#bosnie-herzégovine

  • Janvier 2021 : Incendie dans le camp de réfugiés à Blazuj (Bosnie-Herzégovine)


    https://twitter.com/SeebrueckeFfm/status/1347627466026790912
    #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Herzégovine #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #feu #asile #migrations #réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés #Blažuj #Blazuj

    –—

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur les incendies dans des camps de réfugiés (principalement en Grèce, mais du coup, élargissement à la route des Balkans) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/851143#message892911

  • Le camp de migrants de #Lipa, en #Bosnie, ravagé par un #incendie

    Le camp de Lipa, dans le nord-ouest de la Bosnie, ravagé par les flammes. Un violent incendie s’est déclaré ce mercredi dans ce camp de migrants situé dans la région de #Bihac, près de la frontière avec la Croatie. 1 200 personnes y étaient hébergées. Aucune victime n’est à déplorer. Selon des témoins, le sinistre a démarré dans une installation de stockage de combustibles. Il s’est rapidement propagé.

    Selon la directrice du camp, Natasa Omerovic, ce sont d’anciens résidents qui l’ont déclenché à un moment où le camp était fermé pour être déplacé.

    Selon Peter Van der Auweraert, coordinateur de la mission de l’Organisation internationale pour les Migration (OIM) en Bosnie-Herzégovine, la plupart des infrastructures ont été détruites. L’#OIM, qui gérait ce centre d’accueil, a récemment annoncé son retrait en raison de mauvaises conditions.


    https://twitter.com/PeterAuweraert/status/1341721207939448833

    Début décembre, ce camp de #tentes avait fait l’objet de vives critiques. Etabli comme une réponse #provisoire pour faire face à la #pandémie de #coronavirus, il n’était pas équipé pour des conditions hivernales. Le camps incendié n’était pas équipé de chauffage et n’avait jamais été branché sur le réseau électrique.

    L’Organisation internationale pour les migrations et la Commission européenne exhortaient les autorités locales à trouver une solution pour héberger ailleurs les résidents du camp de Lipa, ainsi que quelque 2 000 autres migrants dépourvus de logement dans la région de Bihac, près de la frontière de l’Union européenne.

    Les autorités municipales et cantonales de Bihac refusent de permettre à l’OIM de rouvrir l’ancien centre d’accueil à Bihac, dans les halles d’une ancienne usine, malgré une instruction du gouvernement fédéral en ce sens. Il a été fermé peu avant les élections municipales de novembre, pour répondre à une pression croissante des habitants.

    « Les autorités compétentes doivent coopérer et agir dans la plus grande urgence pour répondre aux besoins des réfugiés et des migrants sans abris et sauver les vies », a insisté lundi la Commission européenne dans un communiqué.

    https://fr.euronews.com/2020/12/23/le-camp-de-migrants-de-lipa-en-bosnie-ravage-par-un-incendie

    #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #feu #asile #migrations #réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés

    –—

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur les incendies dans des camps de réfugiés (principalement en Grèce, mais du coup, élargissement à la route des Balkans) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/851143#message892911

    • Bosnie : le camp de Lipa ravagé par un incendie, 1 300 migrants à la rue

      Le camp de Lipa, dans le nord-ouest de la Bosnie, a été complètement détruit mercredi par un incendie probablement « criminel », ont indiqué les autorités. Environ 1 300 migrants, qui y étaient hébergés, se retrouvent désormais à la rue en pleine hiver avec des températures glaciales.

      « Jour terrible » pour le camp de Lipa. Dans un tweet, Peter Van der Auweraert, le représentant de l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) en Bosnie-Herzégovine, ne cache pas son désespoir.

      Le camp de migrants, situé dans le nord-ouest du pays, vient de partir en fumée, ce mercredi 23 décembre. Environ 1 300 migrants y étaient hébergés dans des conditions dramatiques.


      https://twitter.com/PeterAuweraert/status/1341704305125027840

      « L’incendie s’est déclaré à 11h. Les pompiers ont réussi à l’éteindre, mais les quatre grandes tentes dans lesquelles les migrants dormaient ont brulé », a déclaré à l’AFP un porte-parole de la police, Ale Siljdedic, précisant qu’il n’y avait pas eu de blessés.
      « Un acte criminel »

      « Nous supposons qu’il s’agit d’un acte criminel et que des résidents du camp en sont à l’origine », a-t-il poursuivi. Peter Van der Auweraert évoque lui d’"anciens résidents [qui] ont mis le feu à trois tentes et aux conteneurs après que la plupart des migrants ont quitté le camp".

      https://twitter.com/PeterAuweraert/status/1341721207939448833

      Les exilés auraient agi en signe de protestation : mis en place en avril dans ce village près de Bihac, le site avait été installé comme une solution temporaire, rien n’étaient prévu pour que ses résidents y passent l’hiver. Le camp incendié n’était pas équipé d’électricité et de chauffage, alors que le pays connaît actuellement une vague de froid.

      « Désastre après désastre », a encore déploré Peter Van der Auweraert de l’OIM.
      Des milliers de personnes à la rue

      L’agence onusienne, qui gérait ce centre d’accueil, avait récemment annoncé son retrait de la structure en raison des mauvaises conditions de vie des exilés. L’OIM et la Commission européenne exhortaient depuis début décembre les autorités locales à trouver une solution pour héberger ailleurs ces 1 300 personnes, ainsi que quelque 2 000 autres migrants dépourvus de logement dans la région de Bihac, près de la frontière de l’Union européenne.

      Avec cet incendie, les résidents se retrouvent à la rue, en plein hiver et alors qu’est prévue une forte baisse de température dans les prochains jours. « Ils vont probablement se diriger vers Bihac (à 30 km au nord-ouest de Lipa, ndlr) et vont occuper des bâtiments abandonnés », a déclaré Ale Siljdedic.

      Les autorités municipales et cantonales de Bihac refusent que l’OIM rouvre l’ancien centre d’accueil à Bihac, dans les halles d’une ancienne usine, malgré une instruction du gouvernement fédéral en ce sens. Il a été fermé peu avant les élections municipales de novembre, pour répondre à une pression croissante des habitants.

      « Les autorités compétentes doivent coopérer et agir dans la plus grande urgence pour répondre aux besoins des réfugiés et des migrants sans abris et sauver des vies », a insisté lundi la Commission européenne dans un communiqué.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/29292/bosnie-le-camp-de-lipa-ravage-par-un-incendie-1-300-migrants-a-la-rue

      #SDF

    • Thousands of refugees without shelter after Bosnia camp burns

      Dozens spend the night at a damaged metal container near the site of the fire, where only a ghostly steel construction remained.

      More than a thousand refugees and migrants from Asia, the Middle East and North Africa were left to sleep in the cold after their camp in northwestern Bosnia burned down amid a dispute among Bosnian politicians over where to house them.

      On Wednesday, a fire destroyed the camp in Lipa housing about 1,200 people. Police and United Nations officials have said the blaze was probably started by people unhappy at the temporary closure of the camp, scheduled for the same day, and uncertainty about where they would be relocated in Bosnia.

      Dozens of men spent the night at a damaged metal container near the site of the fire, where only a ghostly steel construction remained. Smoke was still rising from some burned patches of ground on Thursday morning.

      Others tried to erect nylon tents and slept fully dressed on the frozen ground. Most of them walked through the woods towards the town of Bihac, near the Croatian border, avoiding areas marked with warnings about landmines remaining from the Bosnian war in the 1990s.

      About 10,000 refugees and migrants from Asia, the Middle East and North Africa are stuck in Bosnia, hoping to reach wealthier countries in the European Union.

      “I couldn’t sleep last night, I sat all night,” said Bylal from Pakistan, adding that he would wait to see if the government would provide them with a new shelter.

      The Lipa camp, which was opened last spring as a temporary shelter for the summer months 25 km away from Bihac, was set to be shut on Wednesday for winter refurbishing. But Bosnia’s authorities failed to find alternative accommodation for residents.

      The central government wanted the refugees and migrants to temporarily return to the Bira camp in Bihac, which was shut down in October, but local authorities disagreed, saying that other parts of Bosnia should also share the burden of the migrant crisis.

      “Please open the Bira camp so everybody goes there, it’s very good there,” said Yasin, also from Pakistan. “Here it’s cold, we can’t stay here, we don’t have food, we are hungry.”

      The European Union, which had supported Bosnia with 60 million euros to manage the refugee crisis and pledged 25 million euros more, has repeatedly asked the authorities to find an alternative to the unsuitable Lipa camp, warning of an unfolding humanitarian crisis.

      “We urge … the authorities to rise above political considerations and temporarily reopen the centre Bira in Bihac,” the EU said in a statement on Wednesday

      https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/24/thousands-of-refugees-without-shelter-after-bosnia-camp-burns

    • Bosnie : après l’incendie du camp de Lipa, des centaines de migrants prisonniers du #froid et de la #neige

      Dans le nord de la Bosnie-Herzégovine, des centaines de migrants sont toujours sans solution d’hébergement depuis l’incendie du camp de Lipa le 23 décembre. La situation est extrêmement inquiétante alors que des chutes de neige et des températures glaciales se sont abattues sur la région ce week-end.

      La situation était déjà compliquée dans le camp de Lipa, elle est devenue catastrophique. Dans le nord-ouest de la Bosnie, plusieurs centaines de migrants sont contraints de vivre dans le froid et la neige après l’incendie de ce camp le 23 décembre.

      Ces hommes – originaires d’Afghanistan et du Bangladesh pour la plupart – tentaient samedi de se protéger du froid et du vent en s’enveloppant dans des couvertures et des sacs de couchage, ont observé des journaliste des l’agence Associated Press (AP).

      La Croix-Rouge de Bosnie a distribué des repas aux exilés qui ne survivent que grâce à ces colis alimentaires. La police ne les autorise pas à quitter le site, les empêchant de se rendre dans la ville voisine de Bihac pour acheter quelques denrées alimentaires.

      « Lipa est devenue une prison hivernale », a dénoncé sur Twitter Peter Van der Auweraert, représentant de l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations en Bosnie-Herzégovine. « Les migrants ne sont pas autorisés à quitter le site de Lipa et doivent maintenant faire du feu dans les tentes restantes pour se tenir chaud […] C’est une tragédie totalement inutile », ajoute-t-il.


      https://twitter.com/PeterAuweraert/status/1343267176321585154

      Dans la grande tente qui a survécu à l’incendie et où dorment désormais les migrants, le toit commence à ployer sous le poids de la neige, met par ailleurs en garde Peter Van der Auweraert, pointant un « terrible accident qui n’attend que de se produire ».
      « Nous vivons comme des animaux »

      L’association No Name Kitchen a indiqué, de son côté, « faire de son mieux pour procurer des vêtements chauds et de la nourriture aux personnes ». « La police a bloqué la route et plus de 1000 personnes se trouvent dans la forêt autour du camp de Lipa », précise l’organisation.


      https://twitter.com/NoNameKitchen1/status/1342890272221523969

      « Nous vivons comme des animaux. Même les animaux vivent mieux que nous ! » a déclaré un Pakistanais à AP qui ne s’est identifié que par son prénom, Kasim. « S’ils ne nous aident pas, nous mourrons, alors aidez-nous s’il vous plaît. »


      https://twitter.com/PeterAuweraert/status/1342775470899781638

      « Ce n’est pas ainsi que quiconque devrait vivre », a également pointé Peter Van der Auweraert, appelant la classe politique bosnienne au « courage » et à l’"action" pour débloquer la situation et autoriser l’ouverture d’un nouveau centre d’hébergement.

      La capitaine de navire allemande Carola Rackete a également alerté sur les réseaux sociaux sur l’urgence de la situation dans le nord de la Bosnie et appelé à soutenir les associations qui viennent en aide aux exilés.

      https://twitter.com/CaroRackete/status/1343181760167866368

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/29320/bosnie-apres-l-incendie-du-camp-de-lipa-des-centaines-de-migrants-pris

  • Rapporti di monitoraggio

    Sin dal 2016 il progetto ha pubblicato report di approfondimento giuridico sulle situazioni di violazione riscontrate presso le diverse frontiere oggetto delle attività di monitoraggio. Ciascun report affronta questioni ed aspetti contingenti e particolarmente interessanti al fine di sviluppare azioni di contenzioso strategico.

    Elenco dei rapporti pubblicati in ordine cronologico:

    “Le riammissioni di cittadini stranieri a Ventimiglia (giugno 2015): profili di illegittimità“

    Il report è stato redatto nel giugno del 2015 è costituisce una prima analisi delle principali criticità riscontrabili alla frontiera italo-francese verosimilmente sulla base dell’Accordo bilaterale fra il Governo della Repubblica italiana e il Governo della Repubblica francese sulla cooperazione transfrontaliera in materia di polizia e dogana (Accordo di Chambery)
    #Vintimille #Ventimiglia #frontière_sud-alpine #Alpes #Menton #accord_bilatéral #Accord_de_Chambéry #réadmissions

    Ajouté à la #métaliste de liens autour d’#accords_de_réadmission entre pays européens...
    https://seenthis.net/messages/736091
    Et plus précisément ici:
    https://seenthis.net/messages/736091#message887941

    –---

    “Le riammissioni di cittadini stranieri alla frontiera di Chiasso: profili di illegittimità”

    Il report è stato redatto nell’estate del 2016 per evidenziare la situazione critica che si era venuta a creare in seguito al massiccio afflusso di cittadini stranieri in Italia attraverso la rotta balcanica scatenata dalla crisi siriana. La frontiera italo-svizzera è stata particolarmente interessata da numerosi tentativi di attraversamento del confine nei pressi di Como e il presente documento fornisce una analisi giuridica delle criticità riscontrate.

    Ajouté à la #métaliste de liens autour d’#accords_de_réadmission entre pays européens...
    https://seenthis.net/messages/736091
    Et plus précisément ici:
    https://seenthis.net/messages/736091#message887940

    –-----

    “Lungo la rotta del Brennero”

    Il report, redatto con la collaborazione della associazione Antenne Migranti e il contributo della fondazione Alex Langer nel 2017, analizza le dinamiche della frontiera altoatesina e sviluppa una parte di approfondimento sulle violazioni relative al diritto all’accoglienza per richiedenti asilo e minori, alle violazioni all’accesso alla procedura di asilo e ad una analisi delle modalità di attuazione delle riammissioni alla frontiera.

    #Brenner #Autriche

    –---

    “Attività di monitoraggio ai confini interni italiani – Periodo giugno 2018 – giugno 2019”

    Report analitico che riporta i dati raccolti e le prassi di interesse alle frontiere italo-francesi, italo-svizzere, italo-austriache e italo slovene. Contiene inoltre un approfondimento sui trasferimenti di cittadini di paesi terzi dalle zone di frontiera indicate all’#hotspot di #Taranto e centri di accoglienza del sud Italia.

    #Italie_du_Sud

    –------

    “Report interno sopralluogo Bosnia 27-31 ottobre 2019”

    Report descrittivo a seguito del sopralluogo effettuato da soci coinvolti nel progetto Medea dal 27 al 31 ottobre sulla condizione delle persone in transito in Bosnia. Il rapporto si concentra sulla descrizione delle strutture di accoglienza presenti nel paese, sull’accesso alla procedura di protezione internazionale e sulle strategie di intervento future.

    #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine

    –---

    “Report attività frontiere interne terrestri, porti adriatici e Bosnia”

    Rapporto di analisi dettagliata sulle progettualità sviluppate nel corso del periodo luglio 2019 – luglio 2020 sulle diverse frontiere coinvolte (in particolare la frontiera italo-francese, italo-slovena, la frontiera adriatica e le frontiere coinvolte nella rotta balcanica). Le novità progettuali più interessanti riguardano proprio l’espansione delle progettualità rivolte ai paesi della rotta balcanica e alla Grecia coinvolta nelle riammissioni dall’Italia. Nel periodo ad oggetto del rapporto il lavoro ha avuto un focus principale legato ad iniziative di monitoraggio, costituzione della rete ed azioni di advocacy.

    #Slovénie #mer_Adriatique #Adriatique

    https://medea.asgi.it/rapporti

    #rapport #monitoring #medea #ASGI
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières
    #frontières_internes #frontières_intérieures #Balkans #route_des_balkans

    ping @isskein @karine4

  • Bosnia Signs Deal with Pakistan to Send Back Migrants

    Bosnia and Herzegovina signed an agreement with Pakistan that opens up the possibility of repatriating some illegal Pakistani migrants who are currently in the Balkan country.

    Pakistani Interior Minister Ijaz Ahmed Shah and Bosnian Security Minister Selmo Cikotic signed an agreement and an accompanying protocol in Islamabad on Wednesday which should allow migrants to be returned to their home country.

    With the agreement, Pakistan committed itself to accept the return of its citizens who are currently living illegally in Bosnia and vice versa.

    According to the agreement, the competent authorities for receiving, submitting and processing readmission requests, as well as those for transit, will be the Bosnian Security Ministry and the Ministry of Interior for Pakistan.

    Readmission and reception of citizens of the two countries and the transit of foreigners will take place through the international airports in Sarajevo and Islamabad.

    The issue of Pakistani migrants in Bosnia has been the source of problems between the two countries that escalated when Fahrudin Radoncic, the former Bosnian security minister, accused Islamabad in April this year of not wanting to work with Sarajevo on the illegal migration issue.

    The dispute started when Radoncic ordered Bosnia’s Service for Foreigners’ Affairs, the SFA, to compile a list of an estimated 9,000 to 10,000 illegal migrants to be deported, excluding refugees from war-torn Syria.

    He claimed that there are around 3,000 illegal migrants from Pakistan among them and that that Pakistani embassy didn’t want to co-operate on identifying them.

    Radoncic went so far as to demand that the Pakistani ambassador to Sarajevo be declared persona non grata.

    However, Radoncic did not receive the support of either state presidency chairman Sefik Dzaferovic or Bisera Turkovic, the Bosnian foreign minister, which is why he resigned in early June.

    According to estimates by the International Organisation for Migration, Bosnian authorities and NGOs, there are currently about 10,000 illegal migrants in Bosnia, of whom a significant number are citizens of Pakistan.

    Slobodan Ujic, director of Bosnia’s Service for Foreigner’s Affairs, SFA, told BIRN earlier that establishing the identity of migrants had been a problem for years because the embassies of countries where migrants come from do not want to cooperate.

    https://balkaninsight.com/2020/11/04/bosnia-signs-deal-with-pakistan-to-send-back-migrants
    #Bosnie #accord_de_réadmission #asile #migrations #réfugiés #déboutés #renvois #expulsions #accord #Bosnie-Herzégovine

  • Croatia stopped 16,000 migrant border crossings since January

    Croatia claims to have stopped just over 16,000 attempts by migrants without visas to cross the border with Bosnia since the beginning of the year. Meanwhile, Bosnia says it has halted close to 9,000 illegal migrant entrances so far this year.
    Since the beginning of the year, Croatian border police have halted just over 16,000 attempts to enter the country by migrants without proper papers arriving from Bosnia, Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said Wednesday.

    Some 374 people were arrested on human trafficking charges in police operations, the minister said, most of whom were allegedly members of criminal organizations.

    Bosnian border crossings

    Meanwhile, Bosnian border police stopped almost 9,000 illegal attempts to cross into Bosnia and Herzegovina since the beginning of the year, border police director Zoran Galic said on September 12.

    There were 8,463 attempted entrances in total. In 7,376 of these cases, the migrants reportedly had been previously stopped and identified in Bosnia and had documents with them in which they declared their intention to request asylum in the country.

    Galic said that in the past eight months, some 11 migrant trafficking crimes had been discovered in the Zvornik area along the border with Serbia alone.

    Migrants still on Balkan Route

    Countries along the so-called Balkan Route have fortified their borders and increased border patrols in recent years. But there are still tens of thousands of migrants who are trying to cross through eastern European countries such as Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia to Western Europe.

    In recent weeks, border authorities discovered numerous migrants trying to clandestinely cross borders in the Balkan region.

    In Slovenia, in the 24 hours between Tuesday and Wednesday, police from the Capodistria district reportedly stopped 35 migrants from entering Croatia. According to a police statement, most of them were from Afghanistan (23) or Morocco (6).

    Migrants hiding on trucks

    On September 15, Serbian customs officials stationed along the border between Hungary and Croatia discovered 14 migrants hiding in various trucks. They were allegedly trying to reach EU countries in Western Europe. Serbian media report that six migrants had been discovered at the Horgos crossing on the Hungarian border on a Macedonian truck carrying tires from Turkey to the Czech Republic.

    Four migrants were discovered on two Serbian trucks that were carrying women’s hosiery and headed for Italy. The migrants, two on each truck, were discovered during a customs check on the border with Croatia. Also on the Serbian-Croatian border, four migrants were found on a truck carrying olives from Greece to the Netherlands.

    In another incident along the border between Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina on Tuesday morning, three migrants were reportedly rescued in #Zvornik while they were trying to cross the #Drina river. The three had been stuck at the point where the river is deepest for hours, grasping large stone blocks to not be swept away from the current. Passers-by saw the migrants, who were then rescued by the border police and firefighters.

    https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/27384/croatia-stopped-16-000-migrant-border-crossings-since-january
    #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #Croatie #statistiques #chiffres #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine

  • The Frontier Within: The European Border Regime in the Balkans

    In the summer of 2015, the migratory route across the Balkans »entered into the European spotlight, and indeed onto the screen of the global public« (Kasparek 2016: 2), triggering different interpretations and responses. Contrary to the widespread framing of the mass movement of people seeking refuge in Europe as ›crisis‹ and ›emergency‹ of unseen proportions, we opt for the perspective of »the long Summer of Migration« (Kasparek/Speer 2015) and an interpretation that regards it as »a historic and monumental year of migration for Europe precisely because disobedient mass mobilities have disrupted the European regime of border control« (Stierl/Heller/de Genova 2016: 23). In reaction to the disobedient mass mobilities of people, a state-tolerated and even state-organized transit of people, a »formalized corridor« (Beznec/Speer/Stojić Mitrović 2016), was gradually established. To avoid the concentration of unwanted migrants on their territory, countries along the route—sometimes in consultation with their neighboring countries and EU member states, sometimes simply by creating facts—strived to regain control over the movements by channeling and isolating them by means of the corridor (see e.g. Hameršak/Pleše 2018; Speer 2017; Tošić 2017). »Migrants didn’t travel the route any more: they were hurriedly channeled along, no longer having the power to either determine their own movement or their own speed« (Kasparek 2016). The corridor, at the same time, facilitated and tamed the movement of people. In comparison to the situation in Serbia, where migrants were loosely directed to follow the path of the corridor (see e.g. Beznec/Speer/Stojić Mitrović 2016; Greenberg/Spasić 2017; Kasparek 2016: 6), migrants in other states like North Macedonia, Croatia, and Slovenia were literally in the corridor’s power, i.e. forced to follow the corridor (see Hameršak/Pleše 2018; Beznec/Speer/Stojić Mitrović 2016; Chudoska Blazhevska/Flores Juberías 2016: 231–232; Kogovšek Šalamon 2016: 44–47; Petrović 2018). The corridor was operative in different and constantly changing modalities until March 2016. Since then, migration through the Balkan region still takes place, with migrants struggling on a daily basis with the diverse means of tightened border controls that all states along the Balkan route have been practicing since.

    This movements issue wants to look back on these events in an attempt to analytically make sense of them and to reflect on the historical rupture of the months of 2015 and 2016. At the same time, it tries to analyze the ongoing developments of bordering policies and the struggles of migration. It assembles a broad range of articles reaching from analytical or research based papers shedding light on various regional settings and topics, such as the massive involvement of humanitarian actors or the role of camp infrastructures, to more activist-led articles reflecting on the different phases and settings of pro-migrant struggles and transnational solidarity practices. In an attempt to better understand the post-2015 border regime, the issue furthermore presents analyses of varying political technologies of bordering that evolved along the route in response to the mass mobilities of 2015/2016. It especially focuses on the excessive use of different dimensions of violence that seem to characterize the new modalities of the border regime, such as the omnipresent practice of push-backs. Moreover, the articles shed light on the ongoing struggles of transit mobility and (transnational) solidarity that are specifically shaped by the more than eventful history of the region molded both by centuries of violent interventions and a history of connectivity.

    Our transnational editorial group came together in the course of a summer school on the border regime in the Balkans held in Belgrade, Serbia, in 2018. It was organized by the Network for Critical Migration and Border Regime Studies (kritnet), University of Göttingen, Department of Cultural Anthropology/European Ethnology (Germany), the Research Centre of the Academy of Sciences and Arts (Slovenia), the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research (Croatia), and the Institute of Ethnography SASA (Serbia). The summer school assembled engaged academics from all over the region that were involved, in one form or another, in migration struggles along the route in recent years.1 The few days of exchange proved to be an exciting and fruitful gathering of critical migration and border regime scholars and activists from different regional and disciplinary backgrounds of the wider Balkans. Therefore, we decided to produce this movements issue by inviting scholars and activists from the region or with a deep knowledge on, and experience with, regional histories and politics in order to share their analyses of the Balkan route, the formalized corridor, and the developments thereafter. These developments have left a deep imprint on the societies and regional politics of migration, but they are very rarely taken into consideration and studied in the West as the centuries long entanglements that connect the Balkan with the rest of Europe.

    In this editorial, we will outline the transnational mobility practices in the Balkans in a historical perspective that includes the framework of EU-Balkan relations. With this exercise we try to historize the events of 2015 which are portrayed in many academic as well as public accounts as ›unexpected‹ and ›new‹. We also intend to write against the emergency and escalation narrative underlying most public discourses on the Balkans and migration routes today, which is often embedded in old cultural stereotypes about the region. We, furthermore, write against the emergency narrative because it erodes the agency of migration that has not only connected the region with the rest of the globe but is also constantly reinventing new paths for reaching better lives. Not only the history of mobilities, migrations, and flight connecting the region with the rest of Europe and the Middle East can be traced back into the past, but also the history of political interventions and attempts to control these migrations and mobilities by western European states. Especially the EU accession processes produce contexts that made it possible to gradually integrate the (Western) Balkan states into the rationale of EU migration management, thus, setting the ground for today’s border and migration regime. However, as we will show in the following sections, we also argue against simplified understandings of the EU border regime that regard its externalization policy as an imperial top-down act. Rather, with a postcolonial perspective that calls for decentering western knowledge, we will also shed light on the agency of the national governments of the region and their own national(ist) agendas.
    The Formalized Corridor

    As outlined above, the formalized corridor of 2015 reached from Greece to Northern and Central Europe, leading across the states established in the 1990s during the violent breakdown of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and, today, are additionally stratified vis-à-vis the EU. Slovenia and Croatia are EU member states, while the others are still in the accession process. The candidate states Serbia, North Macedonia and Montenegro have opened the negotiation process. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo—still not recognized as a sovereign state by Serbia and some EU member states—have the status of potential candidates. However, in 2015 and 2016, the states along the corridor efficiently collaborated for months on a daily basis, while, at the same time, fostering separate, sometimes conflicting, migration politics. Slovenia, for example, raised a razor-wire fence along the border to Croatia, while Croatia externalized its border to Serbia with a bilateral agreement (Protokol) in 2015 which stated that the »Croatian Party« may send a »train composition with its crew to the railway station in Šid [in Serbia], with a sufficient number of police officers of the Republic of Croatia as escort« (Article 3 Paragraph 2).

    Despite ruptures and disputes, states nevertheless organized transit in the form of corridor consisting of trains, buses, and masses of walking people that were guarded and directed by the police who forced people on the move to follow the corridor’s direction and speed. The way the movements were speedily channeled in some countries came at the cost of depriving people of their liberty and freedom of movement, which calls for an understanding of the corridor as a specific form of detention: a mobile detention, ineligible to national or EU legislation (see Hameršak/Pleše 2018; Kogovšek Šalamon 2016: 44–47). In the context of the corridor, camps became convergence points for the heterogeneous pathways of movements. Nevertheless, having in mind both the proclaimed humanitarian purpose of the corridor, and the monumental numbers of people to whom the corridor enabled and facilitated movement, the corridor can be designated as an unprecedented formation in recent EU history. In other words: »The corridor – with all its restrictions – remains a historical event initiated by the movement of people, which enabled thousands to reach central Europe in a relatively quick and safe manner. […] But at the same time it remained inscribed within a violent migration management system« (Santer/Wriedt 2017: 148).

    For some time, a broad consensus can be observed within migration and border studies and among policy makers that understands migration control as much more than simply protecting a concrete borderline. Instead, concepts such as migration management (Oelgemoller 2017; Geiger/Pécoud 2010) and border externalization (as specifically spelled out in the EU document Global Approach to Migration of 2005) have become increasingly important. In a spatial sense, what many of them have in common is, first, that they assume an involvement of neighboring states to govern migration in line with EU migration policies. Second, it is often stated that this leads to the creation of different zones encircling the European Union (Andreas/Snyder 2000). Maribel Casas-Cortes and Sebastian Cobarrubias, for instance, speak of four such zones: the first zone is »formed by EU member states, capable of fulfilling Schengen standards«, the second zone »consists of transit countries« (Casas-Cortes/Cobarrubias 2019), the third zone is characterized by countries such as Turkey, which are depicted by emigration as well as transit, and the fourth zone are countries of origin. While Casas-Cortes and Cobarrubias rightly criticize the static and eurocentric perspective of such conceptualizations, they nevertheless point to the unique nature of the formalized corridor because it crisscrossed the above mentioned zones of mobility control in an unprecedented way.

    Furthermore, the corridor through the Balkans can be conceived as a special type of transnational, internalized border. The internalized European borders manifest themselves to a great extent in a punctiform (see Rahola 2011: 96–97). They are not only activated in formal settings of border-crossings, police stations, or detention centers both at state borders and deep within state territories, but also in informal settings of hospitals, hostels, in the streets, or when someone’s legal status is taken as a basis for denying access to rights and services (i.e. to obtain medical aid, accommodation, ride) (Guild 2001; Stojić Mitrović/Meh 2015). With the Balkan corridor, this punctiform of movement control was, for a short period, fused into a linear one (Hameršak/Pleše 2018).

    The rules of the corridor and its pathways were established by formal and informal agreements between the police and other state authorities, and the corridor itself was facilitated by governmental, humanitarian, and other institutions and agencies. Cooperation between the countries along the route was fostered by representatives of EU institutions and EU member states. It would be too simple, though, to describe their involvement of the countries along the route as merely reactive, as an almost mechanical response to EU and broader global policies. Some countries, in particular Serbia, regarded the increasing numbers of migrants entering their territory during the year 2015 as a window of opportunity for showing their ›good face‹ to the European Union by adopting ›European values‹ and, by doing so, for enhancing their accession process to the European Union (Beznec/Speer/Stojić Mitrović 2016; Greenberg/Spasić 2017). As Tošić points out, »this image was very convenient for Serbian politicians in framing their country as ›truly European‹, since it was keeping its borders open unlike some EU states (such as Hungary)« (2017: 160). Other states along the corridor also played by their own rules from time to time: Croatia, for example, contrary to the Eurodac Regulation (Regulation EU No 603/2013), avoided sharing registration data on people in transit and, thus, hampered the Dublin system that is dependent on Eurodac registration. Irregular bureaucracies and nonrecording, as Katerina Rozakou (2017) calls such practices in her analysis of bordering practices in the Greek context, became a place of dispute, negotiations, and frustrations, but also a clear sign of the complex relationships and different responses to migration within the European Union migration management politics itself.

    Within EU-member states, however, the longer the corridor lasted, and the more people passed through it, the stronger the ›Hungarian position‹ became. Finally, Austria became the driving force behind a process of gradually closing the corridor, which began in November 2015 and was fully implemented in March 2016. In parallel, Angela Merkel and the European Commission preferred another strategy that cut access to the formalized corridor and that was achieved by adopting a treaty with Turkey known as the »EU-Turkey deal« signed on 18 March 2016 (see Speer 2017: 49–68; Weber 2017: 30–40).

    The humanitarian aspect for the people on the move who were supposed to reach a safe place through the corridor was the guiding principle of public discourses in most of the countries along the corridor. In Serbia, »Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić officially welcomed refugees, spoke of tolerance, and compared the experience of refugees fleeing war-torn countries to those of refugees during the wars of Yugoslav Succession« (Greenberg/Spasić 2017: 315). Similar narratives could also be observed in other countries along the corridor, at least for some period of time (see, for Slovenia, Sardelić 2017: 11; for Croatia, Jakešević 2017: 184; Bužinkić 2018: 153–154). Of course, critical readings could easily detect the discriminatory, dehumanizing, securitarizing, and criminalizing acts, practices, tropes, and aspects in many of these superficially caring narratives. The profiling or selection of people, ad hoc detentions, and militarization—which were integral parts of the corridor—were, at the time, only denounced by a few NGOs and independent activists. They were mostly ignored, or only temporarily acknowledged, by the media and, consequently, by the general public.

    Before May 2015, ›irregular‹ migration was not framed by a discourse of ›crisis‹ in the countries along the route, rather, the discourse was led by a focus on ›separate incidents‹ or ›situations‹. The discursive framing of ›crisis‹ and ›emergency‹, accompanied by reports of UN agencies about ›unprecedented refugee flows in history‹, has been globally adopted both by policy makers and the wider public. »In the wake of the Summer of Migration, all involved states along the Balkan route were quick to stage the events as an ›emergency‹ (Calhoun 2004) and, in best humanitarian fashion, as a major humanitarian ›crisis‹, thus legitimizing a ›politics of exception‹« (Hess/Kasparek 2017: 66). Following the logic that extraordinary situations call for, and justify, the use of extraordinary measures, the emergency framework, through the construction of existential threats, resulted, on the one hand, in a loosely controlled allocation of resources, and, on the other hand, in silencing many critical interpretations, thus allowing various ›risk management activities‹ to happen on the edge of the law (Campesi 2014). For the states along the route, the crisis label especially meant a rapid infusion of money and other resources for establishing infrastructures for the urgent reception of people on the move, mainly deriving from EU funds. Politically and practically, these humanitarian-control activities also fastened the operational inclusion of non-EU countries into the European border regime.

    As Sabine Hess and Bernd Kasparek have pointed out, the politics of proclaiming a ›crisis‹ is at the heart of re-stabilizing the European border regime, »making it possible to systematically undermine and lever the standards of international and European law without serious challenges to date« (Hess/Kasparek 2017: 66). The authors:

    »have observed carefully designed policy elements, which can be labelled as anti-litigation devices. The design of the Hungarian transit zones is a striking case in point. They are an elementary part of the border fence towards Serbia and allow for the fiction that the border has not been closed for those seeking international protection, but rather that their admission numbers are merely limited due to administrative reasons: each of the two transit zones allows for 14 asylum seekers to enter Hungary every day« (Hess/Kasparek 2017: 66; on the administrative rationale in Slovenia see e.g. Gombač 2016: 79–81).

    The establishment of transit zones was accompanied by a series of legislative tightenings, passed under a proclaimed ›crisis situation caused by mass immigration‹, which, from a legal point of view, lasts until today. Two aspects are worth mentioning in particular: First, the mandatory deportation of all unwanted migrants that were detected on Hungarian territory to the other side of the fence, without any possibility to claim for asylum or even to lodge any appeal against the return. Second, the automatic rejection of all asylum applications as inadmissible, even of those who managed to enter the transit zones, because Serbia had been declared a safe third country (Nagy/Pál 2018). This led to a completely securitized border regime in Hungary, which might become a ›role model‹, not only for the countries in the region but also for the European border regime as a whole (ECtHR – Ilias and Ahmed v. Hungary Application No. 47287/15).
    The Long Genealogy of the Balkan Route and its Governance

    The history of the Balkan region is a multiply layered history of transborder mobilities, migration, and flight reaching back as far as the times of the Habsburg and Ottoman empires connecting the region with the East and Western Europe in many ways. Central transportation and communication infrastructures partially also used by today’s migratory projects had already been established at the heydays of Western imperialism, as the Orient Express, the luxury train service connecting Paris with Istanbul (1883), or the Berlin-Baghdad railway (built between 1903 and 1940) indicate. During World War II, a different and reversed refugee route existed, which brought European refugees not just to Turkey but even further to refugee camps in Syria, Egypt, and Palestine and was operated by the Middle East Relief and Refugee Administration (MERRA).

    The Yugoslav highway, the Highway of Brotherhood and Unity (Autoput bratstva i jedinstva) often simply referred to as the ›autoput‹ and built in phases after the 1950s, came to stretch over more than 1,000 km from the Austrian to the Greek borders and was one of the central infrastructures enabling transnational mobilities, life projects, and exile. In the 1960s, direct trains departing from Istanbul and Athens carried thousands of prospective labor migrants to foreign places in Germany and Austria in the context of the fordist labor migration regime of the two countries. At the end of that decade, Germany signed a labor recruitment agreement with Yugoslavia, fostering and formalizing decades long labor migrations from Croatia, Serbia, and other countries to Germany (Gatrell 2019, see e.g. Lukić Krstanović 2019: 54–55).

    The wars in the 1990s that accompanied the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and the consequent establishment of several new nation states, created the first large refugee movement after the Second World War within Europe and was followed by increasing numbers of people fleeing Albania after the fall of its self-isolationist regime and the (civil) wars in the Middle East, Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan since the mid-1990s. As the migratory route did not go north through the Balkan Peninsula, but mainly proceeded to Italy at the time, the label Balkan route was mostly used as a name for a drugs and arms smuggling route well known in the West. Although there was migration within and to Europe, the Balkan migratory route, with the exception of refugee movements from ex-Yugoslavia, was yet predominantly invisible to the broader European public.

    Sparse ethnographic insights from the beginning of the 2000s point this out. Academic papers on migrant crossings from Turkey to the island of Lesbos mention as follows: »When the transport service began in the late 1980s it was very small and personal; then, in the middle of the 1990s, the Kurds began to show up – and now people arrive from just about everywhere« (Tsianos/Hess/Karakayali 2009: 3; see Tsianos/Karakayali 2010: 379). A document of the Council of the European Union from 1997 formulates this as following:

    »This migration appears to be routed essentially either through Turkey, and hence through Greece and Italy, or via the ›Balkans route‹, with the final countries of destination being in particular Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. Several suggestions were put forward for dealing with this worrying problem, including the strengthening of checks at external borders, the stepping up of the campaign against illegal immigration networks, and pre-frontier assistance and training assignments in airports and ports in certain transit third countries, in full cooperation with the authorities in those countries« (ibid. quoted in Hess/Kasparek 2020).

    During this time, the EU migration management policies defined two main objectives: to prevent similar arrivals in the future, and to initiate a system of control over migration movements toward the EU that would be established outside the territories of the EU member states. This would later be formalized, first in the 2002 EU Action Plan on Illegal Immigration (see Hayes/Vermeulen 2012: 13–14) and later re-confirmed in the Global Approach to Migration (2005) framework concerning the cooperation of the EU with third states (Hess/Kasparek 2020). In this process, the so-called migratory routes-approach and accompanying strategies of controlling, containing, and taming the movement »through epistemology of the route« (Hess/Kasparek 2020) became a main rationale of the European border control regime. Thus, one can resume that the route was not only produced by movements of people but also by the logic, legislation, investment etc. of EU migration governance. Consequently, the clandestine pathways across the Balkans to Central and Western Europe were frequently addressed by security bodies and services of the EU (see e.g. Frontex 2011; Frontex 2014), resulting in the conceptual and practical production of the Balkan as an external border zone of the EU.

    Parallel to the creation of ›Schengenland‹, the birth of the ›Area of Freedom, Security and Justice‹ inter alia as an inner-EU-free-mobility-zone and EU-based European border and migration regime in the late 1990s, the EU created the Western Balkans as an imaginary political entity, an object of its neighborhood and enlargement policy, which lies just outside the EU with a potential ›European future‹. For the purpose of the Stabilization and Association Process (SAP) initiated in 1999, the term Western Balkan was launched in the EU political context in order to include, at that moment, ›ex-Yugoslav states minus Slovenia plus Albania‹ and to presumably avoid potential politically sensitive notions. The Western Balkans as a concept represents a combination of a political compromise and colonial imagery (see Petrović 2012: 21–36). Its aim was to stabilize the region through a radical redefinition that would restrain from ethno-national toponyms and to establish a free-trade area and growing partnership with the EU. The SAP set out common political and economic goals for the Western Balkan as a region and conducted political and economic progress evaluations ›on a countries’ own merits‹. The Thessaloniki Summit in 2003 strengthened the main objectives of the SAP and formally took over elements of the accession process—institutional domains and regulations that were to be harmonized with those existing in the EU. Harmonization is a wide concept, and it basically means adopting institutional measures following specific demands of the EU. It is a highly hierarchized process in which states asked to ›harmonize‹ do not have a say in things but have to conform to the measures set forth by the EU. As such, the adoption of the EU migration and border regime became a central part of the ongoing EU-accession process that emerged as the main platform and governmental technology of the early externalization and integration of transit and source countries into the EU border regime. This was the context of early bilateral and multilateral cooperation on this topic (concerning involved states, see Lipovec Čebron 2003; Stojić Mitrović 2014; Župarić-Iljić 2013; Bojadžijev 2007).

    The decisive inclusion of the Western Balkan states in the EU design of border control happened at the Thessaloniki European Summit in 2003, where concrete provisions concerning border management, security, and combating illegal migration were set according to European standards. These provisions have not been directly displayed, but were concealed as part of the package of institutional transformations that respective states had to conduct. The states were promised to become members of the EU if the conditions were met. In order to fulfill this goal, prospective EU member states had to maintain good mutual relations, build statehoods based on ›the rule of law‹, and, after a positive evaluation by the EU, begin with the implementation of concrete legislative and institutional changes on their territories (Stojić Mitrović/Vilenica 2019). The control of unwanted movements toward the EU was a priority of the EU accession process of the Western Balkan states from the very beginning (Kacarska 2012). It started with controlling the movement of their own nationals (to allow the states to be removed from the so-called Black Schengen list) during the visa facilitation process. If they managed to control the movement of their own nationals, especially those who applied for asylum in the EU via biometric passports and readmission obligations (asylum seekers from these states comprise a large portion of asylum seekers in the EU even today), they were promised easier access to the EU as an economic area. Gradually, the focus of movement control shifted to third-country nationals. In effect, the Western Balkan states introduced migration-related legislative and institutional transformations corresponding to the ones already existing in the EU, yet persistent ›non-doing‹ (especially regarding enabling access to rights and services for migrants) remained a main practice of deterrence (Valenta/Zuparic-Iljic/Vidovic 2015; Stojić Mitrović 2019).

    From the very beginning, becoming an active part of the European border regime and implementing EU-centric migration policies, or, to put it simply, conducting control policies over the movements of people, has not been the goal of the states along the Balkan route per se but a means to obtain political and economic benefits from the EU. They are included into the EU border regime as operational partners without formal power to influence migration policies. These states do have a voice, though, not only by creating the image of being able to manage the ›European problem‹, and accordingly receive further access to EU funds, but also by influencing EU migration policy through disobedience and actively avoiding conformity to ›prescribed‹ measures. A striking example of creative state disobedience are the so-called 72-hour-papers, which are legal provisions set by the Serbian 2007 Law on Asylum, later also introduced as law in North Macedonia in June 2015: Their initial function was to give asylum seekers who declared their ›intention to seek asylum‹ to the police the possibility to legally proceed to one of the asylum reception centers located within Serbia, where, in a second step, their asylum requests were to be examined in line with the idea of implementing a functioning asylum system according to EU standards. However, in practice, these papers were used as short-term visas for transiting through North Macedonia and Serbia that were handed out to hundreds of thousands of migrants (Beznec/Speer/Stojić Mitrović 2016: 17–19, 36).

    Furthermore, the introduction of migration control practices is often a means for achieving other political and economic goals. In the accessing states, migration management is seen as services they provide for the EU. In addition, demands created by migration management goals open new possibilities for employment, which are essential to societies with high unemployment rates.

    Besides direct economic benefits, migration has been confirmed to be a politically potent instrument. States and their institutions were more firmly integrated into existing EU structures, especially those related to the prevention of unwanted migration, such as increased police cooperation and Frontex agreements. On a local level, political leaders have increasingly been using migration-related narratives in everyday political life in order to confront the state or other political competitors, often through the use of Ethno-nationalist and related discourses. In recent times, as citizens of the states along the Balkan route themselves migrate in search for jobs and less precarious lives, migration from third states has been discursively linked to the fear of foreigners permanently settling in places at the expense of natives.
    Contemporary Context

    According to a growing body of literature (e.g. Hess/Kasparek 2020; Lunaček Brumen/Meh 2016; Speer 2017), the Balkan route of the year 2015 and the first months of 2016 can be conceptualized in phases, beginning with a clandestine phase, evolving to an open route and formalized corridor and back to an invisible route again. It is necessary to point to the fact that these different phases were not merely the result of state or EU-led top-down approaches, but the consequence of a »dynamic process which resulted from the interplay of state practices, practices of mobility, activities of activists, volunteers, and NGOs, media coverage, etc. The same applies for its closure« (Beznec/Speer/Stojić Mitrović 2016: 6).

    The closure of the corridor and stricter border controls resulted in a large transformation of the Balkan route and mobility practices in the recent years, when push-backs from deep within the EU-territory to neighboring non-EU states, erratic movements across borders and territories of the (Western) Balkan states, or desperate journeys back to Greece and then back to the north became everyday realities. In the same period, the route proliferated into more branches, especially a new one via Bosnia and Herzegovina. This proliferation lead to a heightened circulation of practices, people, and knowledge along these paths: a mushrooming of so-called ›jungle camps‹ in Bosnia and Herzegovina, an escalation of border violence in Croatia, chain push-backs from Slovenia, significant EU financial investments into border control in Croatia and camp infrastructures in neighboring countries, the deployment of Frontex in Albania, etc. As the actual itineraries of people on the move multiplied, people started to reach previously indiscernible spots, resulting in blurring of the differences between entering and exiting borders. Circular transit with many loops, involving moving forward and backwards, became the dominant form of migration movements in the region. It transformed the Balkan route into a »Balkan Circuit« (Stojić Mitrović/Vilenica 2019: 540; see also Stojić Mitrović/Ahmetašević/Beznec/Kurnik 2020). The topography changed from a unidirectional line to a network of hubs, accommodation, and socializing spots. In this landscape, some movements still remain invisible—undetected by actors aiming to support, contain, and even prevent migration. »We have no information about persons who have money to pay for the whole package, transfer, accommodation, food, medical assistance when needed, we have no idea how many of them just went further«, a former MSF employee stressed, »we only see those who reach for aid, who are poor or injured and therefore cannot immediately continue their journey.« Some movements are intentionally invisibilized by support groups in order to avoid unwanted attention, and, consequently, repressive measures have also become a common development in border areas where people on the move are waiting for their chance to cross. However, it seems that circular transnational migration of human beings, resulting directly from the securitarian practices of the European border regime, have also become a usual form of mobility in the region.

    The Balkan route as a whole has been increasingly made invisible to spectators from the EU in the last years. There were no mass media coverage, except for reports on deplorable conditions in certain hubs, such as Belgrade barracks (Serbia), Vučjak camp (Bosnia and Herzegovina), or violent push-backs from Croatia that received global and EU-wide attention. However, this spectacularization was rarely directly attributed to the externalization of border control but rather more readily linked to an presumed inability of the Balkan states to manage migration, or to manage it without the blatant use of violence.

    As Marta Stojić Mitrović and Ana Vilenica (2019) point out, practices, discourses, knowledge, concepts, technologies, even particular narratives, organizations, and individual professionals are following the changed topography. This is evident both in the securitarian and in the humanitarian sector: Frontex is signing or initiating cooperation agreements with non-EU member Balkan states, border guards learn from each other how to prevent movements or how to use new equipment, obscure Orbanist legislative changes and institutionalized practices are becoming mainstream, regional coordinators of humanitarian organizations transplant the same ›best practices‹ how to work with migrants, how to organize their accommodation, what aid to bring and when, and how to ›deal‹ with the local communities in different nation-states, while the emergency framework travels from one space to another. Solidarity groups are networking, exchanging knowledge and practices but simultaneously face an increased criminalization of their activities. The public opinion in different nation states is shaped by the same dominant discourses on migration, far-right groups are building international cooperations and exploit the same narratives that frame migrants and migration as dangerous.
    About the Issue

    This issue of movements highlights the current situation of migration struggles along this fragmented, circular, and precarious route and examines the diverse attempts by the EU, transnational institutions, countries in the region, local and interregional structures, and multiple humanitarian actors to regain control over the movements of migration after the official closure of the humanitarian-securitarian corridor in 2016. It reflects on the highly dynamic and conflicting developments since 2015 and their historical entanglements, the ambiguities of humanitarian interventions and strategies of containment, migratory tactics of survival, local struggles, artistic interventions, regional and transnational activism, and recent initiatives to curb the extensive practices of border violence and push-backs. In doing so, the issue brings back the region on the European agenda and sheds light on the multiple historical disruptions, bordering practices, and connectivities that have been forming its presence.

    EU migration policy is reaffirming old and producing new material borders: from border fences to document checks—conducted both by state authorities and increasingly the general population, like taxi drivers or hostel owners—free movement is put in question for all, and unwanted movements of migrants are openly violently prevented. Violence and repression toward migrants are not only normalized but also further legalized through transformations of national legislation, while migrant solidarity initiatives and even unintentional facilitations of movement or stay (performed by carriers, accommodation providers, and ordinary citizens) are increasingly at risk of being criminalized.

    In line with this present state, only briefly tackled here, a number of contributions gathered in this issue challenge normative perceptions of the restrictive European border regime and engage in the critical analysis of its key mechanisms, symbolic pillars, and infrastructures by framing them as complex and depending on context. Furthermore, some of them strive to find creative ways to circumvent the dominance of linear or even verbal explication and indulge in narrative fragments, interviews, maps, and graphs. All contributions are focused and space- or even person-specific. They are based on extensive research, activist, volunteer or other involvement, and they are reflexive and critical towards predominant perspectives and views.

    Artist and activist Selma Banich, in her contribution entitled »Shining«, named after one of her artistic intervention performed in a Zagreb neighborhood, assembles notes and reflections on her ongoing series of site-specific interventions in Zagreb made of heat sheet (hallmarks of migrants’ rescue boats and the shores of Europe) and her personal notes in which she engages with her encounters with three persons on the move or, rather, on the run from the European border control regime. Her contribution, formulated as a series of fragments of two parallel lines, which on the surface seem loosely, but in fact deeply, connected, speaks of the power of ambivalence and of the complexities of struggles that take place everyday on the fringes of the EU. Andrea Contenta visualizes and analyzes camps that have been mushrooming in Serbia in the recent years with a series of maps and graphs. The author’s detailed analysis—based on a critical use of available, often conflicting, data—shows how Serbia has kept thousands of people outside of the western EU territory following a European strategy of containment. Contenta concludes his contribution with a clear call, stating: »It is not only a theoretical issue anymore; containment camps are all around us, and we cannot just continue to write about it.« Serbia, and Belgrade in particular, is of central importance for transmigration through the Balkans. On a micro-level, the maps of Paul Knopf, Miriam Neßler and Cosima Zita Seichter visualize the so-called Refugee District in Belgrade and shed light on the transformation of urban space by transit migration. On a macro-level, their contribution illustrates the importance of Serbia as a central hub for migrant mobility in the Balkans as well as for the externalization of the European border regime in the region. The collective efforts to support the struggle of the people on the move—by witnessing, documenting, and denouncing push-backs—are presented by the Push-Back Map Collective’s self-reflection. In their contribution to this issue, the Push-Back Map Collective ask themselves questions or start a dialogue among themselves in order to reflect and evaluate the Push-Back map (www.pushbackmap.org) they launched and maintain. They also investigate the potentials of political organizing that is based on making an invisible structure visible. The activist collective Info Kolpa from Ljubljana gives an account of push-backs conducted by the Slovenian police and describes initiatives to oppose what they deem as systemic violence of police against people on the move and violent attempts to close the borders. The text contributes to understanding the role of extralegal police practices in restoring the European border regime and highlights the ingenuity of collectives that oppose it. Patricia Artimova’s contribution entitled »A Volunteer’s Diary« could be described as a collage of diverse personal notes of the author and others in order to present the complexity of the Serbian and Bosnian context. The genre of diary notes allows the author to demonstrate the diachronic line presented in the volunteers’ personal engagements and in the gradual developments occurring in different sites and states along the route within a four-year period. She also traces the effects of her support for people on the move on her social relations at home. Emina Bužinkić focuses on the arrest, detention, and deportation of a non-EU national done by Croatia to show the implications of current securitization practices on the everyday lives and life projects of migrants and refugees. Based on different sources (oral histories, official documentation, personal history, etc.), her intervention calls for direct political action and affirms a new genre one could provisionally call ›a biography of a deportation‹. In her »Notes from the Field« Azra Hromadžić focuses on multiple encounters between the locals of Bihać, a city located in the northwestern corner of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and people on the move who stop there while trying to cross into Croatia and the EU. Some of the sections and vignettes of her field notes are written as entries describing a particular day, while others are more anthropological and analytical reflections. Her focus lies on the local people’s perspectives, the dynamics of their daily encounters with migrants and alleged contradictions, philigram distinctions, as well as experiences of refugeeness that create unique relationships between people and histories in Bihać. Karolína Augustová and Jack Sapoch, activists of the grassroots organization No Name Kitchen and members of the Border Violence Monitoring Network, offer a systematized account of violence towards people on the move with their research report. The condensed analysis of violent practices, places, victims, and perpetrators of the increasingly securitized EU border apparatus is based on interviews conducted with people on the move in border areas with Croatia, Šid (Serbia) and Velika Kladuša (BiH). They identify a whole range of violence that people on the move are facing, which often remains ignored or underestimated, and thus condoned, in local national settings as well as on the EU and global level. They conclude that border violence against people on the move cannot be interpreted as mere aggression emanating from individuals or groups of the police but is embedded in the states’ structures.

    We also gathered scientific papers discussing and analyzing different aspects of the corridor and the years thereafter. In their article, Andrej Kurnik and Barbara Beznec focus on assemblages of mobility, which are composed of practices of migrants and local agencies that strive to escape what the authors call ›the sovereign imperative‹. In their analysis of different events and practices since 2015, they demonstrate how migratory movements reveal the hidden subalternized local forms of escape and invigorate the dormant critique of coloniality in the geopolitical locations along the Balkan route. In their concluding remarks, the authors ask to confront the decades-long investments into repressive and exclusionary EU migration policies and point to the political potential of migration as an agent of decolonization. The authors stress that post-Yugoslav European borderland that has been a laboratory of Europeanization for the last thirty years, a site of a ›civilizing‹ mission that systematically diminishes forms of being in common based on diversity and alterity is placed under scrutiny again. Romana Pozniak explores the ethnography of aid work, giving special attention to dynamics between emotional and rational dimensions. Based primarily on interviews conducted with humanitarians employed during the mass refugee transit through the Balkan corridor, she analyzes, historizes, and contextualizes their experiences in terms of affective labor. The author defines affective labor as efforts invested in reflecting on morally, emotionally, and mentally unsettling affects. She deals with local employment measures and how they had an impact on employed workers. Pozniak discusses the figure of the compassionate aid professional by it in a specific historical context of the Balkan corridor and by including personal narrations about it. The article of Robert Rydzewski focuses on the situation in Serbia after the final closure of the formalized corridor in March 2016. Rydzewski argues that extensive and multidirectional migrant movements on the doorstep of the EU are an expression of hope to bring a ›stuckedness‹ to an end. In his analysis, he juxtaposes the representations of migrant movements as linear with migrant narratives and their persistent unilinear movement despite militarized external European Union borders, push-backs, and violence of border guards. Rydzewsky approaches the structural and institutional imposition of waiting with the following questions: What does interstate movement mean for migrants? Why do migrants reject state protection offered by government facilities in favor of traveling around the country? In her article, Céline Cantat focuses on the Serbian capital Belgrade and how ›solidarities in transit‹ or the heterogeneous community of actors supporting people on the move emerged and dissolved in the country in 2015/2016. She analyzes the gradual marginalization of migrant presence and migration solidarity in Belgrade as an outcome of imposing of an institutionalized, official, camp-based, and heavily regulated refugee aid field. This field regulates the access not only to camps per se, but also to fundings for activities by independent groups or civil sector organizations. Teodora Jovanović, by using something she calls ›autoethnography of participation‹, offers a meticulous case study of Miksalište, a distribution hub in Belgrade established in 2015, which she joined as a volunteer in 2016. The transformation of this single institution is examined by elaborating on the transformation within the political and social contexts in Serbia and its capital, Belgrade, regarding migration policies and humanitarian assistance. She identifies three, at times intertwined, modes of response to migration that have shaped the development of the Miksalište center in corresponding stages: voluntarism, professionalization, and re-statization. She connects the beginning and end of each stage of organizing work in Miksalište by investigating the actors, roles, activities, and manners in which these activities are conducted in relation to broader changes within migration management and funding.

    Finishing this editorial in the aftermath of brutal clashes at the borders of Turkey and Greece and in the wake of the global pandemic of COVID-19—isolated in our homes, some of us even under curfew—we experience an escalation and normalization of restrictions, not only of movement but also of almost every aspect of social and political life. We perceive a militarization, which pervades public spaces and discourses, the introduction of new and the reinforcement of old borders, in particular along the line of EU external borders, a heightened immobilization of people on the move, their intentional neglect in squats and ›jungles‹ or their forceful encampment in deplorable, often unsanitary, conditions, where they are faced with food reductions, violence of every kind, and harrowing isolation. At the same time, we witness an increase of anti-migrant narratives not only spreading across obscure social networks but also among high ranked officials. Nonetheless, we get glimpses of resistance and struggles happening every day inside and outside the camps. Videos of protests and photos of violence that manage to reach us from the strictly closed camps, together with testimonies and outcries, are fragments of migrant agency that exist despite overwhelming repression.

    https://movements-journal.org/issues/08.balkanroute
    #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #asile #migrations #réfugiés #revue #humanitarisme #espoir #attente #mobilité #Belgrade #Serbie #solidarité #Miksaliste #Bihac #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #encampement #corridor #cartographie #visualisation

  • UN official: Bosnia authorities expose migrants to suffering

    With harsh weather fast approaching, the number of migrants and refugees who are sleeping rough in Bosnia keeps rising because of the persistent refusal by authorities at different levels of government in the country to coordinate their work and embrace “rational” solutions, a U.N. migration official said Thursday.

    Peter Van der Auweraert, the Western Balkans coordinator and Bosnia representative of the International Organization for Migration, told The Associated Press that instead of helping the U.N. agency to expand accommodation for migrants, some local authorities in the country are now even restricting access to housing that is already available.

    Of around 8,500 migrants stuck in Bosnia, 2,500 are forced to sleep outside “in squats, forests, streets (and) abandoned buildings,” mostly in the northwestern Krajina region, which shares a highly porous 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) border with European Union member Croatia.

    “What is the sad part of this is that this is absolutely unnecessary in the sense that we have financial resources, provided mostly by the European Union, to provide (for) and take care of all those people,” Van der Auweraert told the AP in an interview.

    “I have a center (in Krajina) for 1,500 people. Local authorities only allow me to have 500. I could get 1,000 people tomorrow from the street, inside this center, but I am not allowed to do so,” he added.

    Bosnian authorities weren’t immediately available for comment.

    In 2017, Bosnia became a bottleneck for thousands of migrants from the Middle East, Asia and North Africa seeking better lives in Europe when other nations closed off their borders.

    The EU has so far provided Bosnia with 60 million euros ($70 million) in emergency funding, most notably for seven migrant centers, including six in Krajina, which can house more than 7,000 people.

    For its part, Bosnia has repeatedly promised, and failed, to identify additional suitable public properties for temporary accommodation of migrants. Instead, decrying an alleged failure by other parts of the country to share the load of the lingering crisis, Krajina authorities recently begun emptying some of the existing reception centers there. They pushed people on the move out of urban areas and abandoned them in forests to fend for themselves. In response, police forces of adjacent regions started blocking migrants from walking back to their areas.

    The sight of thousands of homeless people, with no access to medical care or sometimes even food, increases a sense of insecurity among the local population and has apparently led to a proliferation of vigilante groups that are threatening the migrants with violence.

    Van der Auweraert said Bosnia had “a few weeks to come together” to decide “in a rational manner” to deal with the migration situation at hand.

    “If we do not do that, we will have a humanitarian crisis in a month’s time ... we will have people sleeping in the snow, including this time families and children,” he said.

    Forced to stay in a makeshift camp set up by some 300 migrants and refugees in a forest not far from the northwestern town of Velika Kladusa, where they had been dropped off and abandoned by local police, Amin Hasan Han, a migrant from Bangladesh, echoed those concerns.

    “Winter is coming, people are living under tents,” Han said, adding: “Also, we are starving … people cannot get food.”

    https://apnews.com/article/europe-united-nations-d60adc0b6742c3c1299cee4308312adb
    #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #route_des_Balkans #Balkans #asile #migrations #réfugiés #logement #hébergement #SDF #sans-abri #Krajina #aide_financière

    ping @isskein @karine4

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • RÉFUGIÉS SUR LA ROUTE DES BALKANS : LE RÈGNE DE LA VIOLENCE ET DU SILENCE

    Des exilés tués dans les camps financés par l’UE, maltraités et marqués à la peinture par la police croate, des camps de réfugiés qui ressemblent de plus en plus à des « camps de concentration »… La situation ne cesse de se détériorer tout au long de la route des Balkans. Entretien avec la journaliste Nidžara Ahmetašević.

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Refugies-sur-la-route-des-Balkans-le-regne-de-la-violence-et-du-s

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #camp #violencespolicières #frontière #Serbie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Croatie

  • Info Park
    Weekly
    20 – 26 May 2020

    Serbia
    ➢ After the lockdown measures were lifted, the number of refugees and other migrants visible in the parks and streets of Savamala district has been increasing daily. Info
    Park mobile team has registered a daily average of 160 people on the move in the area, which is higher than the week before and corresponds to the numbers before
    the state of emergency. By the end of the week, police officers returned to Park Luke Celovica, commencing raids, and bringing migrants without permits to governmentrun centers to leave the camps back. Info Park registered 534 push backs from Hungary –the high number reflecting return to pre-pandemic dynamics in the border
    zone.
    ➢ Ministry of Defense published a public procurement for 2.5 tons of razor-wire intended for fencing the reception and asylum centers in Serbia. Info Park issued a press statement joined by A11 Initiative, PIN, Alternative Center for Girls and Collective Aid, calling the Ministry to immediately withdraw the public procurement
    and return its activities within their constitutional framework. Moreover, the organizations called upon the European Commission to react and inform the
    authorities in Belgrade that these actions are derogating the efforts undertaken in Serbia’s accession process towards the European Union, within chapters 23 and 24.
    Full statement is available here.
    ➢ According to Serbian media, a person from Valjevo was arrested for spreading national and racial hatred towards migrants in the text on newly established website owned by the detainee. The website article reads that a new refugee camp for 10,000 migrants will open in Valjevo should the ruling Progressives win the forthcoming
    elections.
    ➢ Belgrade Center for Human Rights issued a press statement informing the public on the inadmissible conduct of the Bogovadja Asylum Centre security guards, who verbally and physically abused an unaccompanied child accommodated there. The
    BCHR pressed criminal charges against the guards.
    ➢ The updated AIDA 2019 Country Report on Serbia documents the main developments in asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and the Covid-19 measures. Read the full country report here.

    Croatia
    ➢ Portal Novosti reported on the latest in a series of attempts of Croatian authorities to curb migration in the country. Reportedly, the Croatian state enterprise for forest management carried out deforestation on the heights of the Plješivica mountain and near the former Yugoslav National Army airport Željava, along the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Croatian police allegedly did not deny it but said they aimed to control better the entry of refugees and other migrants from BiH.

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    ➢ During the previous week, a group of migrants accidentally initiated a fire in an abandoned hall near Miral RC in Velika Kladusa. On 18 May the special police forces
    entered the hall and used physical violence against a group of migrants found there and forced them to leave the place. The video of the incident was published on the
    YouTube. Association for Democratic Initiatives (ADI) and Civil Rights Defenders (CRD) released a joint statement and condemned the violation of human rights and
    use of violence against migrants. Afterwards the cantonal police conducted an internal investigation and concluded there was no excessive use of violence in the
    action.

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Serbie #Croatie

  • [Google Translate]

    Eid lunch for migrants in Zenica: They have a special place in our hearts

    The Majlis of the Islamic Community of Zenica, in cooperation with the Kocevo Jamaat, today organized an Eid lunch for more than 20 migrants in Zenica, all with the aim of spreading the Eid atmosphere and helping occasional travelers.
    This is the first time that the Majlis of the Islamic Community of Zenica has organized such an activity with the aim of helping migrants, travelers to the European Union, who are stuck in our country due to the impossibility of moving to neighboring Croatia.

    Considering that they are far from their countries, without families, the Majlis decided to give them warmth on this Eid, so that in the congregation of Kočevo with the host Ismet ef. About 20 of Bašić had an Eid lunch, and they also received hedi.

    Basic said that this is a novelty and that most likely other majlises and levels of the Islamic Community of BiH will accept this practice.

    "Apart from this activity, we have previously collected stalls and aid for migrant centers. Bosniaks in this city have always been merhametli, and we wanted to brighten our cheeks and tell occasional travelers to have a special place in our hearts, houses and our city, "said ef. Basic for Klix.ba.

    He added that the citizens of BiH are most invited to be an example to other people of how to treat this population of people because we ourselves were passengers a few years ago, but still today.

    "They often repeat in conversation that they left their countries because of the economy, disrespect for human rights, denied freedom and democracy. They want to reach European countries. I think you will agree, and I myself have lived in Arab countries for a long time, that Muslims in BiH has great freedom, which can be seen through the sermons because no one delegates to us what we will talk about, while it is not in Islamic countries, we helped this population through our traveling iftar activity during Ramadan. “10 migrants worshiped iftars and monetary hedias. This activity today is the crown of our human obligation to man, especially to those in need,” our interlocutor added.

    Jamaat members, but also the citizens of Zenica, help migrants every day, but they cannot fulfill all their wishes.

    "In the days of Eid, nostalgia is felt, they say that they miss their homeland, family, parents, family ... Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if we were so persistent and tried in some things like them, where would we end up … ”, Concluded Bašić.

    After the Eid lunch, the migrants cleaned the courtyard of the mosque.

    https://www.klix.ba/vijesti/bih/bajramski-rucak-za-migrante-u-zenici-imaju-posebno-mjesto-u-nasem-srcu/200525071

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Zenica #Eid

  • [Google Translate]

    The imams of Mostar shared the joy of Eid with the migrants and the local priest

    Today, three Mostar imams from the area of ​​Bijelo Polje shared the joy of Eid with the migrants in Salakovac and with the local priest, who visited and treated them to Eid delicacies.
    The arrival of the Mostar imams in the IPC Salakovac caused great joy among the migrants, and they especially cheered up the children to whom they distributed Eid packages and lit up their faces with smiles.

    As the imam of the Podgorani-Humi-Prigrađani congregation, Admir ef. Čopelj, told us, with the help of good people, they prepared 750 packages, of which 50 were distributed to children in the IPC Salakovac and 700 to the children of the congregation from Bijelo Polje.

    Thus, during the past three days in the area of ​​Bijelo Polje, three imams knocked on many doors of their congregation members. They brought joy to many homes and caused smiles on the faces of many children, surprising them with Ramadan packages.

    “As we could not gather the children in one place due to the pandemic, we decided that everyone in their congregation would knock on the door and deliver the packages to their home address, which made them very happy,” said Admir ef. Shoe. The goal was, as he emphasizes, for the children to remember this Ramadan and Eid in a beautiful memory and to see the smiles on their faces, which completes the Eid joy.

    Recalling that it is important to share the joy of Eid at all times, the imam of the Potoci congregation, Ammar Copelj, points out that this is especially important now, when people have been away from each other for almost more than two months, even their loved ones.

    “Slowly, these protection measures are diminishing and the concessions came at a time of joy to be together, and to feel that joy,” said Imam Ammar Copelj.

    However, due to protection measures, as the imam of the Kuti-Livač Ensar Vila congregation points out, they could not even organize a traditional reception, which was regularly attended by representatives of other religious communities. Therefore, as he explains, the three imams decided to bring Eid cakes together and visited the parish priest from Bijelo Polje, Nebojsa Radic, who welcomed them with enthusiasm.

    "This means a lot to me. We have been building a community and living together for a long time, through our Christmas celebrations they are always welcome with us and we with them for Eid. I think this is a message to our society that this is the only way we can build love between us and “A healthy coexistence and the life of our communities. This is a great joy both for the believers of the Islamic faith and for us to be able to share the joy of our holidays,” said Pastor Radić.

    https://www.klix.ba/vijesti/bih/mostarski-imami-radost-bajrama-podijelili-sa-migrantima-i-mjesnim-popom/200524060

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Mostar #Eid

  • [Google Translate]

    After the recording of the use of force against migrants in Miral: The results of the internal investigation are known

    An internal investigation was completed after a video of a police intervention in the Miral reception center and the use of force against migrants appeared.

    The Minister of Internal Affairs of the Una-Sana Canton (USK), Nermin Kljajić, said that the internal investigation confirmed that there was no violation of authority during one of the police interventions in Miral, which has been talked about a lot in recent days due to a controversial video on the Internet.

    "It was clearly established that the intervention of the police officers in this reception center was explicitly requested by the employees of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), since their lives were endangered. We simply had to act in that way and use physical force. Reasons for intervention. there were also aggressive behavior of migrants, disrespect for officials, causing incidents, and dangers in the camp itself, "the cantonal interior minister added.

    Kljajic also spoke about the overall situation when it comes to migrants.

    He said that the situation with migrants, ie a series of incidents and several burning abandoned buildings in Velika Kladuša, conditioned the increased police presence and controls.

    "As you know, several abandoned buildings in Velika Kladuša have been set on fire in recent days. We have not yet identified the perpetrators of these crimes, although we found migrants with valid Mirala residence cards in those facilities and moved them to this reception center.

    Further investigations will determine whether these arsons are actually the result of their dissatisfaction that we were doing our job. Also, I must say that the number of migrants on the streets of Velika Kladuša has significantly increased, for which there is no place in Miral. The complete situation dictates the intensified police controls - Kljajić added.

    Members of the Operational Group for the Situation with Migrants in Una-Sana Canton, due to all events and the complete situation, asked for the cooperation of the municipal authorities in Velika Kladuša, ie finding a location for the formation of a transitional center to accommodate migrants from Miral, abandoned buildings.

    https://radiosarajevo.ba/vijesti/bosna-i-hercegovina/nakon-snimka-primjene-sile-nad-migrantima-u-miralu-poznati-rezultati-interne-istrage/377964

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Miral #Camp #Violencespolicières #Velikakladusa

  • [Google Translate]

    Minister on police violence against migrants in Miral: We had to use force because they were aggressive

    The Minister of Internal Affairs of the Una-Sana Canton (USK), Nermin Kljajić, confirmed that the situation with migrants, ie incidents and several burning abandoned buildings in Velika Kladuša, conditioned the increased police presence and controls. He also referred to a video released a few days ago, which shows police beating migrants.
    "As you know, several abandoned buildings in Velika Kladuša have been set on fire in recent days. We have not yet identified the perpetrators of these crimes, although we found migrants with valid Mirala residence cards in these buildings and moved them to this reception center. “These burns are actually a consequence of their dissatisfaction that we did our job. I must also say that the number of migrants on the streets of Velika Kladuša has increased significantly, for which there is no place in Miral. The complete situation dictates increased police controls,” said Minister Kljajić. .

    It was also emphasized that the internal investigation confirmed that there was no abuse of power during one of the police interventions in Miral, which has been talked about a lot in recent days due to the controversial video on the Internet.

    "It was clearly established that the intervention of the police officers in this reception center was explicitly requested by the employees of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), since their lives were endangered. We simply had to act in that way and use physical force. Reasons for intervention. there were also aggressive behavior of migrants, disrespect for officials, causing incidents, and dangers in the camp itself, "the cantonal interior minister added.

    Due to all the events and the complete situation, the members of the Operational Group for the Situation with Migrants in Una-Sana Canton requested the cooperation of the municipal authorities in Velika Kladuša, ie finding a location for the formation of a transitional center to accommodate migrants from Miral and city streets. abandoned buildings.

    https://www.klix.ba/vijesti/bih/ministar-o-nasilju-policije-nad-migrantima-u-miralu-morali-smo-upotrijebiti-silu-jer-su-bili-agresivni/200522119

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Miral #Velikakladusa #Violence #Incendie

  • [Google Translate]

    Fazlić: If the stampede of migrants goes to Bihać, there will be more Vučjak

    The mayor of Bihać, Šuhret Fazlić, warned the authorities that, if a stampede of migrants enters this city, which no one will take care of, he will open five more Vučjak camps.

    Fazlic emphasized the importance of the presence of the EU Delegation, the European Commission and international organizations, without which, as he said, the situation would be chaotic.

    – We should all be professional and quickly continue the successful cooperation so far. Also, I must warn all actors in the process that I will not hesitate to open new Vučjak if Bihać is again exposed to the unbearable pressure of migrants and left to it - said Fazlić.

    The Prime Minister of Una-Sana Canton Mustafa Ružnić, mayors and mayors of Una-Sana Canton emphasized at today’s meeting the importance and success of the current cooperation with the European Commission and international organizations, but also reiterated that the interest of the citizens of that canton is always in the first place. uncompromisingly insists on closing the reception centers “Bira” and “Miral”.

    – We will be maximally professional in further actions, however, it must be clear to everyone that the Una-Sana Canton will not be a yard for solving the problem of migration in this part of Europe. We will not deal with any correspondence, but we will, in accordance with the constitutional powers, take care of the interests and security of our citizens - Ružnić pointed out.

    He mentioned that the closure of “Bira” and “Mirala” was ordered at a joint meeting in Brussels, where it was emphasized that the reception centers must not be in private facilities.

    It is clearly defined how the process of final closure of “Bire” will take place in two phases and that it has actually already begun.

    The Minister of Internal Affairs of the Una-Sana Canton, Nermin Kljajić, pointed out that in the past period, they blocked this reception center by reducing the number of service users from 2,100 people to the current 650 migrants.

    – In the first phase of the further process, we are relocating minors, after which we will transfer about 400 people to a reception camp at the Lipa site. I hope that we will finish everything very soon, and with professional action and with the support of international organizations, finally close the unconditional and undesirable camp in the center of Bihać - said Kljajić.

    The political representatives of the Una-Sana Canton are persistent in the request for the relocation of unaccompanied minors to reception centers outside that canton, federal media report.

    Cantonal Minister of Health Nermina Ćemalović stated that they are already in communication with the authorities for the reception centers Duje and Salakovac, where they want to relocate 150 minors who do not have adequate living conditions in the centers in the Una-Sana Canton.

    – In “Bira” and “Miral”, we currently have 23 children under the age of 15, which is inadmissible. Someone should really think about this big problem, which of course was left to us again in the canton - said Ćemalović.

    The importance of joint action in this situation was emphasized at the meeting, but also the belief that this time there will be support and cooperation between the Ministry of Security in the Council of Ministers and the line minister Fahrudin Radončić.

    https://lat.rtrs.tv/vijesti/vijest.php?id=385146

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Camp #Una-Sanacanton #Bihac

  • Call to Action: STOP FUNDING VIOLENCE NOW!

    https://transbalkanskasolidarnost.home.blog/stop-funding-violence-now

    May 27 – 29, 2020

    Transbalkan Solidarity invites you to participate in a 48-hour return-the-bullets-back protest campaign directed at the European Union and its decision-making bodies (the European Parliament, the European Council, the European Commission and the Council of the European Union), which are accountable for funding acts of systematic violence that amount to crimes against humanity.

    Why do we need to take action?

    Through the Internal Security Fund (ISF) allocated to Member States’ national programmes for law enforcement cooperation and the management of the union’s external borders, and the Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) cross-border collaboration programmes for non-member states, European Union is responsible for committing acts of violence against peoples that are residing, settling in or migrating to Europe by land or sea.

    Acts of violence occurring daily in more or less all the current camps, police stations, courtrooms, deportation centers, prisons and border areas in Europe:

    are not isolated or sporadic events but are a part of a wide systematic practice tolerated and condoned by our governments and the European Parliament,
    are funded by public funds,
    are a stable source of profit for privately-owned companies and shareholders,
    are reinforcing the arms industry, arms trade, and war economy,
    are direct degradation of the international humanitarian and human rights law, and subsequently the derogation of the right to asylum.
    Dehumanisation, deportations, extrajudicial punishments, kidnappings and forced disappearances, imprisonment, enslavement, human trafficking, torture, rape, political repression, racial discrimination and other human rights abuses experienced by people that reached Europe as migrants and refugees are a part of a widespread and systematic practice enforced by governmental policies and are conducted by law enforcement agencies, police and military forces, private security services, criminal groups, vigilante groups, judicial systems and other governmental bodies in Europe.

    Therefore, Transbalkan Solidarity holds the European Union’s decision-making bodies together with the Member States’ and non-member states’ governments accountable for:

    every bullet fired,
    every baton injury, every dog bite wound, every painful stitch,
    every drowning in the sea and rivers, every lack of rescue, every ban of docking,
    every tragic death, every disappearance, every family separation, every pushback, every human trauma caused by hunger, thirst, humiliation, and pain,
    every illegalisation and criminalisation of human existence,
    every criminalisation of activism and solidarity,
    all the acts of violence committed in the name of racial bias and xenophobic prejudice,
    all the acts of violence committed in the name of territory governance and border management,
    all the acts of violence committed in the name of profit!
    How to participate in the campaign?

    return the bullet that killed hope back (photo attached) to the European Commission at
    Secretariat-General, Ursula von der Leyen (president):

    ec-president-vdl@ec.europa.eu

    Migration and Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson (commissioner):

    cab-johansson-contact@ec.europa.eu

    Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi (commissioner):

    cab-varhelyi-contact@ec.europa.eu

    If you are concerned about your privacy, open a new email address.

    share the bullet that killed hope (photo attached) on your social media with hashtags
    #stopfundingviolence, #thisbulletkilledhope, #protestcampaign, #transbalkansolidarity, #europeancommission #eu

    distribute this call to action among your comrades and in your community
    return and/or share a bullet that killed hope anytime between May 27 – 29, 2020
    Take action now! Return the bullet that killed hope back to those who are funding it!

    Transbalkan Solidarity

    _

    Why do we organize this protest campaign?

    “They were just following orders” is the most common justification of violence we get, known as the Nuremberg Defense. But we are asking back: Whose orders? Whose funds?

    Who ordered the acts of violence against the kids in Bogovađa in Serbia this May, the violence against the people under protection in Obrenovac camp in Serbia and the beatings and the application of tear gas indoors in Krnjača camp in Serbia this April? Who gave orders for the urgent acquisition of razor wire for enclosing the camps in Serbia or fencing off the Porin camp in Zagreb in Croatia? Who ordered the use of lethal force of private security personnel and the consequent death of Ahmed from Kurdistan in camp Ušivak in Hadžići in Bosnia and Herzegovina in early May? Who ordered the forced transfers from camp to camp in Bosnia and Serbia? Who ordered the state-administered burning of personal possessions in Velika Kladuša in Bosnia and Herzegovina? Who ordered the access restrictions to prevent entry into the Bosnia camps that led to the tragic death of Ahmed from Morocco in Miral camp near Velika Kladuša? Who gave orders for random beatings in Miral camp this May, or regular cruelty of Croatian police and countless pushbacks, dog attacks, and injuries to the people? Who gave the order to stamp people on the move with the red cross sprayed on their heads and bodies? Who gave and funded those orders? Who ordered firearms shots at people on the move on multiple occasions, including children? Who ordered to let the dogs out? Who?

    There is no end to such horrible acts that were committed in the very short time of the Covid-19 lockdown? What fascists think and talk, the European Union’s decision-making bodies are funding and implementing, or is it the other way around? Such politics and crimes are shaping public opinion and encouraging hate speech, hate crimes, the recruitment of white supremacists and fascism. “Strike the scum, strike the animals,“ has become a normalized and widely accepted way of social commenting on every news of violence committed against the people on the move. It is those who are there to officially promote universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe who are committing these acts and should be held accountable.

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Serbie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Croatie

  • [Google translate]

    NGO: What is the reason for the army in the migrant camps, there were no incidents

    Women in Black, A11 - The Initiative for Economic and Social Rights and Info Park today strongly condemned the engagement of the Serbian Army in the refugee centers in Sid, Principovac and Adasevci.

    “We believe that there are no reasons for such a thing and that by sending members of the Ministry of Defense, they will further militarize the refugee tragedy in Serbia,” the statement reads.

    These non-governmental organizations estimate that bringing the Serbian Army to refugee centers in western Serbia encourages a climate of racism and fascist attacks frequent even before the introduction of the state of emergency, which culminated in the recent attack in Obrenovac during this period.

    With the introduction of the state of emergency on March 15, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers were deprived of basic human rights in reception centers and asylum centers, all in the name of alleged protection from the kovida-19 epidemic, the statement said. The arrival in Sid and the appearances of the Minister of Defense Aleksandar Vulin and the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Army, Petar Cvetković, as well as the presence of the Chief of the Military Police Directorate, General Rajko Milovanović, on May 17, only raised the already high degree of militarization of state bodies. an atmosphere of “finding the culprit”.

    The reference of the Minister and the General to the orders from the “Supreme Commander of the Serbian Army, Aleksandar Vučić”, after the lifting of the state of emergency, shows that it is, in fact, still in force. As it is stated, it is not at all clear what is the reason for the explanation of the Ministry of Defense that the army was engaged in the migrant camp to ’help the police’, because since the lifting of the state of emergency, the police have not identified any incidents caused by migrants.

    It was said that these highest security measures were introduced as a kind of prevention, and in order to make the citizens of Shida, but also the residents of the migrant camp, feel safer.

    The manifestation of such a high, and obviously unnecessary level of state power, can only increase the feeling of threat and danger among the citizens of Shida and among migrants and refugees who are “secured” in such a way, the Women in Black, A11 - Initiative for Economic and Social Rights and Info Park.

    http://rs.n1info.com/Vesti/a601102/NVO-Sta-je-povod-za-vojsku-u-migrantskim-kampovima-nije-bilo-incidenata.h

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Manifestation

  • Bosnia to Probe Alleged Police Brutality in Migrant Camp

    SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Bosnian authorities will hold an internal investigation into police conduct at a U.N.-run migrant camp in the country after a video emerged this week allegedly showing a group of police savagely beating a camp resident.

    In a statement Friday, the United Nations resident office in Bosnia welcomed the announcement, saying Bosnian authorities must “at all times abide by local laws as well as international human rights norms and standards.”

    The U.N. had previously requested an immediate investigation of the incident which allegedly occurred earlier this month at the Miral camp, in the northwestern city of Velika Kladusa. Local police initially dismissed accusations of brutality, saying they were called to the camp to pacify a hostile, stone-throwing crowd during a protest by migrants over movement restrictions due to the pandemic.

    The 30-second video uploaded on YouTube and shared by various Balkan news outlets allegedly showed a group of police approaching a random migrant in an apparently peaceful section of the camp and hitting the young man with fists and batons.

    Bosnian authorities have recently grown increasingly hostile to thousands of migrants trapped in the country, with security minister Fahrudin Radonicic proposing in April to start deporting them en masse. Many migrants enter Bosnia illegally in hope of continuing their journey towards Europe’s prosperous heartland through neighboring Croatia, a European Union member.

    The U.N. migration organization, IOM, which manages all temporary migrant accommodation centers in Bosnia, has been reporting serious overcrowding since mid-March when police started rounding up migrants who had been sleeping rough in the streets and driving them to its facilities.

    Thanks for reading The Times.
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    Authorities said at the time they had to move migrants off the streets as part of measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Migrants who have since not been allowed to leave the camps, not even to go to a shop, say authorities are unjustly depriving them of their freedom.

    IOM camps in Bosnia currently house 6,200 people, or nearly 20% more than before the advent of the pandemic in the country in mid-March.

    https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2020/05/22/world/europe/ap-eu-bosnia-un-migrants.html

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Velikakladusa #Miral #Camp #Violencespolicières #

  • [Google TRanslate]

    Migrants caused large fires in two abandoned buildings in Velika Kladuša

    Migrants caused large fires in two abandoned buildings in the area of ​​Velika Kladuša yesterday, which is not a rare occurrence in this city in the extreme northwest of BiH, the Ministry of the Interior of the Una-Sana Canton confirmed to us.
    “These are incidents in which garbage and tires were set on fire. Firefighters reacted quickly and extinguished the fires, so that the buildings did not burn completely. They normally light fires in abandoned buildings and halls, so such incidents often happen,” they said. are from the MUP USK.

    https://www.klix.ba/vijesti/crna-hronika/migranti-izazvali-velike-pozare-u-dva-napustena-objekta-u-velikoj-kladusi/200519008

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Velikakladusa #Bâtimentabandonné #Incendie

  • [Google TRanslate]

    How many migrants are currently staying in Tuzla and who is helping them?

    After about 500 migrants were transferred from the bus station in Tuzla to the Blažuj barracks in Sarajevo in mid-March, the migrant situation in Tuzla is much better. According to the TK Ministry of the Interior, 700 migrants were registered in this canton in March, only five in April, and an increase again this month.

    Only yesterday, 17 migrants were registered in Tuzla. Among them is 17-year-old Osama Amir from Yemen. He says that he entered BiH from Serbia with two other friends.

    And from October last year to March this year, about 700 underage migrants like Amir, who were found in BiH unaccompanied by their parents, were registered in TK. They are assisted by non-governmental organizations in Tuzla.

    “The country of children does this by having the mobile team identify the minors in the field, their needs, the situation they are in and we continue to refer them to the other actors in this story. We provide them with help in food, food items that they need “, says Sahiba Srna, a representative of the Association of Citizens” Land of Children of BiH ".

    What is a problem for the non-governmental sector is the decree of the City Administration of Tuzla and the Ministry of Security of BiH, according to which no one except the Red Cross is allowed to distribute food to migrants in an organized manner.

    “We received an answer from the Cantonal Civil Protection Headquarters to the inquiry about the distribution of food to people on the move, which states that there are no obstacles, if the prescribed measures are followed, such as gloves, mask, social distance,” said Danijel Vasilj from the Service Center. in the community “Snail”.

    The center of Puž says that the police prevented them from sharing food several times, which they also informed the Council of Ministers about. After the closure of the Tuzla office for foreigners, most migrants just pass through the city and go to EU countries. Only five migrant arrivals were recorded in April. The number will increase in May, which is expected because the restrictive measures of the competent authorities have been lifted.

    According to the non-governmental sector, more than 100 migrants live in Tuzla every day, mostly in private homes, and some in abandoned buildings. So far, seven migrants have expressed a desire to stay and have sought asylum from BiH.

    Below you can see the complete story of our Vahidin Mujagić.

    https://okanal.oslobodjenje.ba/vijesti/video-koliko-migranata-trenutno-boravi-u-tuzli-i-ko-im-pruza-pomoc/22979

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Camp #Tuzla

  • [Google Translate] 

    OPERATIONAL GROUP MEETS: IOM IS REQUIRED TO PREPARE THE LIPA LOCATION FOR THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE REMAINING MIGRANTS FROM THE VILLAGE CAMP!

    The Prime Minister of the USC, Mustafa Ružnić, convened today in Bihać an extended meeting of the Operational Group for Coordination of Activities and Supervision of the Migrant Crisis in the USC area, which was attended by representatives of the IOM and the UNHCR.

    Members of the Task Force analyzed the activities carried out to monitor the situation and measures taken to prevent and early detection of possible cases of new coronavirus (COVID -19), which included restricting the movement of users of temporary reception centers Bira in Bihac and Miral in Velika Kladuša and additional protection measures within the temporary reception centers and, in cooperation with the City Administration of Bihać, the commissioning of a transit camp at the Lipa location, for which there was already an agreement and to which migrants who were outside organized reception camps in Bihać and whose uncontrolled movement endangered the measures taken to preserve the health and epidemiological situation in the Canton.

    In this way, it is possible to establish both a safety and a system for monitoring infectious diseases in migrant shelters and timely detection of the health condition of one or a group of patients that can endanger the health of a large number of people and requires rapid intervention.

    The operational group of the group for coordination of activities and supervision over the migrant crisis in the area of ​​Una-Sana Canton adopted the following conclusions today with the aim of further preserving the security and health-epidemiological situation:

    1. The Task Force remains consistent in implementing the conclusions of the Una-Sana Canton Assembly, which imply that only the temporary camps Borići in Bihać and Sedra in Cazin, which house vulnerable categories, remain in operation. Camp Bira in Bihać, after the location outside the populated area has been created, must be closed immediately. The IOM is required to prepare the Lipa site for the reception of the remaining migrants from Camp Bira.

    2. Competent organizations, primarily UNICEF, are required, this time with a deadline of 21 May, to relocate migrant children, housed in inadequate conditions at Camp Bira in Bihac, to other centers outside Una-Sana Canton. Otherwise, this organization will have to take responsibility for underage migrants, after the final closure of Camp Bira.

    3. In order to further preserve the security and health-epidemiological situation, strict control of internal traffic and circulation of the migrant population by public transport is still required in order to prevent the spread of the disease that may endanger the health of more people and rent private accommodation. The MUP USK and the Cantonal Administration for Inspection Affairs will take care of the implementation of these measures.

    4. The City Administration of Bihać is asked to urgently bring to an end the activities on the execution of obligations undertaken at the location of Lipa, primarily on the installation of fences and gates and water security.

    5. The Municipal Council of Velika Kladuša is requested to form a coordinating body that will cooperate with the Task Force and UN agencies and to initiate activities to determine the location with infrastructural prerequisites for the urgent establishment of a transitional camp outside the populated area of ​​Velika Kladuša. and relocating migrants from makeshift accommodations.

    6. Owners of residential and abandoned buildings, such as former production halls or unfinished buildings, where migrants stay without accommodation in existing camps, are required to take measures to physically protect the buildings within 72 hours.

    7. Strict monitoring of the activities of all organizations, individuals and NGOs that implement programs aimed at supporting the migrant population in partnership with UN agencies and the Central Committee of the KJA is required. Activities in illegal camps are prohibited to all unauthorized organizations and individuals, not approved by UN agencies and their partners or the USC Red Cross. The MUP USK is in charge of implementation.

    http://www.uskinfo.ba/vijest/zasjedala-operativna-grupa-od-iom-se-zahtijeva-da-pripremi-lokaciju-lipa-za-prihvat-preostalih-migranata-iz-kampa-bira/76128

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Camp

  • [Google Translate] 

    CONFIRMED FOR USKINFO.BA - MIGRANT DEATHED IN ATTEMPT TO ENTER CAMP MIRAL IN VELIKA KLADUŠA

    During an attempt to enter the Miral camp in Velika Kladuša, a migrant was killed last night.

    This information for USKinfo.ba was confirmed by the Velika Kladuša Health Center.

    Our coroner went out on the field and determined that it was an accidental death that occurred around 00:00. He got stuck between the bars, that is, the fence when trying to enter the camp. The cause is most likely suffocation, but more details should be confirmed by an autopsy, if they order it to be done. The Prosecutor’s Office and the police, who were on the ground, were informed, the Velika Kladuša Health Center told USKinfo.ba

    http://www.uskinfo.ba/vijest/potvrdeno-za-uskinfoba-migrant-smrtno-stradao-pri-pokusaju-ulaska-u-kamp-miral-u-velikoj-kladusi/76021

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Camp #Miral #Velikakladusa #Mort #Mineur