from the EU, back to the Balkans. They say they reached out to appeal for help after being threatened with deportation to Croatia 10 days after being taken to the center.

      In one of these messages sent to a local NGO, X. from Morocco wrote that the living conditions in the center are “terrible.”

      “They put us in a closed place, some people have been here 28 days and others 25 days without knowing what will happen with us,” he wrote.

      “They take out some and leave some in, even though we have the same case and were arrested in the same circumstances. There is no logic and no law. Some leave without proof of identity, while others are sentenced to three months.

      “There’s patients here and the medical care is not good, some friends are scared about what will happen with us and others are thinking of killing themselves here.”

      https://vimeo.com/453221292

      Violation of asylum laws

      The Ombudsperson’s Office in Slovenia has warned on several occasions about the problematic role of border police in asylum procedures and about the role of Postojna’s Aliens Center, which is officially considered a detention facility.

      Furthermore, in its reports the Office acknowledges that families and children were amongst those previously detained there, a controversial practice it calls to be abolished.

      The men who are currently locked up in Postojna complain of further irregularities, including accusing the translators working for the police as being corrupt and unprofessional. These echo similar claims cited by organizations including Amnesty International Slovenia, while the Ombudsperson’s office has also mentioned it in one of its reports and called on the government to react.

      Saša Zagorc, a professor of constitutional law at the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana and a member of the Odysseus Network with other experts on asylum, says that to date little has been done to address the concerns.

      “Systemic problems and irregularities when it comes to deprivation of personal liberty in Slovenia have been known and well analyzed for at least five years,” he says.

      Depriving those wanting to seek asylum of liberty is considered a measure of last resort under international law and is legal only after an individual’s specific circumstances have been taken into account and possible milder measures considered. But Professor Zagorc emphasizes a systemic lack of alternative measures in Slovenia.

      Self-organized activist collective Work-group for Asylum — part of the Ambasada Rog collective that has been working with refugees and migrants in Slovenia for years — issued a statement saying that deprivation of liberty of people who seek asylum is now used in Slovenia as a rule, and not as an exception, as stipulated in law.

      The Interior Ministry denies these allegations.

      Not standard police procedure

      The videos and photos that appeared in the public and the media at the end of July, shortly after protests within the camp, created public pressure. Three days after I received the first message from Mohammed, the men in Postojna reported they had been visited by a group of officials from the Interior Ministry with two different interpreters.

      However, three weeks later, on August 21, they still remained locked up and deprived of their liberty, with no legal counsel.

      In answer to my questions about the broader framing of the current situation in Postojna, the Ombudsperson’s Office said that part of the problem is a lack of systemic access to free legal counsel for some people deprived of their liberty in the Aliens Center.

      The official response from the Interior Ministry is that the men’s detention in Postojna might “not be a standard police procedure,” but that all police actions are lawful.

      Standard police procedure is to take asylum seekers to Ljubljana’s Asylum Center, where they have freedom of movement after a few days of quarantine and an initial interview. The Interior Ministry said that their officials can, and do, conduct first interviews with people who wish to apply for asylum in Ljubljana’s Asylum Center, as well as at other police stations.

      They explained that the asylum requests can be “deemed obviously unfounded if an individual comes from a so-called safe third country.” Such procedures aim to speed up deportations of individuals whose asylum requests have been denied.

      Human rights organizations, including the Council of Europe, however, have warned that even in such expedient procedures individual circumstances need to be considered and these may make asylum claims valid even when an applicant is from a so-called safe third country.

      The police practices are reflected in official statistics. According to the Interior Ministry, in the first half of 2020, 64 out of 120 asylum requests were rejected as “obviously unfounded.” In the same period last year, 30 out of 51 asylum requests were denied as “obviously unfounded.”

      Police instructions, exposed last month by Slovenian media, reveal that as a rule, asylum seekers are now to be taken to Postojna in an apparent attempt to speed up deportations, not to Ljubljana’s Asylum Center.

      In a phone conversation with a representative of the Legal-Informational Centre for NGOS, I find out that since late May and June they have been overwhelmed with filing legal motions to appeal the detention of asylum seekers in Postojna.

      Interior Ministry data shows that this year, police have deprived 75 potential asylum seekers of their liberty, 69 of which were in June alone. The administrative court this year annulled 35 of these measures.

      Meanwhile, based on a request made by right wing politicians in Italy, additional Italian army troops are to be deployed to the border with Slovenia. Some troops were already deployed in May, while the idea of having the army is supported by far right groups on both sides of the border.

      In Slovenia, Interior Minister Aleš Hojs, a member of the right wing SDS party, openly welcomed the idea.

      For now, the struggle of people in Postojna and Slovenian civic society continues. In one of his messages sent to the activists, X. wrote:

      “We are not criminals — we are humans. The difference between us and other people is just the paper — we are people without papers and that does not mean we are not good people.”

      https://kosovotwopointzero.com/en/cries-for-help-from-the-balkan-route

  • Rotta balcanica, ASGI: interrompere le riammissioni illegali al confine italo-sloveno

    Non è legittimo eseguire le riammissioni dei migranti in Slovenia senza un previo esame delle situazioni individuali ed un effettivo coinvolgimento delle persone interessate.


    E’ quanto chiede l’Associazione per gli Studi Giuridici sull’Immigrazione in una lettera aperta (https://www.asgi.it/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/lettera-aperta-riammissioni_5-giugno-2020.pdf) inviata al Ministero dell’Interno, alla Questura e Prefettura di Trieste oltre che alla sede per l’Italia dell’UNHCR . L’associazione ha anche elaborato un documento di analisi “La riammissione informale dall’Italia alla Slovenia sulla base dell’Accordo bilaterale Italia – Slovenia e le riammissioni a catena verso la Slovenia e la Croazia“ (https://www.asgi.it/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/documento-riammissioni-Italia-Slovenia-_5_giugno_2020.pdf).

    Nella lettera l’ASGI ricorda come a metà di maggio 2020 il Ministero dell’interno ha annunciato di voler incrementare le riammissioni di migranti in Slovenia che, nei giorni successivi si sono susseguite con effettiva intensità ed hanno riguardato molti cittadini afgani e pakistani.

    Secondo le testimonianze raccolte, le persone riammesse non avrebbero ricevuto alcun provvedimento e ignare di tutto, si sono ritrovate respinte in Slovenia, quindi in Croazia, ed infine in Serbia o in Bosnia sebbene le stesse fossero intenzionate a domandare protezione internazionale all’Italia.

    Si tratta di “ riammissioni effettuate non in ragione del ripristino dei controlli alle frontiere interne mai formalmente avvenuto ma in applicazione dell’Accordo bilaterale fra il Governo della Repubblica italiana e il Governo della Repubblica di Slovenia sulla riammissione delle persone alla frontiera, firmato a Roma il 3 settembre 1996, che dimostrano una chiara volontà delle autorità italiane di incrementare riammissioni al confine orientale, secondo le direttive che sarebbero state ricevute direttamente dal Governo italiano.

    ASGI perciò chiede di sapere se tali direttive sono effettivamente state impartite da parte del Ministero e comunque di interrompere immediatamente le pratiche illegittime di riammissioni in Slovenia e da qui verso gli altri Stati ricordando che numerose inchieste internazionali testimoniano dei trattamenti inumani e degradanti ai quali, in violazione del divieto inderogabile previsto dall’art. 3 della Convenzione europea dei diritti dell’uomo le persone respinte vanno incontro lunga la rotta balcanica.

    https://www.asgi.it/allontamento-espulsione/rotta-balcanica-asgi-interrompere-le-riammissioni-illegali-al-confine-italo-slo

    #route_des_Balkans #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Balkans #Slovénie #Italie #push-back #refoulements #refoulement #push-back #refoulement_en_chaîne #refoulements_en_chaîne #Croatie

    ping @isskein

  • Info Park Weekly 27 May – 2 June 2020

    Serbia
    ➢ Serbian Ministry of Defense dropped the tender for procurement of razor wire originally intended for fencing the reception/asylum centers. As cited on the Ministry’s website, the reasons for this are "objective and verifiable and could have not been foreseen at the time of initiating the procedure”. This is a small but important victory for humanitarian organizations Info Park, A11 Initiative, PIN and other defenders of refugee and migrant human rights who called upon the Ministry to stop the dangerous process which would
    lead to further militarization of migration management in Serbia.
    ➢ The strong trend of migrants and refugees leaving reception centers in Serbia continued this week. On June 1, as per SCRM data 5 687 people are registered in 18 camps, 40% down from only a month ago when the centers were still in quarantine. Out of this number, 1171 are in asylum centers and 4516 in reception centers. The outflow of centers’ beneficiaries contributed to better living conditions, so the camps are not overcrowded
    anymore– Adasevci (690) and Krnjaca (612) are the busiest places at the moment. Thousands of migrants are already outside, in border areas with Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary and Romania as well as in Belgrade central area (according to Info Park’s assessment, around 300 persons). No corona cases have been registered among the
    migrants so far, despite occasional testing

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    ➢ Danish Refugee Council (DRC) active in the field in BiH has confirmed the accusations made last week by migrants who were illegally expelled to BiH from Croatia, while experiencing inhuman treatment when Croatian police spray-painted orange crosses on
    their heads. In April alone, DRC teams in BiH recorded 1,641 cases of refugees and migrants returning from Croatia to Bosnia. Of that number, 891 said they had suffered violence or physical assault, 1,253 said their property had either been confiscated or
    destroyed (set on fire), 871 said Croatian police had either confiscated or destroyed their identification documents, and 445 person said they were denied the opportunity to seek
    asylum, despite explicitly asking about it. To find out more on the current situation in BiH, please read this weekly appendix written by Aleksandra Damjanovic from DRC in BiH.
    ➢ According to local BiH web portal Klix, The State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) is implementing an action code-named “Trieste” ordered by the Una-Sana Canton Prosecutor’s Office. The operation is aimed at breaking up an organized criminal group
    that has been smuggling migrants from BiH through Croatia to other European Union countries. The “Trieste” operation is also being carried out in Croatia, in cooperation with EUROPOL. Searches are being conducted at five locations in Velika Kladusa, Cazin and
    Bihac. Eight people were arrested so far - four in BiH and four in Croatia.

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Serbie #camp #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Refoulement

  • [via Vicky Skoumbi, via Migreurop]

    Des conditions inhumaines de mise en quarantaine de nouveaux arrivants dans le port de Mytilène

    « Ils ont transformé un bus… en structure d’accueil » dans le port de Mytilène !

    Les taxis protestent également contre la dégradation du port de Mytilène, qui a été révélée par « N » avec la conversion de l’espace en structure de quarantaine, initiée par le maire Kythelis

    Même la Association de Taxi de Mytilène proteste contre ce que « N » a révélé il y a une semaine sans que cela semble émouvoir outre-mesure la municipalité Kytheli ! Que 16 migrants arrivés dans la région d’Avlonas (sud-est de Lesbos) il y a une semaine, ont été transférés au port de Mytilène dans un endroit qui a été transformé en quarantaine, alors qu’un endroit à cet effet existe déjà à côté de Kara-Tepé, et lemaire de Mytilène au lieu de les diriger à cette structure, a décidé de faire d‘un bus de ligne... structure de quarantaine !

    https://www.stonisi.gr/post/9275/ekanan-to-lewforeio-domh-mesa-sto-limani

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Grèce #bus #quarantaine #Mythilène #Lesbos

  • Frontex bientôt sur les frontières du #Monténégro et de la #Serbie

    1er juin - 8h : L’Union européenne a approuvé, mardi 26 mai, un #accord passé avec le Monténégro et la Serbie, prévoyant le déploiement de la #mission_Frontex sur les frontières de ces deux pays. Il s’agit d’aider le Monténégro et la Serbie, candidats à l’intégrer, à « mieux gérer les flux migratoires ». Le déploiement de #Frontex sera effectif dès juillet au Monténégro, tandis qu’une date doit encore être fixée pour la Serbie.

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Les-dernieres-infos-Refugies-Balkans-Bosnie-Herzegovine-un-nouvea

    #Balkans #route_des_balkans #militarisation_des_frontières #frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés

    –---

    Voir aussi :

    2018 :
    « Come il Montenegro si prepara a un’emergenza che non c’è »
    https://seenthis.net/messages/712376

    2019 :
    European Border and Coast Guard : Agreement reached on operational cooperation with Montenegro
    https://seenthis.net/messages/758359

    À partir de 22 mai 2019, Frontex déploiera des équipes conjointes à la frontière grecque avec des agents albanais. La Commission européenne a passé des accords semblables avec la Macédoine du Nord, la Serbie, le Monténégro et la Bosnie-Herzégovine, qui devraient également entrer en vigueur.
    https://seenthis.net/messages/782260

    ping @isskein @reka @karine4