#bosnie-herzégovine

  • Increased deaths at the borders just before the decision on Croatia’s accession to Schengen

    Last week was marked by a series of information on dead bodies found at the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
    People who found themselves in the area around #Cazin (BiH), Crnaj recorded a dead body. It was a case of drowning, according to Bosnian media (https://www.klix.ba/vijesti/crna-hronika/obdukcija-pokazala-migrant-cije-je-tijelo-pronadjeno-kod-cazina-se-utopio/191004072).
    Similarly, a dead body was found in an abandoned house (http://m.pogled.ba/clanak/migrant-pronadjen-mrtav-u-napustenoj-kuci-kod-cazina/178716) /trailer in the #Osmanagici settlement in the Cazin area - the body was sent for an autopsy (https://medium.com/are-you-syrious/ays-daily-digest-9-10-19-violent-refugee-deaths-on-the-rise-in-bosnia-ca47a1) and the exact cause of death is still unknown.
    Another case of death occurred in the town of #Bileća, Todorići village, southern Bosnia and Herzegovina - when a local villager, a shepherd, shot a migrant he had encountered (in a group with other migrants) at a farmhouse not far away from a flock he was guarding. According to media reports (http://novilist.hr/Vijesti/Svijet/UBOJSTVO-KOD-BILECE-Ubio-migranta-pa-se-prijavio-policiji), there was an altercation between the locals and a group of migrants and the rifle fired, which ended up with one person getting shot and dying. The denial of access to the asylum system and closed borders result in all these deaths as a consequence. The fear that comes from these events affects people on the move and local communities in border areas. The restrictive EU policy that the Republic of Croatia obediently implements and follows threatens human security in the Balkans - and spreads fear at the same time.

    Cazin (Bosnie du Nord, proche de la frontière avec la Croatie) :

    #Bileca (Bosnie du Sud, proche de la frontière avec le Monténégro) :

    Reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa Dobrodosli, le 14.10.2019
    #mourir_aux_frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #route_des_Balkans #frontières #décès #morts ##Bileca

    Ajouté à cette liste :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/758646#message806449

  • EU supports Bosnia and Herzegovina in managing migration with additional €10 million

    On 19 August 2019, the European Commission adopted a decision to allocate €10 million of additional funds to support Bosnia and Herzegovina addressing the increased presence of migrants and refugees. This additional allocation brings the total EU funding for migration to Bosnia and Herzegovina to €34 million since the beginning of 2018.

    The EU funds will be mainly used to set up additional temporary reception centres and provide basic services and protection, including food and accommodation, access to water sanitation and hygiene.

    The EU will also continue improving the capacity of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s authorities for identification, registration and referral of third-country nationals crossing the border and for border control and surveillance, thereby also contributing to the fight against and prevention of migrant smuggling, trafficking in human beings and other types of cross-border crimes. It will also help the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the voluntary return of migrants to their countries of origin.

    Background

    Nearly 36,000 refugees and migrants entered Bosnia and Herzegovina since January 2018, according to official estimates. Approximately 7,400 refugees and migrants in need of assistance are currently present in the country, mostly in the Una-Sana Canton. Approximately 4,100 are accommodated in EU-funded temporary reception centres.

    Since 2007, the European Union has been providing assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina worth € 58.6 million in the area of migration and border management through the Instrument for pre-accession assistance. The country is also benefiting from the IPA regional programme ‘Support to Protection-Sensitive Migration Management’ worth up to €14.5 million.

    EU overall assistance already being implemented to Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2018 to cope with the increased migratory presence amounts to €24 million (€20.2 million from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance and €3.8 million of humanitarian aid). This supplementary allocation brings the total to €34 million. This is in addition to €24.6 million assistance the European Union has provided to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the area of asylum, migration and border management since 2007.

    http://europa.ba/?p=65185
    #EU #UE #Bosnie-Herzégovine #migrations #réfugiés #asile #aide_financière

    Aide à l’#accueil (dont #hébergement), mais évidemment aussi :

    The EU will also continue improving the capacity of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s authorities for identification, registration and referral of third-country nationals crossing the border and for border control and surveillance, thereby also contributing to the fight against and prevention of migrant smuggling, trafficking in human beings and other types of cross-border crimes.

    #contrôles_frontaliers #frontières #surveillance...
    Et aussi #identification #enregistrement...
    Encore une fois, donc, voici un bel exemple où sous couvert d’#aide_humanitaire, ce qu’on fait en réalité c’est... externaliser les contrôles frontaliers à un pays tiers... dans ce cas la Bosnie...
    Et #externalisation des procédures d’asile...

    J’ajoute à cette métaliste :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765335

    ping @isskein

  • Border Violence Monitoring Network - Report July 2019

    The Border Violence Monitoring Network just published a common report summarizing current developments in pushbacks and police violence in the Western Balkans, mainly in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and along the Serbian borders with Croatia and Hungary.

    Due tu a new cooperation with the Thessaloniki-based organisation Mobile Info Team, we were also able to touch on the Status quo of pushbacks from and to Greece.

    This report analyzes, among other things:

    – BiH politicians’ rhetoric on Croatian push-backs
    – Whistleblowers increasing pressure on Croatian authorities
    – Frontex presence in Hungarian push-backs to Serbia
    – The use of k9 units in the apprehension of transit groups in Slovenia
    – The spatial dispersion of push-backs in the Una-Sana Canton

    Competing narratives around the legality of pushbacks have emerged, muddying the waters. This has become especially clear as Croatian president Grabar-Kitarovic admitted that pushbacks were carried out legally, which is contradictory to begin with, and that “of course […] a little violence is used.” Croatia’s tactic of de facto condoning illegal pushbacks is similar to Hungary’s strategy to legalize these operations domestically, even though they violate international and EU law. On the other side of the debate, a whistleblower from the Croatian police described a culture of secrecy and institutional hurdles, which prevent legal and organizational challenges to the practice. The role of the EU in this debate remains critical. However, despite paying lip service to the EU’s value, Brussels’ continues to shoulder the bill for a substantial part of the frontier states’ border operations.

    https://www.borderviolence.eu/wp-content/uploads/July-2019-Final-Report.pdf

    #frontières #violence #push-back #refoulement #route_des_Balkans #Frontex #Subotica #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Croatie #Italie #Serbie #Hongrie #rapport

  • #Bosnie-Herzégovine : une journée ordinaire avec les #réfugiés oubliés de #Sarajevo

    Plus de 35 000 migrants et réfugiés sont entrés en Bosnie-Herzégovine depuis le début de l’année 2019. Ils sont chaque jour plus nombreux à tenter de franchir la frontière croate, malgré les coups et la violence. Car tous savent que le « jeu » est leur seule chance de rejoindre un jour l’Union européenne. Le reportage de Bilten à Sarajevo où la situation humanitaire ne fait qu’empirer.
    Quelque soit l’heure, le parc municipal de Hadžići, à Sarajevo, est toujours noir de monde. Les enfants jouent et les vieux conversent en les observant du coin de l’oeil. On pourrait penser qu’il s’agit d’un jour ordinaire, dans n’importe quel parc du monde, s’il n’y avait autant de jeunes, principalement des hommes, des sacs sur le dos, fatigués de regarder la vie passer devant eux. Personne ne semble avoir la force de lever les bras, personne n’a plus la force de sourire ou de parler. Depuis des jours ils dorment dans la rue, dans les parcs, dans des bâtiments abandonnés… Durant l’été, ils se lavent et font leurs lessives dans les rivières, le long des routes.

    Certains sont marqués dans leur chair. « Celle-là, elle vient de la police croate, celle-ci c’est la police bosniaque à Bihać, et celle-là à Sarajevo », raconte un jeune Marocain d’une vingtaine d’années, en détaillant les innombrables cicatrices de son corps. « Celle-ci, c’était dans la forêt, celle-ci vient de la sécurité du camp. Et celle-là, je l’ai faite moi-même. Ma soeur, c’est une vie difficile. » Omar passe sa seconde année en Bosnie-Herzégovine. Ou du moins il lui semble. Il a en tout cas arrêter de compter ses tentatives pour entrer dans l’Union européenne. « Quand j’ai un téléphone ou de l’argent, la police croate me confisque tout », explique-t-il. Retourner en arrière ? « Pas possible ».

    Pendant que nous discutons, assis sur un banc, Hasan, un Bosnien plus âgé nous adresse la parole. Il salue les gars d’un « Salam » et d’un bref signe de tête. Ces derniers mettent la main sur le cœur et retournent le « Salam ». Hasan commence à me parler : « J’aimerais bien parler avec eux mais je ne connais pas leur langue. Pour vous dire la vérité, je prendrais bien un café avec eux. Ce sont des enfants, je n’ai pas peur. J’entends ce qu’on dit à la télévision, mais je vois ce qui se passe ici. Ces enfants sont assis dans le parc et ils parlent. Personne ne m’a jamais rien fait. On se salue, et chacun vit sa vie », raconte ce vieil homme de bientôt 80 ans.
    « Le jeu »

    Hadžići est une banlieue de Sarajevo qui compte quelque 20 000 habitants, nichée au pied du mont Igman. Elle pourrait être jolie si son architecture n’était pas gâchée par des bâtiments modernes. Avant la guerre, près d’ici, à Ušivak, se trouvait une caserne de l’Armée populaire yougoslave (JNA), dans laquelle il y a avait un bunker souterrain où des armes étaient entreposées. Durant les combats, elle se trouvait sous la contrôle de l’armée de Republika Srpska, puis elle fut cédée à l’armée de la Fédération en 1996. Elle fut utilisée jusqu’en 2000 puis remise au gouvernement de Fédération, qui l’a enfin transférée en 2005 à la Croix-Rouge du canton de Sarajevo.

    Pendant des années, personne ne sut que faire de ce vaste espace, jusqu’en juin 2018, date à laquelle il fut décidé de transformer l’ancienne caserne en camp de réfugiés. La Croix-Rouge a remis les clefs du complexe au ministère de la Sécurité, qui gère aujourd’hui le camp avec l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM). Celui-ci était prévu pour accueillir 400 personnes, mais sa capacité fut dépassée dès le premier soir. Des préfabriqués de mauvaise qualité et des tentes furent ajoutés, si bien que le camp accueille en ce moment 900 personnes. Et de nouveaux réfugiés arrivent tous les jours.

    Comme tous les camps montés à la hâte, le camp de Hadžići est gris et laid, même s’il est entouré de verdure. L’OIM accorde l’entrée aux journalistes ou aux ONG qui s’y intéressent. L’enregistrement des réfugiés et des migrants est effectué par le service des étrangers du ministère de la Sécurité. On trouve dans le camp plusieurs organisations partenaires de l’OIM ou du HCR, et une agence d’assurance privée payée par l’OIM.

    Ali vient d’Afghanistan et vit dans l’un des préfabriqués, avec des familles nombreuses. Seuls quatre lits sont disponibles, sur lesquels dorment des femmes et des enfants. Les autres s’allongent par terre. L’espace est exigu, il n’y a qu’une fenêtre et il fait une chaleur intolérable à l’intérieur. La famille d’Ali n’est là que depuis deux semaines. Elle est arrivée de Grèce et est passée par la Macédoine, le Kosovo et la Serbie. Ces deux dernières semaines, Ali a déjà commencé le « game ». C’est ainsi que les réfugiés et les migrants désignent les tentatives de franchissement illégal de la frontière croate. La famille d’Ali a l’intention de demander l’asile dans l’UE.

    Ali s’est déjà rendu à Bihać, le jour où les autorités locales ont décidé de supprimer les droits de toutes les personnes en déplacement résidant sur le territoire de ce canton. Durant deux jours, la famille a dû se cacher de la police, craignant d’être repérés et d’être emmenés à Vučjak, un ancien site d’enfouissement de déchets, devenu selon les témoignages le pire des camps sur la route des Balkans, et certainement le pire de toute l’Europe.

    « Retournez en Bosnie ! Go back to Bosnia »

    Après deux jours de fuite, Ali et sa famille se sont dirigés vers la Croatie. « C’était terrible », raconte Ali. « La police nous a trouvés, nous a encerclés dans les bois, puis ils ont commencé à nous frapper. Ils nous ont emmenés à proximité d’un énorme feu, dans la forêt et nous ont obligé à jeter tout ce que nous avions, nos téléphones, notre nourriture, nos affaires personnelles... Tout. Nous les avons supplié de nous permettre de garder notre nourriture, mais ils ont refusé. Les enfants pleuraient. Une fille du groupe a laissé tomber ses lunettes. Le policier s’est approché et les a écrasées. Puis ils ont commencé à nous fouiller, en détail. Les hommes, les femmes, même les enfants. Ils nous ont touchés partout. Finalement, une camionnette est arrivée, ils nous ont enfermé dedans et ont mis la climatisation. Nous étions gelés. Quand ils nous ont laissé sortir, nous étions à la frontière et ils nous ont simplement dit de retourner en Bosnie. Nous avons dit que nous voulions demander l’asile en Croatie. Ils nous ont dit que ce n’était pas un pays pour nous et ont répété ’Go back to Bosnia’. Nous ne pouvions pas rester à Bihać, parce que les conditions de vie sont très mauvaises, alors nous sommes revenus ici. »

    Ali parle un anglais presque parfait et veut témoigner pour raconter ce que lui et sa famille ont vécu ces quatre dernières années. Ils sont restés sept mois dans un camp surpeuplé de l’île de Samos, dans des conditions extrêmement difficiles. Ils pensaient même qu’il ne pouvait pas exister pire. Mais ce qu’ils ont vécu en Bosnie-Herzégovine est encore plus terrible. « Nous n’avons pas le choix. Nous ne pouvons pas retourner en Afghanistan », explique Ali, alors que nous sommes assis dans un café de Hadžići. Il m’explique que les conditions de vie sont mauvaises au camp. Il dit que des gardes frappent des gens, qu’il n’y a pas assez de douches ni de toilettes, que les femmes n’ont pas le droit de traverser seules le camp, qu’il y a des gens qui volent et qui frappent... Il ajoute que tous sont fatigués et que tous cherchent seulement le moyen de franchir les frontières avant que l’UE ne les ferme totalement. Il ajoute que les gens à Hadžići sont bons avec eux. »

    Comme dans beaucoup d’autres endroits en Bosnie-Herzégovine, la population locale s’est organisée pour aider les réfugiés. Mais même les bonnes volontés se lassent. Amira, qui tient un magasin, raconte qu’au début les habitants d’Hadžići sont sortis dans la rue pour accueillir les réfugiés, qu’ils allaient au camp leur apporter de la nourriture et des vêtements, mais que l’ambiance a progressivement changé. « Nous ne pouvons pas porter tout ce poids, il sont trop nombreux. Nous n’avons même pas assez pour nous-mêmes. Je ne sais pas, vraiment je ne sais pas. Tout cela n’est pas bon… Ni pour eux, ni pour nous », s’inquiète-t-elle. Elle poursuit ce qu’on lit dans les médias en Bosnie-Herzégovine : « Ils volent, ils attaquent les femmes, les kidnappent, ils sont malades ». Elle affirme ne pas connaître personnellement quelqu’un ayant eu un problème, mais qu’elle a « entendu des histoires ».

    Sur l’un des bancs du parc, trois jeunes hommes, des enfants encore, sont assis à côté des balançoires et des toboggans. Leurs regards sont fatigués. Ils ont 17, 20 et 22 ans. Tous les trois ont quitté le Maroc il y a deux ans. Ils m’invitent à m’asseoir à côté d’eux. Alors que nous parlons, un homme plus âgé accompagné d’un enfant s’approche de nous et avec un grand sourire, serre la main des trois jeunes, et il dit au petit garçon de saluer aussi les jeunes hommes. Ces derniers ne le connaissent pas, mais ils sont heureux qu’il les ait abordés. Depuis 15 jours ils vivent dans les rues de Sarajevo et d’Hadžići car il n’y a pas de place dans le camp. Ils se faufilent parfois la nuit venue à travers la clôture pour dormir sur un lit et se doucher mais doivent repartir le matin venu.

    Ils n’ont pas encore tenté « le game » - et s’y préparent. « Je veux aller en Italie », dit l’un d’eux dans un très bon anglais. « Je dois me rendre en Italie et trouver un travail. Il n’y a pas de travail dans mon pays, les conditions de vie sont dangereuses. Mon frère est en Italie depuis sept ans et je veux juste le rejoindre. Je ne suis pas un voleur. Je veux juste aller où je peux vivre et retrouver mon frère », dit-il, les larmes aux yeux. Pudique, il tourne la tête. Je leur demande s’ils ont peur de passer par Bihać puis par la Croatie. Personne ne répond. « Nous n’avons pas d’autre choix », dit doucement le plus jeune, celui qui a 17 ans.
    « Retourne au camp »

    Et puis ils me posent des questions auxquelles je n’ai pas de réponse. « Pourquoi nous traitent ils comme cela en Bosnie-Herzégovine ? Nous sommes allés dans tellement de pays et nulle part ce n’était aussi terrible. Nous n’avons pas de nourriture, pas de vêtements, aucun endroit pour nous laver. On nous frappe, on nous vole. Pourquoi ? » Ils me racontent avoir été attaqués par un groupe de jeunes dans le centre de Sarajevo, alors qu’ils dormaient. « Ils nous ont pris nos téléphones et ont tiré des coups de fusil en l’air. La police est venue, mais n’a rien fait. Ils nous ont juste dit : ’retourne au camp’. Nous nous sommes cachés jusqu’au matin, puis nous sommes arrivés à Hadžići ».

    Depuis des jours, ils essaient de s’enregistrer au camp pour avoir trois repas quotidiens et pouvoir laver leurs vêtements. Mais ils n’ont toujours pas réussi. La liste d’attente s’allonge chaque jour. Les familles sont prioritaires, il n’est pas rare de voir des enfants et des femmes dormir dans les rues ou les prés autour d’Ušivka. C’est la même chose à Sarajevo. L’inscription est lente et très problématique. Ceux qui ont essayé racontent que parfois les employés refusent tout simplement d’inscrire quelqu’un. Parfois, ils inscrivent des mineurs comme des adultes. L’accès à l’asile n’est clair pour personne. On ignore comment avoir accès à des soins médicaux. Rien n’est clair.

    Les autorités du canton de Sarajevo, dont la commune d’Hadžići fait partie, font comme si elles ne remarquaient pas tous ces gens qui se promènent dans la ville. Aucune aide n’a jamais été organisée. Même la Croix-Rouge n’est pas impliquée. Certaines mosquées permettent aux réfugiés de passer du temps dans leurs cours, parfois même d’y dormir. Il existe plusieurs cantines publiques à Sarajevo, mais aucune n’offre vraiment de la nourriture aux réfugiés et aux migrants, qui sont de plus en plus nombreux dans les rues. Depuis un an et demi, ils dépendent de l’aide des citoyens bosniens. Néanmoins, les autorités cantonales ont récemment annoncé qu’elles allaient « nettoyer » les rues et les parcs et que personne ne pourrait plus y rester. Mais personne ne dit aux réfugiés où ils doivent aller. Lors des chaudes journées d’été, les médias invitent les citoyens à se protéger de la chaleur mais la police intervient lorsqu’elle repère des migrants assis à l’ombre dans un parc, et les force à bouger.

    Le Premier ministre du canton a récemment annoncé qu’il allait bientôt rencontrer son homologue du canton d’Una-Sana. Au cours de ces derniers 18 mois, les autorités de ce canton ont réussi à enfreindre la quasi-totalité des lois régissant les droits des demandeurs d’asile et à déshumaniser complètement les migrants et les réfugiés. À Ključ, la police force les passagers à sortir des bus qui se rendent en Krajina et laissent les réfiugiés sur le bord de la route, des enfants, des malades, des femmes, ou des mineurs voyageant seuls… La Croix-Rouge locale fait ce qu’elle peut, l’OIM et le HCR aident les familles qui veulent aller en Krajina. Les autres, personne ne s’en occupe. À Hadžići, la police en général ne crée pas de problèmes. Un policier avec qui je discute dans le parc explique ne forcer personne à quitter les lieux publics, mais qu’il attendait des ordres.
    Des témoins muets

    Dans le parc près de la piscine, Naila garde sa petite fille. Pendant qu’Una joue sur le toboggan, Naila est assise sur le banc. Elle dit qu’elles viennent ici tous les jours et qu’elles n’ont jamais eu de problème. Elle ajoute que les policiers sont plutôt gentils avec les jeunes migrants, mais elle a remarqué qu’ils leur demandent parfois de bouger lorsque ceux-ci sont assis dans l’herbe. « Hier, j’ai vu qu’ils les ont forcé à partir, et les ont emmenés quelque part alors qu’ils étaient assis tranquillement. Je n’ai pas vu que les garçons avaient fait quelque chose », raconte-elle. Una, dans l’intervalle, s’est assise sur ses genoux. Elle écoute attentivement ce dont nous parlons. À un moment, elle demande si elle peut dire quelque chose. « Moi je ne les aime pas ». Sa grand-mère et moi demandons pourquoi. « Il y en a un qui m’a tiré la langue ». Naila rit. « Eh bien, c’est parce que c’est juste un gamin, comme toi. Pas aussi jeune que toi, mais tout de même, ça reste un enfant ».

    Et puis Naila se tourne vers moi et commence à parler. « Je suis triste pour eux, vraiment. Je les regarde et je me dis que leur mère leur manque. Je suis assise ici et je réfléchis à ce qui les attend. Vont-ils réussir à aller là où ils veulent ? Font-ils réussir à fonder une famille ? C’est peut-être parce que j’étais moi-même une réfugiée dans les années 1990 que cela me tient à coeur ». Il y a 20 ans, Naila a dû fuir Hadžići. « Nous avons été humiliés en tant que réfugiés. Nous n’avons jamais pensé à réclamer des droits, nous n’avions rien. Nous baissions la tête, nous n’avions rien. Je n’ai jamais osé dire un mot à personne. J’attendais juste que cela passe. Nous étions aussi assis dans ce parc et attendions. Mais eux, ils sont différents. Ils sont très fiers. Et c’est bien qu’ils le soient. Pourtant, nous ne pouvons pas les aider. Nous avons déjà si peu nous-mêmes. Nous pouvons juste être ici avec eux, et regarder ces enfants souffrir. Nous partageons leur souffrance. À quoi tout cela rime-t-il ? »

    Plus de 35 000 personnes sont entrées en Bosnie-Herzégovine depuis le début de l’année et les arrivées continuent tous les jours. Les Bosniens les aident toujours, autant qu’ils le peuvent. Les autorités et certains médias propagent des rumeurs désobligeantes sur les migrants, et les présentent comme des criminels. Certaines organisations internationales qui ont reçu plus de 20 millions d’euros de la part de la Commission européenne pour aider ces migrants en Bosnie-Herzégovine ont créé des camps qui sont devenus des lieux d’horreur. Ceux qui y ont séjourné disent avoir été traités comme des animaux. Il n’y a pas assez de place et on dirait que personne ne s’en soucie réellement. Les autorités suivent les instructions reçues de l’UE. En fin de compte, on peut rappeler les paroles de Borka Pavićević, qui disait dans une interview que les populations de l’ancienne Yougoslavie ont « l’expérience du témoin ». « Parce que nous pouvons aider à faire en sorte que ce qui s’est passé ici ne se produise plus jamais ». Malheureusement, ce que nous avons vécu ne semble pas avoir été suffisant pour retenir la leçon.

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/refugies-a-hadzici
    #asile #migrations #Balkans

  • #The_game’: vanuit Bosnië naar de EU, het hoogste level

    Via de nieuwe Balkanroute proberen migranten de EU te bereiken door vanuit Bosnië de Kroatische grens over te steken. Ze noemen het ‘the game’ en ze spelen het vaak zonder succes.


    https://www.volkskrant.nl/kijkverder/v/2019/the-game-vanuit-bosnie-naar-de-eu-het-hoogste-level
    #terminologie #mots #vocabulaire
    #game #jeu #Game over #next_level
    #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #Bosnie #Velika_Kladusa #Slovénie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #IOM #OIM #frontières #violences_policières
    ping @reka signalé par @Virginie_Mamadouh

  • From Bosnia and Herzegovina a video showing seven adults and five children detained in cage-like detention cells in #Klobuk near #Trebinje as part of the #International_Border_Crossing (#MGP) was published. It is terrifying to read the official statement of the BiH Border Police, where they state how all is in line with EU standards- we must ask whether inhumane and humiliating treatment of people who migrate is an EU standard?

    #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Monténégro #frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #route_des_Balkans #Balkans

    –-> signalé par Inicijativa Dobrodosli, via leur mailing-list (29.04.2019)

    Held in a cage?!

    We have received footage and photos displaying two detained families after they were pushed back in the border area between Bosnia and Herzegovina with Montenegro, Klobuk border crossing near Trebinje.


    Video and the photos show people being held in cage-like detention cells, previously also seen and mentioned with the case of the Houssiny family. There were reportedly 7 adults and 5 children among the detained people. The youngest is 3 years old.

    They were detained in this way and stayed over night. However, the authorities claim everything is “by the book” and in accordance with the EU standards.

    They say since the border crossing where people were later taken to is not a firm building, they have no barred rooms to detain people, so they use this — ironically funded by the European Commission — in order to “provide daylight” to the people and they stress the people were not locked inside.

    Either way, the question remains — is this the standard and a collective decision to treat and detain currently the most vulnerable group in the planet, refugees?

    Will anyone finally bring into question and condemn the methods and current human rights breaking detention and push back practice?

    https://medium.com/are-you-syrious/ays-daily-digest-23-4-19-weekend-of-violent-push-backs-from-croatia-and-bosn

    Lien vers la vidéo:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4YAoBPGBHw


    #cages #cage #vidéo #animalisation #brutalisation

    • In our neighbouring country Bosnia and Herzegovina, the local authorities consider volunteers to disturb public order and peace by helping migrants. As a result, the work of some of them has been banned - you can read more about it in this article: https://www.telegram.hr/politika-kriminal/vlasti-bih-smatraju-da-volonteri-remete-javni-red-i-mir-tako-sto-pomazu-mig. This is the last example of the criminalization of solidarity work, yet it’s not the only one: nowadays Europe is becoming more and more a place of repression towards those who are willing to oppose hate speech and intolerance, promoting and everyday practicing solidarity. You can read more about it in this article: http://novilist.hr/Komentari/Kolumne/Pronadena-zemlja-Borisa-Pavelica/BORIS-PAVELIC-Brigade-bespomocnih?meta_refresh=true.

      Reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa Dobrodošli, le 31.05.2019

    • Migrants dying in Bosnia: Red Cross

      Thousands of migrants and refugees are stranded in Bosnia on their way to Western Europe. They are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. The international Red Cross says some have died while trying to find shelter.

      About 6,000 people have entered Bosnia and Herzegovina since the start of the year, according to the country’s security agencies. But all the transit centers, which can accommodate around 3,500 people, are full, forcing thousands to sleep rough.

      “People are sleeping in parks, in carparks, on the footpath, and in dangerous buildings,” said Indira Kulenovic, operations manager for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Bosnia.

      “A few weeks ago, three migrants sheltering in an abandoned building burned to death when a candle they were using caused a fire. Soon after, another fell from the top floor of a building he was sheltering in. Psychological stress among migrants is high – just last week one man set himself on fire in desperation,” Kulenovic said.

      ‘Humanitarian crisis’

      Bosnia is on the route of thousands of people from Asia and North Africa who try to enter Europe via neighboring Croatia, an EU member state. Last year, about 25,000 people entered Bosnia from Serbia and Montenegro.

      Mobile teams from the Bosnian Red Cross society have been handing out food, water, clothes, blankets and first aid to the migrants, as well as trying to provide psychological support.

      Red Cross workers are also distributing information about active landmine fields to warn people of the dangers of unexploded bombs. Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the most landmine-contaminated countries in Europe.

      The Red Cross is working in five migrant centers across the country providing meals for 3,000 people a day, as well as clothing, bedding, tents and first aid. Meanwhile, the UN migration agency, IOM, is providing food supplies.

      Despite their efforts, the head of the Bosnian Red Cross, Rajko Lazic, says living conditions for many people remain inadequate in the centers and worse for those outside. “The situation has reached a critical point. This is a humanitarian crisis,” Lazic said.

      Disease outbreaks

      In migrant reception centers, overcrowding has led to an increase in infectious diseases. The Bosnian health minister, Nermina Cemalovic, said on 15 May there were 800 cases of scabies in transit centers in Bihac, one of the western towns where migrants are concentrated.

      Health workers have also been trying to prevent an outbreak of measles after aid workers were hospitalized with the disease.

      “We are extremely concerned for people on the move in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” the IFRC’s Kulenovic said. “They are arriving in poor condition, and many, including children, have walked for weeks. They are hungry, exhausted, sick and cold and traumatized by their journeys. The recent wet weather has just made their journeys worse.”

      Kulenovic added that the local population was also suffering from the pressure that extra numbers had put on services, land and property. The IFRC and the Red Cross Society of Bosnia aim to provide food, first aid and other assistance to 7,600 of the most vulnerable migrants as well as cash grants for 1,500 host families during 2019.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/17218/migrants-dying-in-bosnia-red-cross?ref=tw
      #mourir_en_Bosnie #morts #décès #Kljuc #OIM #IOM #Croix-Route

  • Report of the fact-finding mission by Ambassador #Tomáš_Boček, Special Representative of the Secretary General on migration and refugees, to Bosnia and Herzegovina and to Croatia 24-27 July and 26-30 November 2018

    https://rm.coe.int/report-of-the-fact-finding-mission-by-ambassador-tomas-bocek-special-r/1680940259
    #Bosnie #Croatie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #asile #migrations #réfugiés #route_des_Balkans #Balkans #rapport #2018

    Commentaire reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa Dobrodosli:

    Report by the Special Representative of the Secretary General on migration and refugees, Tomáš Boček, was published following his visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia in 2018. In all areas covered by the Report; access to territory, access to asylum, reception, detention and returns, unaccompanied minors – numerous problems have been detected, followed by testimonies from refugees who have experienced violent pushbacks. Although the Report contains different data, contextual descriptions, perspectives of different actors and recommendations, the language of the Report is rather tepid and does not leave any impression of the urgency of resolving serious violations of human rights. The Report addressed, among others, violations concerning policy and practice of detaining children, specifically unaccompanied minors, the failure and unavailability of integration measures, seizing money for the purpose of covering expenses related to stay in detention center, the lack of access to legal aid and the lack of information about the grounds for detention.

  • #Bosnie-Herzégovine : la #Chine va financer une #centrale_à_charbon à 614 millions d’euros

    Les deux chambres du Parlement de Bosnie-Herzégovine ont approuvé la souscription d’un crédit de 614 millions d’euros auprès de la Banque d’import-export de Chine pour construire un nouveau bloc dans la centrale à charbon de #Tuzla. Ce projet énergétique, le plus grand depuis la fin de la guerre, suscite de vifs débats.


    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Bosnie-Chine-centrale-charbon-614-millions-euros
    #extractivisme #charbon #énergie
    ping @albertocampiphoto

  • Comment l’aide suisse au développement relève le défi de la migration

    Créer les conditions permettant aux gens de vivre en paix dans leur propre pays et de réaliser leurs rêves : c’est le but du Pacte migratoire de l’ONU. La Suisse a gelé son adhésion à cet accord. Elle soutient pourtant des projets qui poursuivent ces objectifs.
    En début de semaine, la communauté internationale a officiellement adopté le Pacte mondial sur les migrations à Marrakech, sous les auspices des Nations unies (ONU). Mais la Suisse a suspendu sa participation, car le Parlement exige d’être préalablement consulté. La Confédération soutient pourtant déjà des projets qui font le lien entre migration, développement et protection des droits humains. Voici quelques exemples :

    #Bosnie-Herzégovine : « i-plateforme »

    Depuis la guerre en ex-Yougoslavie, la Bosnie-Herzégovine est une nation fragmentée d’un point de vue ethnique et religieux, avec une structure politique variable. En Suisse, bien que très hétérogène, la diaspora défend sa patrie. Ses relations avec le pays d’origine sont principalement basées sur des liens personnels. De ce fait, une communication et une coopération systématiques entre les autorités locales et nationales sont en cours d’élaboration.

    Dans les années 1960 et 1980, les flux concernaient essentiellement des saisonniers non qualifiés venus en Suisse pour travailler. En 1991, la Confédération a mis fin à ce type de migrations de main-d’œuvre. En 1993, en raison de la nouvelle guerre des Balkans, le nombre de demandes d’asile a culminé à 7000 personnes, aboutissant à la décision du Conseil fédéral d’accueillir collectivement et temporairement des réfugiés de guerre. Une décision qui sera abrogée en 1995. Pourtant, même après la fin du conflit, la réconciliation nationale en Bosnie-Herzégovine est restée problématique et a rendu difficile le retour et la réinstallation des réfugiés. Depuis, les principaux motifs d’immigration en Suisse ont été motivés par le regroupement familial et la nécessité d’accueillir des cas difficiles.

    On estime à 60’000 environ le nombre de personnes originaires de Bosnie-Herzégovine vivant en Suisse. La majorité de ces personnes sont titulaires d’un permis de séjour B ou C. De 1998 à 2006, le taux de naturalisation des citoyens bosniens a augmenté, mais il a diminué depuis 2006.

    La « i-plateforme », créée en partenariat avec la DDC, permet à la diaspora en Suisse de contribuer au développement économique, social, culturel et démocratique de la Bosnie-Herzégovine. Indépendant sur le plan ethnique et confessionnel, cet outil remplit une double fonction de passerelle : tant au sein de la diaspora en Suisse que dans la société fragmentée de Bosnie-Herzégovine.

    #Sri_Lanka : « Pour une migration sans risque de la main-d’œuvre » (#Safe_Labour_Migration_Programme)

    Depuis la fin de la guerre civile, la situation au Sri Lanka reste instable, aggravée par la crise politique actuelle. La Suisse soutient le processus de réforme et de réconciliation. Entre 2005 et 2016, elle a également fourni une aide humanitaire à la reconstruction du pays après la guerre et après le tsunami de 2004.

    Chaque année, plusieurs centaines de milliers de personnes fuient la pauvreté au Sri Lanka. Avec le salaire qu’ils obtiennent à l’étranger, ces émigrants améliorent la santé et l’éducation de leurs familles restées au pays. Entre 2009 et 2018, les travailleurs expatriés sri-lankais ont transféré en moyenne plus de 500 millions de dollars US dans leur pays d’origine. Ils sont souvent exploités en raison d’une carrence d’informations et d’une méconnaissance de leurs droits. Les femmes sont particulièrement exposées, elles sont souvent victimes de violences sexuelles ou de traite des êtres humains.

    Environ 3 millions de citoyens sri-lankais vivent à l’étranger, dont environ 50’000 en Suisse. La plupart d’entre eux ont fui à la suite de la guerre civile de 1983-2009 ou à cause de la répression politique et des persécutions. En 2017, 840 demandes d’asile ont été déposées en Suisse par des ressortissants sri-lankais (environ 38% de moins que l’année précédente).

    Dans le cadre du Safe Labour Programme de l’Organisation internationale du Travail (OIT), un projet soutenu par la DDC, les travailleurs émigrés sont conseillés et informés sur leurs droits, en vue de les protéger contre l’exploitation. Le projet promeut ainsi une migration sans risque de la main-d’œuvre, maximise les aspects positifs et minimise les conséquences négatives.
    Tunisie : « Programme intégré sur le recrutement équitable » et « Communauté Tunisienne Résidente en Suisse »
    Fin de l’infobox

    Depuis le Printemps arabe, les défis sociaux, politiques et économiques à relever en Afrique du Nord, y compris en Tunisie, sont toujours nombreux. Notamment parce que la Tunisie doit faire face à un double mouvement : l’émigration de ses citoyens et l’immigration ou le transit de réfugiés en provenance d’autres pays.

    Les perspectives du marché du travail en Tunisie et dans la région sont faibles. Même les personnes qualifiées ont peu de chances de trouver un emploi. Le taux de chômage atteint 29% chez les jeunes (2017). À cela s’ajoutent les conflits, notamment en Libye et dans la Corne de l’Afrique, qui provoquent instabilité et flux migratoires.

    Selon l’Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques (OCDE), entre 2011 et 2017, quelque 94’000 personnes ont quitté la Tunisie, dont 84% pour l’Europe. En 2018, 5000 Tunisiens ont atteint les côtes italiennes et, fin octobre, 262 demandes d’asile de citoyens de ce pays avaient été déposées en première instance en Suisse.

    Deux initiatives visent à accroître les chances des jeunes Tunisiens sur le marché du travail et à améliorer leurs conditions de travail en Tunisie. Le projet de la DDC « Communauté tunisienne résidant en Suisse », mis en œuvre avec l’ambassade de Suisse à Tunis, utilise les capacités et le savoir-faire de la diaspora tunisienne en Suisse pour le développement social et économique dans le pays d’origine. Les projets contribuent, par exemple, à mettre en adéquation les compétences des jeunes Tunisiens avec celles recherchées sur le marché du travail local. Le « Programme intégré sur le recrutement équitable »vise également à prévenir l’exploitation des travailleurs migrants et à améliorer les processus de recrutement. Avec le soutien de la DDC, ce projet de l’OIT est appliqué dans trois régions du monde particulièrement touchées par les migrations de main-d’œuvre.

    La #Corne_de_l’Afrique : Autorité intergouvernementale pour le développement

    La Corne de l’Afrique abrite 7 millions de personnes ayant dû fuir leurs pays, soit la plus forte concentration de déplacés au monde. Les pays de cette région figurent parmi les moins développés du globe, 13 millions de personnes y souffrent de pénuries alimentaires. A cela s’ajoutent les conflits violents, les attaques de groupes islamistes, tel Al-Shabaab, ainsi que les sécheresses cycliques qui déstabilisent la région.

    Dans la Corne de l’Afrique, il tombe moins de 600mm de pluie par an sur environ 70% du territoire. Dans le même temps, cette région a connu des inondations dévastatrices en 2018. Raisons pour lesquelles les terres agricoles sont rares et déclenchent des conflits tout comme une pauvreté persistante. Les attentats terroristes et le taux de chômage élevé, en particulier chez les jeunes (environ 60%), expliquent pourquoi la population cherche du travail et des revenus à l’étranger.

    Près de 80% des migrants et réfugiés de la Corne de l’Afrique restent sur le continent africain. Les Somaliens et les Erythréens figurent cependant parmi les 10 premiers demandeurs d’asile en Suisse. En 2017, 3375 demandes d’asile provenaient d’Érythréens (soient 34,8 % de moins que l’année précédente) et 843 de Somaliens (moins 46,7 %).

    Les huit États membres de l’Autorité intergouvernementale pour le développement, créée en 1996 et soutenue par la #DDC, le #SEM et la #Division_Sécurité_humaine sont l’Éthiopie, Djibouti, l’Érythrée, le Kenya, l’Ouganda, la Somalie, le Sud-Soudan et le Soudan. Notons toutefois que l’aide à l’Érythrée a été suspendue depuis 2007. Dans l’objectif d’une migration ordonnée et de la protection des migrants, la coopération régionale est encouragée et les structures nationales renforcées. Cette coopération vise également à stabiliser l’ensemble de la région et à endiguer les causes des migrations. Concernant l’Erythrée, une réintégration de ce pays est à l’étude.

    https://www.swissinfo.ch/fre/pacte-sur-les-migrations_comment-l-aide-suisse-au-d%C3%A9veloppement-rel%C3%A8ve-le-d%C3%A9fi-de-la-migration/44616782
    #Suisse #aide_au_développement #asile #migrations #réfugiés #paix #développement #global_compact #Erythrée

  • En Bosnie, l’#OIM se félicite d’avoir suffisamment de places d’hébergement pour tous les migrants

    L’organisation internationale des migrations (OIM) a déclaré fournir suffisamment de places d’accueil pour les migrants présents en Bosnie. La Croix-Rouge, pourtant, affirme qu’elle a besoin de davantage de moyens pour faire face aux besoins des migrants restés dans les camps de fortune, et exposés au froid glacial de l’hiver.

    Selon l’Organisation internationale des migrations (OIM), les milliers de migrants actuellement présents en Bosnie peuvent avoir accès à une place d’hébergement, et ainsi passer l’hiver au chaud. « Nous avons mis en place suffisamment de structures pour accueillir les personnes à la rue », a déclaré à InfoMigrants Peter Van der Auweraert, le responsable de l’OIM, en Bosnie, avec exemple à l’appui. « Les migrants de Velika Kledusha ont tous été relogés, ils ont été placés dans un centre humanitaire de 600 places », précise-t-il. Pendant des mois, la ville de #Velika_Kledusha, à quelques kilomètres seulement de la frontière croate, a abrité un campement sauvage de centaines de migrants. Les conditions de vie y étaient très précaires, exposant les migrants aux intempéries, à la boue, et au froid.

    À #Bihac, non loin de Velika Kledusha, le centre de #Borici, qui a abrité des centaines de migrants durant plusieurs mois, fait peau neuve et devrait être en capacité d’accueillir très prochainement des centaines de migrants. L’immeuble jusque là abandonné était particulièrement insalubre. « Le nouveau Borici devrait accueillir 500 personnes, principalement des familles de migrants. Et il devrait ouvrir d’ici les fêtes de fin d’année », précise Peter Van Auweraert.

    À #Sarajevo, aussi, près de 800 places supplémentaires ont été créées, précise l’OIM.

    « Nous avons en tout 5 000 places d’hébergement disponibles en Bosnie », affirme Peter Van der Auweraert. Le nombre de migrants présents en Bosnie oscille autour de 3 500 personnes. « Normalement, cet hiver, personne ne devrait mourir de froid », continue le responsable de l’OIM. "Il faut continuer à communiquer pour expliquer aux migrants que des structures existent".

    « La nuit, les températures descendent jusqu’à -15 degrés »

    En dépit du constat positif de l’OIM, la Croix-Rouge est inquiète. « La récente réinstallation des migrants dans des structures plus sûres et loin des camps sauvages est une évolution positive, mais nous pensons que la situation reste imprévisible », explique à InfoMigrants Elkhan Rahimov, un responsable de la Fédération internationale de Croix-Rouge (FICR). « La dynamique des arrivées peut varier. Nous restons vigilants quant au fait que des migrants peuvent quitter les centres d’hébergement et choisir de retourner à la rue. »

    Certaines personnes préfèrent en effet rester non loin de la frontière croate pour tenter de passer la nuit. « Mais le soir et la nuit, les températures descendent jusqu’à -15 degrés Celsius », rappelle Elkhan Rahimov. "Ces personnes ont besoin de couvertures, de vêtements chauds. Face à ce constat, la FICR de Bosnie a lancé lundi un appel de 3,3 millions de francs suisses (2,9 millions d’euros).

    « Par le biais de l’appel d’urgence, nous souhaitons attirer l’attention sur un problème humanitaire crucial qui ne disparaîtra pas dans les mois à venir », conclut-il.

    Auparavant évitée par les migrants, la Bosnie est confrontée depuis cette année à un afflux qu’elle peine à gérer. Depuis janvier, plus de 23 000 sont entrés dans ce pays.

    http://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/13870/en-bosnie-l-oim-se-felicite-d-avoir-suffisamment-de-places-d-hebergeme

    #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #IOM #Croix-Rouge #hébergement #logement #asile #migrations #réfugiés #externalisation

    • En février 2019...
      Violence et désespoir s’emparent des migrants oubliés en Bosnie-Herzégovine

      Vendredi soir, de très violents affrontements ont éclaté dans le camp de réfugiés de #Bira, à #Bihać, au nord-ouest de la Bosnie-Herzégovine. Entre les squats de Sarajevo et les camps surpeuplés, des milliers de réfugiés sont toujours bloqués dans ce pays. Sans grand espoir de pouvoir passer dans l’Union européenne.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/040219/violence-et-desespoir-s-emparent-des-migrants-oublies-en-bosnie-herzegovin

    • #Bihać : Dove i corpi non si sfiorano

      Pubblichiamo il primo di due articoli dal confine tra Bosnia e Croazia, dove memorie di guerre e migrazioni del passato e del presente si incrociano. Il secondo articolo sarà di Gabriele Proglio, compagno di viaggio di Benedetta.

      Sono le 8 di mattina, e dopo una lunga giornata di viaggio e poche ore di sonno, Bihać ci sorprende nel tepore di una giornata inaspettatamente calda e soleggiata. La città bosniaca si circonda di montagne e colline, che ne tracciano fiere ed imponenti il confine che la separa dalla Croazia. Negli anni 90, queste cime sono state luogo di un assedio da parte dell’esercito serbo, fungendo da vera e propria prigione naturale. Oggi, invece, rappresentano, per migliaia di migranti in fuga da guerre, persecuzioni e povertà, l’unica speranza di giungere in Unione Europea.

      Il fascino delle terre di confine sta proprio nel loro essere allo stesso tempo luoghi di limite e superamento, di prigionia e di libertà, di antagonismo e di incontro. Inevitabilmente, questa eterna contraddizione li rende condanna e benedizione per i popoli che li abitano, e per quelli che vi passano.

      Io e Gabriele siamo arrivati fin qui con lo scopo di esplorare la sovrapposizione storica delle memorie di un popolo che ha visto la guerra, e che ora si ritrova ad essere luogo di passaggio di persone che dalla guerra stanno ancora scappando. Lo stimolo intellettuale di smascherare il confine, una conoscenza superficiale della storia del paese, ed un interesse accademico per la questione della crisi migratoria, sono i bagagli che ho con me. Sono ancora ignara dei fantasmi di questo posto, e degli scheletri che si porta dentro. In poco tempo il confine mi entrerà nella pelle, lo sentirò scorrere e spostarsi alterando le sicurezze che mi ero costruita attraverso lo studio minuzioso ma distaccato di questa realtà. Ma per ora, Bihać deve ancora svegliarsi e con lei, mi sveglierò anche io.

      Ad un primo sguardo, la città mi appare come un non luogo, dove l’apatia generale ha lentamente rimosso le ferite di una guerra fin troppo recente. Ma i resti sono evidenti. Monumenti ai caduti, cimiteri e colpi di mortaio che appaiono come cicatrici sui palazzi della città. Nella sua calma opprimente, Bihać ricorda molto la Seahaven di Truman Show. Una cittadina tranquilla dove non succede niente. Un posto come un altro dove mettere su famiglia e vivere una vita semplice. Come Seahaven, questa mattina Bihać si apre ai miei occhi come un palcoscenico pronto a mettere in scena uno spettacolo dell’inganno, che va avanti giorno dopo giorno da decenni, nel tentativo di legittimare la finzione di una serenità tanto desiderata quanto superficiale.

      Le strade sono pulite e silenziose e le comparse del grande spettacolo dell’inganno devono ancora apparire. Tutto è fermo. Tra poco si sparpaglieranno nei caffè del centro impersonando perfettamente il loro ruolo di cittadini annoiati e disillusi. Lo sguardo stanco dei cani randagi che si assopiscono all’ombra di alberi spogli, l’immagine stereotipata di ragazzi e anziani seduti ad un bar per riempire la giornata. Eccola Bihać nella sua stasi permanente e volontaria, nella sua apparente tranquillità che da due decenni tenta invano di smacchiarle l’anima dalle cicatrici di una guerra di cui non si parla e non si vuole parlare.

      È mezzogiorno. Improvvisamente noto che l’equilibrio che si è tanto faticato a costruire durante la mattinata si rompe. Appaiono degli estranei che spezzano l’atmosfera. Sono nuove comparse, che stonano con la scenografia e non conoscono il copione. La maggior parte sono uomini sui trenta, alcuni portano con loro zaini e sacchi a pelo. Sono le persone migranti giunte dopo mesi di viaggio per la rotta balcanica, arrivate fin qui per oltrepassare il confine e raggiungere la Croazia, l’Unione Europea. Alcuni vivono nei campi di Borici, Bira e Cedra. Ma da qualche settimana i campi sono pieni, e chi non può permettersi di pagare altissime somme di denaro per un affitto in città in nero, dorme per strada.

      Da circa un anno, a Bihać non si parla d’altro. Dall’estate scorsa, quando i flussi migratori si sono intensificati, i cittadini si sono trovati a dover gestire una situazione d’emergenza umanitaria, dove le uniche presenze di supporto sono la Croce Rossa, lo #IOM e poche ONG internazionali, come #IPSIA. Intanto gli abitanti della città cominciano ad innervosirsi.

      Ci hanno abbandonato’ mi dice Amir, riferendosi al governo centrale di Sarajevo, ‘non gli è mai importato di noi, nemmeno durante la guerra’. Amir vive a Bihać da tutta la vita, e come ogni bosniaco della sua generazione, ha visto la guerra e se la porta dentro e addosso, nella sua gestualità al limite del compulsivo e nell’azzurro glaciale del suo sguardo, che non si azzarda mai ad incrociare il mio, ma si focalizza sempre su zone limitrofe. ‘Non odio, ma sono arrabbiato’ mi confessa Amir mentre avvicina ripetutamente alle labbra la tazzina ormai vuota di caffè, come per rimarcare con quella pausa la scelta coraggiosa ed insolita di abbandonarsi al ricordo della guerra. Amir non se lo permette mai. ‘Non parliamo della guerra, non sono bei ricordi. Cerco di non stare solo. Quando sono solo, suono il piano. Questo è un altro modo per scappare. Lo faccio solo per me’. Amir ha combattuto sul fronte a Bihac e ‘probabilmente’, come tiene a sottolineare, ha ucciso qualcuno.

      Ma non lo vuole sapere, non ci vuole pensare. Un’altra pausa, un sospiro e di nuovo un finto sorso ad una tazzina ormai vuota da venti minuti. Mi trovo di fronte a questo signore di cinquant’anni a cui la guerra ne ha aggiunti almeno quindici in volto. Lo ascolto ed improvvisamente mi ritrovo a comprenderne la violenza, subita ed esercitata. D’un tratto, il confine tra bene e male che ho tracciato nella mia coscienza va a sgretolarsi nel dramma di un popolo che non comprende la ragione del proprio trauma, ma ne subisce ogni conseguenza.

      Nella costante rimozione di un passato scomodo e violento, la materializzazione della crisi migratoria risveglia la rabbia ed il senso di abbandono dei cittadini di Bihać. ‘Noi siamo un popolo aperto e tollerante, sappiamo cosa vuol dire dover scappare dalle proprie case. Ma io non so chi sono queste persone, e non mi sento al sicuro. Ho paura per mia figlia’ mi confessa Harun. ‘Queste persone non vogliono rimanere qui. Fosse per me, le condurrei io al confine. Questa situazione non va bene nemmeno per loro e sono le istituzioni che dovrebbero darci supporto.’

      ‘Il pisciatoio d’Europa’, cosi lo definisce Alessandra, italiana migrata a Bihać negli anni 90. Anche lei arrivata al limite della sopportazione nei confronti del fenomeno che ha sconvolto la realtà quotidiana di questa città. Dalle prime interviste agli abitanti di Bihać, mi appare chiara una cosa. Nessuno si azzarda a dire che il migrante è un problema in quanto tale. Tutti parlano di sicurezza, di identità. Il problema non è che so chi sei e per questo ti odio, il problema è che non so chi sei, e per questo ho paura. Ancora una volta, ‘non odio, ma sono arrabbiato’.

      Incontro gli abitanti di Bihać nei patii dell’Hotel Opal e Paviljon che si affacciano sulle due rive opposte del fiume Una. In mezzo, l’isolotto di verde che spezza il ceruleo del corso d’acqua si copre di ragazzi con zaini e sacchi a peli. Alcuni sono soli, altri in gruppo. Tutti hanno solo un obiettivo al momento: arrivare al confine. Invadono il paesaggio ma non le coscienze. Sono osservati costantemente, ma non vengono mai guardati. Tra di loro c’è Abdul, arrivato dall’Iraq dopo 9 mesi di viaggio attraverso la Turchia, la Grecia l’Albania e la Serbia. Domani tenterà di nuovo il game, nonostante non cammini ancora bene, dopo gli ultimi pestaggi della polizia croata. Il game, così lo chiamano, è il tentativo di valicare il confine, cercando di sfuggire alle violente deportazioni della polizia croata. Cosi nel grande spettacolo dell’inganno, la trama si infittisce di adrenalina e suspense. Migranti e forze dell’ordine croate si rincorrono e si combattono in un moderno guardia e ladri che avviene lassù, sulle montagne che separano il confine bosniaco da quello croato, lontano dagli occhi del mondo. Abdul mi dice che questo è il suo ottavo tentativo, ma che ha deciso che in caso venga respinto ancora, si sposterà a Velika Kladuša, altra città di confine, a pochi chilometri da Bihać. Abdul non mi parla di casa, non mi parla del futuro. Nei suoi occhi vedo solo il game. Eppure Abdul ha visto morire suo padre, ed è scappato lasciando una madre ed una sorella. Come Amir, ha la guerra negli occhi. Come Amir, non odia ma è arrabbiato. È arrabbiato con lo IOM che non lo ha fatto entrare nel campo di Bira. E’ arrabbiato con l’uomo della polizia croata che lo ha picchiato e gli ha rubato il cellulare. Ma Amir non odia, non ne vede il motivo. Vuole solo oltrepassare il confine, vuole solo una possibilità.

      In questa danza imbarazzata e goffa tra due storie di vite spezzate, presenti e passati di guerre e miseria, i corpi non si sfiorano. Accarezzano il lento scorrere del tempo tra la pesante presenza dei monumenti di guerra e lo sforzo collettivo di ignorali. Proprio come quei monumenti, i migranti sono altamente visibili, e sistematicamente ignorati. Proprio come quei monumenti, i cittadini portano addosso i marchi indelebili di una memoria sanguinolenta, che scorre attraverso le loro menti e le loro fisicità, ma viene anch’essa rimossa dalla coscienza.A Bihac oggi, coesistono due tragedie: quella di un passato macchiato di sangue e quella di un futuro incerto ed opprimente. Due linee parallele che non si toccano mai nella temporalità e nella geografia complesse di questo eterno enigma che è la Bosnia. Eppure, in qualche modo, queste due linee hanno entrambe attraversato i confini della mia soggettività, prima scontrandosi violentemente in uno scarabocchio emotivo che non riesce a dare senso a quello che prova e poi ridefinendo il perimetro curvo e fluido della mia certezza. Il confine si è spostato. Non ci sono più buoni o cattivi.

      A Bihać, per quanto lo si tenti di negare, si è tutti parte della stessa rabbia. E come in una tragedia greca, io, da spettatrice di questo spettacolo dell’inganno, ho vissuto la catarsi nel riscoprire che queste comparse stonate, nel loro essere fuori luogo, ignorate e non volute, sono in realtà parte integrante della trama. Lo sbaglio sta nel cercare il torto dove non c’è ragione, e nel cercare la ragione dove non c’è il torto. Quando si smette di farlo, Bihać non fa altro che rivelare le pieghe drammatiche della tragedia dell’essere umano nella sua costante ed insensata ricerca di un nemico a cui dare la colpa della propria sofferenza.

      http://www.lavoroculturale.org/bihac-dove-i-corpi-non-si-sfiorano
      #Croix-Rouge #OIM #frontières #Bosnie #Croatie #Balkans #route_des_Balkans

    • The City Council of Bihać unanimously made a decision (https://www.nezavisne.com/novosti/gradovi/Vucijak-nova-lokacija-za-izmjestanje-migranata/537203) to open a new accommodation facility for refugees - in #Vučijak, a suburb near #Plješevica, near the border with Croatia. There they found an object that meets the necessary conditions for refugee accommodation, and authorities have announced that this move will move refugees from the temporary center of Bira or the center of Bihać to the EU border. Although the new facility could provide better reception conditions for refugees in Bosnia, this move is an indication of how countries in the region share an ignorant integration policy.

      Reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa dobrodosli, le 15.05.2019

    • New migrant reception center to be built in Bosnia

      Bosnian authorities have announced that a new migrant reception center will be built near Bihac. This center will replace two temporary reception centers.

      In Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Operating Unit for Migrants has decided to build a migrant and refugee center near Bihac, in the country’s northwest. The center will be built in Vucjak, eight kilometers from the Bihac city center, according to media sources.

      The new structure will take the place of two temporary reception centers: #Bira in Bihac and #Miral in #Velika_Kladusa, both near the Croatia border. In 2018, 25,000 migrants entered Bosnia illegally from Serbia and Montenegro. Since the start of this year, police have registered 8,930 arrivals.

      Bosnia is a transit country for many migrants who are trying to make it to Western Europe from Turkey or Greece. Bosnia is not a member of the European Union. But its neighbor Croatia is.


      Volunteers banned from providing aid

      Meanwhile, Bosnian authorities have banned the international aid group “#Aid_Brigade” from providing food to migrants and refugees at the main train station in Bosnia’s capital Sarajevo, according to the website Klix.ba.

      The volunteers reportedly also had to close the place where they were providing medical assistance to migrants. Since March 2018, Aid Brigade volunteers have prepared and distributed 120,000 meals to migrants and 600 jackets and sleeping bags.

      The volunteers are accused of violating public order and aiding migrants and refugees in violation of the law, as well as volunteering with a tourist visa.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/17270/new-migrant-reception-center-to-be-built-in-bosnia
      #accueil

    • Bosnie-Herzégovine : à Bihać, on transfère les réfugiés sur une ancienne #décharge

      16 juin -14h30 : Depuis samedi matin, quelque 500 migrants ont été déplacés de Bihać vers une ancienne décharge située sur localité de #Vučjak, tout près de la frontière croate. Les migrants s’opposent à ce transfert et en appellent à la communauté internationale. Des heurts ont éclaté lors des premières opérations de transfert, et quatre policiers ont été blessés selon les sources officielles.

      Des habitants de Bihać annoncent une grande manifestation ce dimanche pour dénoncer la dégradation de la situation en ville, due, selon eux, à la présence des migrants. Ils accusent les autorités locales, cantonales, fédérales et centrales de ne prendre aucune mesure.

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/fil-info-refugies

      #Vucjak

    • A particularly worrying situation in the northwest of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the Una-Sana Canton, is escalating. After the fire in the Miral camp and numerous conflicts between the refugees and the police, the situation seems to be unsustainable. Poor hygienic and living conditions led the refugees to despair. After the escalation of various forms of violence, local authorities decided to move all refugees outside the camps to an isolated area in Vučjak, at the same place where a waste landfill was once housed. The authorities de facto closed the camps, refusing refugees to enter or leave the building. Ironically, the UN and IOM, who have run camps in BiH, oppose this solution (http://ba.one.un.org/content/unct/bosnia_and_herzegovina/en/home/presscenter/un-country-team-in-bih--joint-statement-on-relocation-of-migrant.html. By using force, more than 600 people were transferred to that area, including searches and incursions into several private homes where nearly 300 people were accommodated. "Local police and local Red Cross teams are only present because international organizations do not support the idea and accommodation in Vučjak in the current circumstances. The Red Cross is allegedly only allowed to provide first aid, so there is no medical care for the people who are staying there. Also, food that is distributed is very basic and is not enough to feed people, "AYS reported.

      Reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa dobrodosli, le 24.06.2019

    • The jungle camp #Vučjak in BIH exists in the last two weeks. There is no presence of medical staff in the camp which makes unacceptable hygienic and sanitary conditions even worse - especially due to reported skin infections among the people who are there. The only organization currently active in the camp is the Red Cross that provides food. The EU responded with additional approval of 14.8 million Euros (http://europa.ba/?p=64423 - of which 13 million are intended to support border management (June 21, signed by IOM), and 1.8 million for humanitarian aid. Thus, the EU has so far financially supported BiH with 24 million euros around the refugee situation. It is extremely worrying that the EU allocates 90% of its intended funds to migration management and a very small part to humanitarian support for people living in very poor conditions. This is a direct indication that the Commission is more concerned with border conservation than human life.

      Reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa dobrodosli, le 03.07.2019

    • EU provides €14.8 million to assist refugees and migrants in BiH

      The European Union announced today €14.8 million to address the needs of migrants and refugees who remain present in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This includes €13 million of support to migration management – for which an implementation agreement was signed on 21 June with the International Organisation for Migration – and €1.8 million for humanitarian aid.

      This brings EU overall assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina to cope with the increased migratory flow since 2018 to €24 million (€20.2 million from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance and €3.8 million of humanitarian aid). This is in addition to €24.6 million assistance the European Union has provided to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the area of asylum, migration and border management since 2007.

      Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said: ‘As stated in the recent Commission Opinion, Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities need to ensure effective coordination, at all levels, of border management and migration management capacity, as well as the functioning of the asylum system. This is necessary for the country to take full advantage of the EU substantial assistance – in the interest of refugees and migrants and of the local communities.’

      Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, said: ‘The EU is committed to help those most in need and cover the basic needs of refugees and migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina, complementing national efforts. It is important that the well-being of the refugees and migrants is at the heart of decisions for the location and quality of accommodation centres.’

      Building on the results of the previous assistance, this funding will ensure accommodation for around 5,000 refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. It will provide access to health and protection assistance and outreach to people living outside of the reception facilities. Also, some items such as jackets, shoes and sleeping bags will be made available for people in need. The unhindered access of humanitarian partners to those in need is crucial in addressing these humanitarian needs.

      The EU funding will also strengthen the capacity of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s authorities in border management, as well as for identification, registration and referral to services for refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants. It will also support assisted voluntary returns.

      Background

      Since the beginning of the refugee crisis in Western Balkans the European Union has allocated more than €25 million in humanitarian aid to assist refugees and migrants in Serbia, and over €4 million to North Macedonia. EU humanitarian aid helps the most vulnerable refugees and migrants to meet basic needs and preserve their dignity. In addition to humanitarian assistance, the European Union has provided Western Balkans partners with significant financial support amounting to €98.2 million for activities related to migration and refugee crisis. This is done primarily through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance.

      Since 2007, the European Union has been providing assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina worth amounting to € 44.8 million in the area of migration and border management through the Instrument for pre-accession assistance. The country has also benefited from the IPA regional programme ‘Support to Protection-Sensitive Migration Management’ worth up to €14.5 million. The emergency humanitarian assistance provided so far amounts to € 3.8 million.

      Over 33,300 refugees and migrants entered Bosnia and Herzegovina since January 2018, according to government estimates. Approximately 8,000 refugees and migrants in need of assistance are currently present in the country, mostly in the Una-Sana Canton. Approximately, 4,500 are accommodated in EU-funded temporary reception centres.

      As of Friday 14 June, local authorities proceeded with a forced relocation of 900-1000 refugees and migrants to a new location called Vučijak that has been deemed unsuitable by the European Union and UN. The above-mentioned venue, without the necessary infrastructure in terms of water, sanitation or electricity, surrounded by minefields, creates a clear danger for the life and health of migrants. Furthermore, the land is a former landfill and may still be toxic. The European Union is concerned about the well-being of the people moved there and has, together with its humanitarian partners, requested the authorities to stop forced relocations and provide dignified and secure shelter solutions. The European Union is also concerned about the authorities’ intention to take measures against humanitarian partners.

      The € 13 million is based on the Commission Decision C (2019) 3189 on supporting Bosnia and Herzegovina in managing the migration flows for 2019

      The €1.8 million announced today is based on the Commission Implementing Decision C(2019) 17 on the financing of humanitarian aid operational priorities from the 2019 general budget of the European Union ECHO/WWD/BUD/2019/01000.


      http://europa.ba/?p=64423

    • Rotta balcanica. Caritas: “Situazione a Bihac inaccettabile, Europa intervenga”

      “Mentre in Serbia la situazione è abbastanza buona, in Bosnia le condizioni dei migranti sono del tutto inaccettabili: hanno bisogno di tutto, alcuni si trovano in un centro informale, dove prima c’era una discarica. E’ inaccettabile che, a 4 ore di macchina dall’Italia, ci siano persone costrette a vivere così. Le istituzioni italiane ed europee devono iniziare a seguire in maniera seria la situazione”. A sottolinearlo è Oliviero Forti di Caritas italiana e Caritas Europa, di ritorno da una missione nei Balcani, nelle zone di confine con la Croazia. “Siamo stati prima in alcuni centri in Serbia: uno di questi era un ex ospedale psichiatrico e affaccia in territorio croato - . aggiunge Forti -. Ma devo dire che qui ci sono standard buoni, di qualità e non ci sono tantissime persone. Diversa è la situazione in Bosnia, lo stress psicologico delle persone è altissimo, i migranti provano costantemente a passare la frontiera ma vengono rimandati indietro. La violenza della polizia croata nei loro confronti sta diventando una vera emergenza”. Al confine, infatti, per i migranti (per lo più afgani, pakistani, iracheni e siriani) che provano il “game” (passaggio delle frontiere) a Bihac il trattamento è durissimo: secondo quanto testimoniato dagli stessi migranti gli abusi sono sistematici: vengono picchiati, i vestiti gli vengono tolti, così come i telefonini spesso distrutti. “A questa situazione va data una risposta diversa - aggiunge -. tra due mesi qui ci saranno due metri di neve, il gioco diventa molto rischioso. Inoltre c’è una difficoltà di integrazione evidente, le persone del luogo sono sempre più intolleranti e razziste nei loro confronti”. La Bosnia sta diventando così un buco nero, dove i migranti restano bloccati senza poter andare avanti né tornare indietro. “A breve la Serbia chiuderà l’accordo con Frontex per monitorare i confini - conclude Forti - anche questo rientra nella strategia di esternalizzazione delle frontiere, che ormai non vediamo più solo in mare ma anche via terra”.

      https://www.redattoresociale.it/article/notiziario/rotta_balcanica_caritas_situazione_a_bihac_inaccettabile_europa_int

    • Il campo tossico dove l’Europa scorda i migranti

      Muri e migrazioni. A #Vucjak, in Bosnia, si sopravvive senza assistenza, tra rifiuti e mine anti-uomo: il campo si trova sopra una vecchia discarica, l’acqua non è potabile e la terra, mai bonificata, è intrisa di veleni. E chi tenta la fuga in Croazia trova la polizia e il suo «gioco»: cibo confiscato e zaini dati alle fiamme

      Nascosto tra le cime boscose del monte Plješevica e circondato da zone ancora minate delle guerre jugoslave, il campo rifugiati di Vucjak, nella Bosnia nord-occidentale, è una prova scioccante della crisi che si è abbattuta contro la porta di servizio dell’Unione europea. Le Nazioni unite hanno recentemente descritto questo campo, a pochi chilometri dal confine spinato croato, come del tutto inadeguato ad accogliere civili.

      UNICO CAMPO in cui non sono presenti le grandi organizzazioni non-governative internazionali, è ufficialmente gestito dalla municipalità della cittadina di Bihac. E sotto-affidata, non ufficialmente, ai volontari della Croce Rossa locale di Bihac.

      È sorto dopo che le autorità della Bosnia e i governi municipali del Cantone di Una-Sana, hanno deciso che i migranti non potevano più rimanere negli spazi pubblici o negli edifici abbandonati, entro i limiti della città.
      Plastica, vetro, vecchi vestiti ormai diventati stracci, copertoni di gomme usate giacciono sul terreno contaminato.

      Si tratta di resti tossici del passato. Il campo si trova sul sito di una vecchia discarica, in attività solo fino a qualche anno fa. Le condizioni sono terribilmente preoccupanti. La sopravvivenza è legata all’acqua non potabile, alla terra intrisa di anni di veleni, al solo lavoro dei volontari.

      ALMENO UN MIGLIAIO di migranti sono ammassati in questo inferno. Provengono da Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Siria, Pakistan. L’accesso all’acqua è ridotto a dieci ore al giorno, non esiste un approvvigionamento idrico permanente.

      Vucjak fa eco all’inumanità del campo profughi di Calais in Francia del nord e all’abietta inazione dei governi europei. La mancanza di infrastrutture di base e servizi igienico-sanitari a Vucjak viola profondamente le norme minime stabilite dai canoni delle Nazioni unite.

      Nel bel mezzo del campo, un’enorme mappa mostra la posizione dei campi minati locali. Ogni giorno, più volte al giorno, camionette della polizia bosniaca riversano su Vucjak migranti che sono fuori dai circuiti dei centri di accoglienza temporanei, quelli dell’Organizzazione internazionale per le Migrazioni.

      Come cani randagi, vengono scaricati in mezzo al campo, dopo aver aperto il portellone posteriore del furgone, sigillato da uno sfolgorante lucchetto. È strettamente proibito riprendere queste scene, non ci sono fotografie, video o materiali propagandistici, ma è una pratica che va avanti indisturbatamente.

      Nonostante l’ingiustizia umanitaria, non sono le mine antiuomo, le condizioni precarie di salute o la mancanza di servizi igienico-sanitari che i migranti raccontano. Raccontano le violenze «passive» della polizia di confine. Nelle ultime settimane c’è un nuovo gioco che usa la polizia croata: rastrellare e bruciare cibo, vestiti, scarpe, zaini, telefoni dei ragazzi che tentano il game.

      Nella programmazione dell’attraversamento del confine croato-bosniaco, si spendono circa 100 marchi (poco più di 50 euro) in generi alimentari, per lo più pane e derivati. Spesso quei 100 marchi rappresentano i risparmi di mesi, così bruciare il cibo diventa un segnale di terribile spietatezza.

      Emad è fuggito dalla Siria, con la moglie e il figlioletto di appena due anni. Ha tentato il game ma l’hanno rispedito nel Borici temporary reception center della città di Bihac, derubandolo di tutto. Mentre lo staff medico dell’associazione italiana One Life Onlus visita il figlio, Emad ci porge una busta di plastica con un telefono all’interno. Ci chiede se lo vogliamo comprare, così con quei soldi può provare di nuovo ad attraversare il confine con la Croazia. È straziante. Non ci sono parole.

      DAL GENNAIO 2018, quasi 36mila migranti sono entrati in Bosnia, rimanendo intrappolati tra le politiche europee, progettate per ridurre gli attraversamenti irregolari, e la situazione di stallo politico in Bosnia, che di fatto impedisce alle autorità locali di fornire protezione.

      Dalla Turchia e dalla Grecia, sono due le principali vie di passaggio per la Bosnia: una attraversa la Macedonia del nord e la Serbia, l’altra attraversa l’Albania e il Montenegro.

      In piedi nel campo di Vucjak, tra una folla di corpi maltrattati e ossa rotte, ci si trova di fronte alle feroci conseguenze della geopolitica europea. Nel cinico sforzo del governo croato di dimostrare di avere le carte in regola per aderire all’area Schengen di libera circolazione, il Paese respinge i migranti senza seguire le adeguate procedure di asilo.

      IL VIAGGIO DI GULRAIZ inizia a Kunduz, in Afghanistan. Facciamo fatica a guadagnare la sua fiducia. La solitudine che accompagna i migranti è invalicabile. Sorridono, ma gli occhi sono vuoti. Mese dopo mese camminano senza alcun riposo e senza alcun appoggio. Si viaggia insieme ad amici di circostanza, a meri compagni di percorso.

      Per un marco ha ricaricato il suo prezioso e vecchio telefono a Vucjak. Dopo qualche racconto, ci mostra sul telefono la mappa che userà per tentare il game partendo dal monte Plješevica, addentrandosi nel fitto bosco bosniaco, passando per la cittadina bosniaca di Šturlic, fino ad arrivare agli anelati cartelli del granicni prelaz, il valico di frontiera. Un firmamento di punti rossi, di luoghi, di coordinate, di passi compaiono sulla funzione ‘satellite’ di Google Maps.

      Ci ferma un biondo poliziotto bosniaco. Camicia chiusa fino all’ultimo bottone, aria spavalda e bieche gambe di piombo. Ci prende i documenti. Cerca di intimorirci segnando i nostri nomi su un taccuino spiegazzato, senza darci alcuna spiegazione.

      Il favoreggiamento all’immigrazione clandestina ha un confine sottile. Siamo costretti ad allontanarci. Lo facciamo con l’immagine negli occhi della mappa satellitare di Gulraiz, con le mani segnate da un viaggio inumano di Abdurahman che con ago e filo riparava il suo zaino, con gli occhi sgranati dall’incertezza dei ragazzi che non hanno un badge per il ’5 stelle’ dei centri di accoglienza temporanei.

      Lasciamo la Bosnia con l’immagine di Ibrahim, poco più di tre anni, che segue camminando il suo papà, imitandolo con le braccia piegate all’indietro.

      https://ilmanifesto.it/il-campo-tossico-dove-leuropa-scorda-i-migranti

    • ‘Absurdistan’ : Migrants face dangerous winter in Bosnia

      Political inaction leaves hundreds living on former dump amid snake-infested minefields

      “This is jungle life,” says Wasim, a Pakistani who is among hundreds of migrants staying in a makeshift camp in northwestern Bosnia, from where they strike out at night in small groups for nearby Croatia and the European Union.

      “We are all like animals here just trying to survive. It’s the worst sentence I could say, but unfortunately it’s true.”

      The political science graduate from near Lahore speaks eloquently about how a famous son of the city, Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan, could transform life for his nation of 208 million and the quarter of its people who live in poverty.

      Wasim (34) plans to return when times are better, but now he must hike again through the thickly wooded hills above the camp, try to slip past Croatian border guards who are accused of beating and robbing migrants, and find the hoped-for job somewhere in the EU that was his reason for leaving home last year.

      Danger is all around: the squalid Vucjak camp is built on a former rubbish dump that may hold high levels of methane gas – prompting the UN’s International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to declare it unfit for human habitation – while the hills are infested with snakes and dotted with landmines from Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war.

      There are no toilets for the more than 500 men who live here and washing facilities are rudimentary, increasing the risk of disease; fights are common, particularly after dark when police and local aid workers go home. A man was stabbed to death here last week during a fight between Pakistanis and Syrians.

      “No one feels safe,” Wasim explains, as men who have fled conflict and poverty from North Africa to Afghanistan line up in the dust to receive food from the Bosnian Red Cross.

      “Might is right here. Everyone pushes each other, everyone is desperate and wants to move on,” he says of this remote corner of Europe where he has been stuck for three months, having failed “four or five times” to enter the EU undetected.

      “Everyone knows where to go. Even if they are illiterate, even if they didn’t go to school at all, they know Croatian and Slovenian and Italian cities by name. Everyone talks about this. Maybe they can’t even tell the time, but they know how to find locations with a mobile phone.”

      The so-called Balkan route did not cross Bosnia in 2015, when more than one million refugees and migrants followed it from Turkey towards Germany and other EU states, where their arrival sent immigration to the top of the political agenda.
      Derelict buildings

      Even in 2017, Bosnia registered only 755 migrants but, as the route shifted to bypass tighter border controls elsewhere in the Balkans, that number soared to 25,000 in 2018 – and 20,000 migrants have entered the country so far this year.

      They keep coming this way because it works – only about 6,500 of those people are still in Bosnia – but as months of cold, wet and snowy weather approach, up to 2,000 people are living rough at Vucjak and in parks, woods and derelict buildings in the border towns of Bihac and Velika Kladusa.

      “We’ve been warning since January of the need to increase the number of official migrant centres or their capacity . . . but there was no political decision to expand accommodation, even though international funding is available,” says Peter Van der Auweraert, the IOM representative in Bosnia.

      “Winter is just around the corner and any new location takes time to establish. We now have about 4,200 beds for migrants around the country, but we need about 2,000 more,” he told The Irish Times.


      “Vucjak is a disaster and it would be a bigger disaster if it’s still open in winter . . . If we don’t act now we will have people sleeping outside in Vucjak and other totally unacceptable places and we will be facing a threat to human life.”

      Yet Bosnian political leaders at all levels are unwilling to take any steps that rivals could portray as an “invitation” to migrants, or which would acknowledge the fact that they are likely to keep coming to the country for the foreseeable future.

      The local authorities in Bihac transported people to Vucjak despite objections from international aid groups, moving them from the city’s streets and parks to the edge of the forest – “the jungle” to migrants – which leads to Croatia.

      National politics is meanwhile paralysed, not for the first time under Bosnia’s fiendishly complex post-war system, as parties representing its Bosniak Muslim, Serb and Croat communities have yet to form a government nearly a year after elections.

      “This is ‘Absurdistan’,” declares Ale Siljdedic, police spokesman for Una-Sana canton, in his office in Bihac.

      “The problem is that no one cares in this country. They don’t care for local people, never mind the migrants. What is 5,000 migrants for a whole country if everyone shares them around? It’s nothing. But for a city of 50,000 like Bihac it’s too much.”
      Mass brawls

      The Pakistani stabbed at Vucjak last week was the second man to die in fights between migrants in Bihac. There have been a couple of mass brawls, but most of the cases he sees relate to minor thefts, particularly of phones and clothes, and break-ins at empty houses near the border where migrants sleep and then move on.

      “If you don’t have something to eat and you’re hungry you will go inside somewhere and get it. If it’s freezing cold and you could be dead the next morning then you’ll go into a house or abandoned building to sleep,” Mr Siljdedic says.

      “Maybe we’ll find you dead with two friends as happened last year, when they made a fire and it spread everywhere and they were killed. We’ve had 20 dead migrants in the last two years: two murdered, six drowned, three burned, some car accidents and a train hit one guy. This is the life we have here – people are coming and going and some die.

      “Camp Vucjak is not good and it will be much worse in winter. When the rain and snow come – and it can be minus 20 with two metres of snow up there – what will happen to those guys? They’ll come to Bihac and come into contact with locals and make some shit. And then we’ll have to deal with them.”


      Many migrants see the next few weeks as their last chance to reach the EU this year, creating a likely increase in movement towards Croatia, where officials deny claims that border guards beat and rob people that they push back into Bosnia.

      “With winter coming [migrants] are increasingly on edge and they feel like it’s ‘now or never’ to get across the border. At the same, the border guards in Croatia seem to be pushing people back more aggressively than before,” says Nihal Osman, deputy field co-ordinator in Bosnia and Serbia for Médecins Sans Frontières.

      “There’s been a noticeable increase of alleged push-back injuries in the last week or so, including people with broken bones and dog bites.”

      Sitting in a wheelchair in an IOM-run camp near Bihac, Amir Ali Mohammad Labaf accuses Croatian border guards of dumping him in the forest near the frontier just days after he suffered back injuries when he fell down a roadside embankment.

      Labaf says he was persecuted in Iran as an activist from the Gonabadi dervish order, a major Sufi sect that is denounced by country’s Shia theocracy; news reports from 2008 say a court in Qom sentenced a member of the sect with the same name to five years in jail, 74 lashes and internal exile for “spreading lies”.

      “I was in hospital for a day in Croatia and asked for asylum. They said no and deported me to the jungle,” says Labaf (40), referring to the forest that spans the border. “I want to go to France, but I can only walk a little and with great pain.”

      At Vucjak, meanwhile, Wasim is ready for another round of what migrants call “the game”.

      “I don’t have money to pay smugglers so I will try by myself to cross the border. I have some knowledge of the stars so I can travel by night,” he says. “You just have to try and try and try. And when you succeed, then you know it was the right time.”

      https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/absurdistan-migrants-face-dangerous-winter-in-bosnia-1.4027923

    • Water cut to crowded migrant camp as Bosnian authorities feud, seek to downsize its population

      Local authorities in the Bosnian town of Bihac on Monday cut off a nearby migrant camp’s water supply, to pressure the government into reducing the population of the overcrowded site that international organizations have criticized as unsuitable.

      But aid workers said the move will just cause additional suffering for the #Vucjak tent camp’s 1,000 residents, many of whom walked out of the site with empty plastic bottles to beg water from Bosnians living in the vicinity.

      Officials in the northwestern town also announced a crisis meeting to discuss what to do with the camp, which hosts migrants stopped in the impoverished Balkan country while trying to reach Western Europe.

      “It is obvious that the situation must be brought to the verge of absurdity in order to be solved,” complained Bihac Mayor Suhret Fazlic.

      Both the United Nations and the European Union missions in Bosnia have urged authorities to relocate the migrants from Vucjak — which is situated on a former landfill and near minefields left over from the 1992-95 war.

      Camp resident Osman Ali, from Pakistan, described conditions as “bad, very bad.”

      “I think all people here are seeking a better situation, situation is very dirty here,” he told The Associated Press.

      Ali and other migrants were lining up Monday for a meal from the local Red Cross. Police last week rounded up hundreds of migrants from Bihac and brought them all to Vucjak, nearly doubling the camp population.

      Fazlic has warned that the city will also cut waste collection services to draw attention to the camp’s failings and force the government to share the burden and move some of the migrants to other parts of the country.

      Thousands of migrants are stuck in northwestern Bosnia, unable to continue their trek north through neighboring Croatia whose police have been accused of violently repulsing migrants caught trying to illegally cross the border.

      Selam Midzic, a Red Cross representative at Vucjak, said cutting the water supply would just raise tensions among the migrants, and consequently with aid workers and locals.

      “In the camp itself, migrants will put pressure on the Red Cross representatives, who work here and who have no protection at all, demanding to be provided with drinking water,” he warned.

      The U.N. last week warned of a possible “humanitarian emergency” if aid is cut for the camp, urging Bosnia’s government to urgently find a new location.

      In the dusty camp, some migrants used puddle water to wash. Lounging outdoors during a spell of unusually warm weather, others said they fear conditions will deteriorate once winter cold sets in.

      Ahmed, from Pakistan, said many migrants have been sick: “(We don’t) have water, (or) food, (they) only give one person two (slices of) bread,” he said and added, pointing to his feet and clothing: “No have shoes and no jacket!”

      Tens of thousands of people from Asia, the Middle East and Africa emigrate illegally to Europe every year, braving perilous sea journeys and closed borders in the hope of securing a better life in the continent’s more affluent countries.

      On Monday, Libya’s coast guard said it intercepted 126 Europe-bound migrants in a rubber boat off the country’s Mediterranean coast.

      In Malta, authorities said police arrested 107 people following overnight riots in the Hal Fa migrant detention center.

      The interior ministry said the trouble, involving about 300 migrants, started late Sunday when a migrant tried to enter the center while allegedly drunk. A police vehicle was damaged and three police officers slightly injured in the violence.

      The U.N. refugee agency expressed concern.


      https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/10/22/world/social-issues-world/water-cut-crowded-migrant-camp-bosnian-authorities-feud-seek-downsize-
      #eau #coupure #dissuasion

    • Inside Bosnia’s ’nightmare’ camp for migrants trying to enter the EU

      Aid agencies are warning of a humanitarian disaster in Bosnia, with people facing a winter without proper accommodation.

      Bosnia is now a major route into the EU – 45,000 migrants have arrived in the country since the start of 2018.

      The country’s official refugee camps are full and the government has not allocated new sites, despite being given £10m by the EU this summer to do so.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-europe-50132250/inside-bosnia-s-nightmare-camp-for-migrants-trying-to-enter-the-eu
      #vidéo #gale #hiver #campement

      On dit dans le reportage que la zone autour du camp est entourée de #mines_anti-personnel

    • Réponse de Simon Missiri à ma question sur l’argent récolté par la #Croix-Rouge pour faire face à la situation humanitaire en Bosnie, via twitter 25.10.2109 :


      « We were able to raise only CHF 1.3 mln despite all efforts. This financed food non-food support to 41,000 migrants this year. Much more is needed in this desperate situation. »
      https://twitter.com/SimonMissiri/status/1187679349685645312

      Le lien vers le rapport « Emergency Plan of Action Operations Update No .3, Bosnia and Herzegovina : Population Movement » du 25.10.2109


      https://t.co/WBFbWSf3c2?amp=1

    • Bosnian authorities have announced the closure of the ad-hoc “camp” in Vučjak, where terrible conditions prevail and refugees have no access to water, toilets, or medical assistance (https://apps.derstandard.at/privacywall/story/2000110464615/bosnisches-aufnahmezentrum-fuer-fluechtlinge-wird-geschlossen). The camp, which was built on a former garbage dump, has been repeatedly criticised by a number of international and regional organisations for its range of health threats and non-compliance or minimum standards for refugee reception. With the previously announced closure of the temporary reception centres Bira in Bihać and Miral in Velika Kladuša, the question of accommodating thousands of refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina arises, especially given that the weather is rapidly getting worse and winter is coming soon.

      Reçu via Inicijativa dobrodosli, mail du 06.11.2019.

      –---------------
      Bosnisches Aufnahmezentrum für Flüchtlinge wird geschlossen

      Ein neuer Standort soll gefunden werden, da das Lager nahe einer Mülldeponie und eines Minenfelds errichtet worden war.

      Bosniens Sicherheitsminister Dragan Mektić hat am Dienstag die Schließung des Flüchtlingszentrums Vučjak etwa zehn Kilometer von Bihać entfernt angekündigt. Dort halten sich laut dem Minister derzeit zwischen 800 und 1.000 Flüchtlinge und Migranten auf.

      Das Aufnahmezentrum war im Juni unweit einer Mülldeponie und eines Minenfelds errichtet worden. Mehrere internationale Organisationen hatten sogleich gewarnt, dass das Zentrum ein ernstes Gesundheits- und Sicherheitsrisiko darstelle und nicht den internationalen Normen entsprechend für die Unterbringung von Flüchtlingen ausgestattet sei.
      Keine ehemaligen Kasernen

      Föderationspremier Fadil Novalić hat Mektić zufolge dieser Tage einige Standorte für ein neues Aufnahmezentrum vorgeschlagen. Es würde sich um eine Investition von 1,5 bis zwei Millionen Euro handeln, berichtete der Minister. Die Kommunalbehörden sind weiterhin nicht bereit, den gesamtstaatlichen Behörden ehemalige Militärkasernen zur Aufnahme von Flüchtlingen zur Verfügung zu stellen.

      Die Behörden des Kantons Una-Sana hatten in der Vorwoche die Schließung von weiteren zwei Aufnahmezentren, Bira in Bihać und Miral in Velika Kladuša, angekündigt. In den beiden Zentren halten sich derzeit rund 2.000 Personen auf.

      Im Kanton Una-Sana befinden sich laut früheren Angaben der Regionalregierung etwa 5.000 Migranten und Flüchtlinge, heuer wurden bereits 36.000 registriert. (APA, 29.10.2019)

      https://apps.derstandard.at/privacywall/story/2000110464615/bosnisches-aufnahmezentrum-fuer-fluechtlinge-wird-geschlossen

  • En #Bosnie, Ajnas se bat pour les #enfants de la #honte

    En #Bosnie-Herzégovine, on les appelle les « #enfants_invisibles ». Ce sont les bébés nés de viols commis pendant la guerre de Yougoslavie – par des soldats ennemis, mais aussi par des Casques bleus. Ajna Jusic est l’un de ces enfants de la honte, qui seraient entre 2 000 et 4 000 dans le pays...

    La jeune femme, à qui la mère a longtemps caché sa véritable histoire, lutte aujourd’hui pour faire reconnaître ces personnes, discriminées par la société, comme victimes de guerre officielles.

    https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/079474-003-A/arte-regards
    #guerre #histoire #ex-Yougoslavie #viols #viols_de_guerre #femmes #invisibilité #discriminations #égalité_de_traitement #victimes_de_guerre #préjugés #rejet #insultes #adoption #exclusion #traumatisme #culpabilisation #stigmatisation #santé_mentale #reportage #documentaire #film

    Les mots très forts de Ajna Jusic :

    « Les dégâts causés par la guerre n’ont pas de nationalité, ni d’ethnie. Le viol n’a rien à voir avec la nationalité, c’est une expérience traumatisante et c’est comme tel qu’il faut le traiter »

    #nationalisme

  • Faire la #paix avec la #guerre

    Quatre frères d’armes. Une guerre, celle de #Bosnie-Herzégovine. Et une #mission_de_paix, une vraie celle-là, toute personnelle, qui commence pour les Gatinois Dominique Brière, Érick Moyneur, Luc Laframboise et Frédérick Lavergne. Vingt-cinq ans après y avoir été déployés, les quatre anciens réservistes du #Régiment_de_Hull se préparent à retourner en Bosnie, dans l’espoir d’en revenir une fois pour toutes.


    https://ici.tou.tv/faire-la-paix-avec-la-guerre/S01E01
    #Bosnie #ex-Yougoslavie #ONU #film #documentaire
    ping @albertocampiphoto @wizo

  • #métaliste (qui va être un grand chantier, car il y a plein d’information sur seenthis, qu’il faudrait réorganiser) sur :
    #externalisation #contrôles_frontaliers #frontières #migrations #réfugiés

    Des liens vers des articles généraux sur l’externalisation des frontières de la part de l’ #UE (#EU) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/569305
    https://seenthis.net/messages/390549
    https://seenthis.net/messages/320101

    Ici une tentative (très mal réussie, car évidement, la divergence entre pratiques et les discours à un moment donné, ça se voit !) de l’UE de faire une brochure pour déconstruire les mythes autour de la migration...
    La question de l’externalisation y est abordée dans différentes parties de la brochure :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/765967

    Petit chapitre/encadré sur l’externalisation des frontières dans l’ouvrage « (Dé)passer la frontière » :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/769367

    Les origines de l’externalisation des contrôles frontaliers (maritimes) : accord #USA-#Haïti de #1981 :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/768694

    L’externalisation des politiques européennes en matière de migration
    https://seenthis.net/messages/787450

    "#Sous-traitance" de la #politique_migratoire en Afrique : l’Europe a-t-elle les mains propres ?
    https://seenthis.net/messages/789048

    Partners in crime ? The impacts of Europe’s outsourced migration controls on peace, stability and rights :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/794636
    #paix #stabilité #droits #Libye #Niger #Turquie

  • #Spomeniks, les #monuments de la discorde

    Bataille idéologique autour des « spomeniks », c’est un #reportage long format de @daphne tourné en #Serbie, en #Croatie et en #Bosnie-Herzégovine où les ultras-nationalistes se réapproprient les monuments de la #résistance contre les nazis, et tentent de réécrire l’histoire de la #Seconde_Guerre_mondiale… comme le révèle le photographe @albertocampiphoto. Depuis une dizaine d’années, ce photographe du collectif @wereport sillonne l’ex-Yougoslavie à la recherche des #mémoriaux des #partisans anti-fascistes.


    http://www.rfi.fr/emission/20181007-spomeniks-monuments-discorde-serbie-croatie-bosnie-herzegovine-nazis
    #mémoire #ex-Yougoslavie #Tito #monument #spomenik #anti-fascisme

    ping @reka

    • #Inappropriate_monuments

      The regional platform Inappropriate Monuments was created to establish a framework for the long-term collaboration of organisations from the EU and the Western Balkans dealing with the revalorisation and protection of their anti-fascist heritage and monument heritage connected with the Peoples’ Liberation Struggle (NOB). Members of the platform include: Group of architects, Belgrade, The History Museum of Bosnia and Hercegovina, Sarajevo, Modern Gallery (MG+MSUM), Ljubljana and Social Fringe: interesting untold stories (SF:ius), Zagreb.

      With the collapse of Yugoslavia the interest in this heritage practically disappeared and the status of the monuments became the subject of controversy and a target of revisionism. Protection is inadequate; there are no clearly developed criteria for their restoration or strategies for revalorisation. Many of the monuments are partially or permanently destroyed, and others are neglected and left to ruin. Research made in the successor countries are not integrated and difficult to access – there has never been a complete register of the monuments. Initiatives aimed at the protection of NOB monuments have, until now, mainly emerged outside of official channels, for example under the initiative of individuals. These individuals then face a number of difficulties including their own shortcomings and the lack of interest from legislators in supporting them.

      The goals of the platform are to connect institutions and independent organisations to strengthen their capacity and distribute the results of research projects in order to advocate for a regulated international strategy regarding anti-fascist heritage. Through activities carried out by the platform including: research and mapping heritage monuments, interviewing people and representatives of the institutions responsible for their erection and maintenance, holding workshops for students, conferences for experts and exhibitions and art conferences, the platform will examine the economic, political and ideological conditions surrounding the emergence of monuments, monument complexes and memorial complexes. It will also examine their contemporary reception and the conditions under which this occurs. Considering the growing interest and fetishisation of NOB monuments in western countries, and socialist heritage in general, the platform is seeking possible models of revitalisation and methods of management. Through a comparative analysis of the situation in former Yugoslavia, the platform aims to draw parallels between the transitional periods of the members of the former state and the treatment of heritage monuments connected to NOB and the anti-fascist struggle, thereby showing that these processes can only be explained through interactive research.

      The web-portal, inapropriatemonuments.org is conceived as an on-line database for the activities of the platform and its members and as a virtual archive of documents and photographs.


      https://inappropriatemonuments.org/en

      Avec une carte

      #cartographie

  • #Bosnie-Herzégovine : une nouvelle carte électorale pour confirmer la #ségrégation ethnique ?

    Depuis l’été 2017, on parle de redessiner la carte électorale en Fédération, l’entité croato-bosniaque, pour se calquer sur les résultats du dernier #recensement de 2013, et plus, comme le prévoit l’annexe constitutionnelle des #accords_de_Dayton, sur celui de 1991. Beaucoup s’indignent d’une validation du « #nettoyage_ethnique » de la #guerre.


    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/legislatives-confirmer-segregation

    #cartographie #visualisation #ex-Yougoslavie #cartographie_électorale #géographie_politique
    ping @reka

  • I bambini di #Bjelave: un caso ancora aperto

    Durante l’assedio 46 bambini dell’orfanotrofio di Sarajevo vennero accolti in Italia. Non tutti erano orfani e nonostante questo, non sono stati rimpatriati ma dati in adozione. Alcuni dei genitori biologici li hanno cercati per anni. Un’intervista all’attivista per i diritti umani Jagoda Savić, che dal 2000 si sta occupando del caso.

    Lei si è occupata di un caso che anni fa ha sollevato parecchia attenzione: quella dei bambini dell’orfanotrofio di Sarajevo che durante la guerra sono stati accolti in Italia, ma invece di tornare in Bosnia sono stati dati in adozione.

    Dal punto di vista giuridico, a prima vista, tutto pare ben fatto e invece non lo è. Vale la pena ricordare tutta questa storia non perché si possa cambiare qualcosa, visto che le adozioni sono state portate a termine e non si può più far niente. Ma perché può fungere da utilissima lezione per i giuristi italiani sugli errori che sono stati fatti in una procedura di adozione internazionale che ha coinvolto bambini profughi, un paese in guerra e con un lungo e difficile periodo post-conflitto.

    Come mai ha iniziato ad occuparsene?

    Mi sono trovata coinvolta in questa storia nel 2000, quando Uzeir Kahvić padre di Sedina che faceva parte di quel gruppo di bambini, è venuto nell’ufficio della mia organizzazione non governativa «SOS – telefon» (Telefono azzurro) nella quale ci occupavamo di lotta alla violenza domestica ma anche di altri casi di bisogno legato a situazioni familiari difficili. Ci ha chiesto di aiutarlo a trovare la figlia dopo anni che ci provava invano da solo. Ho cominciato quindi a raccogliere informazioni e ho ricostruito la storia che inizia nel lontano 1992 e che si è rivelata molto complessa.

    Che cosa è accaduto nel 1992?

    Da Sarajevo, città già sotto assedio da tre mesi, il 18 luglio 1992 è partito un convoglio di 67 bambini tra i quali 46 tra orfani e minori con situazioni disagiate che stavano all’orfanotrofio «#Ljubica_Ivezić» (ndr: che nel 1997 ha cambiato nome in «#Dječiji_dom_Bjelave»). La loro partenza era stata decisa per portarli in luoghi sicuri.: la città veniva bombardata ogni giorno, mancavano luce, acqua e cibo. Il centro accoglieva anche neonati e bambini molto piccoli e non si riusciva ad assicurare loro minime condizioni di vita. Per cui sulla bontà del trasferimento in Italia non vi è alcun dubbio. Sono arrivati in autobus fino a Spalato sulla costa croata e poi via mare hanno raggiunto Ancona.

    Dove sono stati portati e chi li ha presi in carico?

    All’arrivo in Italia i bambini dell’orfanotrofio sono stati divisi in due gruppi: i 35 con età inferiore ai 10 anni di età sono stati portati al «Centro Mamma Rita» di Monza, mentre 11 sono finiti al centro estivo «Santa Maria» di Bellaria Igea Marina (ndr: in provincia di Rimini, ora si chiama «Casa vacanze San Giuseppe») gestiti dalle suore. I bambini sono poi rimasti qui degli anni invece che tornare dopo pochi mesi come si era pensato, a causa del prolungarsi della guerra in Bosnia.

    Una delle questioni problematiche che è emersa durante le nostre ricerche è che tra le autorità bosniache e italiane non è stato siglato alcun documento che regolasse i termini dell’accoglienza, come ad esempio il tempo di permanenza in Italia, i doveri di chi prendeva in carico i minori e i diritti di questi ultimi. Per cui all’arrivo i bambini sono stati messi subito sotto la giurisdizione del Tribunale per i Minorenni di Milano.

    Perché alla fine della guerra i bambini non sono tornati a Sarajevo?

    So che tra il 1995 e il 1996 si sono recati in Italia sia il rappresentante dell’organizzazione Prva «Dječija ambasada Međaši» (Prima Ambasciata dei bambini Međaši) Duško Tomić che aveva organizzato il convoglio, sia l’allora direttore dell’orfanotrofio di Sarajevo, Amir Zelić per avere informazioni sui bambini e chiederne il ritorno. Mi ha raccontato Amir Zelić che le autorità italiane avevano ritenuto che in Bosnia Erzegovina non ci fossero ancora le condizioni per farli rientrare.

    In seguito sono stati dati in affido a famiglie italiane ed è stata avviata la procedura per l’adottabilità. A questo punto cosa è accaduto tra Italia e Bosnia?

    Qui è cominciato il primo «scontro», se parliamo di prese di posizione e giochi di rimpallo delle responsabilità su quello che è successo poi, tra l’Italia e la Bosnia Ezegovina.

    Secondo i documenti da me visionati, il 27 giugno del 1996 il Dipartimento della protezione sociale presso il Consiglio dei Ministri, poi approvato dalla Commissione centrale per le adozioni internazionali e pubblicato l’8 luglio 1996, è stato deciso che tutti i bambini del gruppo bosniaco sarebbero stati sottoposti alla procedura di adottabilità presso la giurisdizione di competenza locale e cioè il Tribunale dei minorenni di Milano.

    Intanto in Bosnia Erzegovina il 24 aprile del 1996 il governo ha ratificato, su indicazione del Ministero per le politiche sociali, rifugiati e sfollati, il «Programma integrale per la tutela dei bambini profughi senza genitori dall’Italia alla BiH» che prevedeva il rientro dei minori entro il giugno successivo. Il testo del Programma è stato poi inoltrato, con lettera del Ministero degli Affari esteri bosniaco al Consolato di Bosnia Erzegovina a Milano, il 25 aprile.

    I due documenti emessi da Italia e Bosnia sono però innanzitutto opposti: lo stato bosniaco ha trattato il problema considerando il gruppo nel suo insieme, mentre le autorità italiane ha trattato i bambini caso per caso e così ha proseguito. Inoltre, allora non abbiamo ottenuto di poter accedere ai documenti protocollati dalle autorità italiane, perché eravamo troppo «piccoli» e deboli... Per cui non ho scoperto se il documento bosniaco è stato consegnato nei tempi richiesti alle autorità italiane, perché ci sono tre settimane di differenza tra la data in cui è stato redatto il documento bosniaco e la data in cui il Consiglio italiano ha preso la sua posizione.

    Solo nel 2007 è emerso dal rapporto redatto dal Gruppo di esperti del Consiglio dei ministri della BiH, costituitosi nel 2005 per indagare su questo caso, che il Consolato bosniaco a Milano tra aprile e giugno 1996 non era stato in grado di tradurre il Programma.

    A questo proposito c’è un punto che voglio sottolineare. Per parte italiana sono state eccessive le pretese nei confronti di un paese nascente, appena uscito dalla guerra, che ancora doveva impostare e creare un sistema funzionante di gestione dell’amministrazione pubblica. Un paese che non aveva i minimi presupposti per poter proseguire con le procedure richieste per legge al paese di origine di bambini sottoposti ad adozione internazionale.

    L’Italia si è comportata con il nostro paese come se avesse a che fare con un qualsiasi altro stato europeo come la Fancia o la Germania. Ha avviato procedure delicate senza invece controllare e monitorare che in Bosnia le procedure venissero eseguite a dovere. E’ stato il più grave errore per parte italiana, sebbene non l’unico.

    Quali altri?

    Prima di tutto, alcuni bambini sono stati dati in adozione senza che nel fascicolo giudiziario ci fosse il loro certificato di nascita. Questo significa che ad esempio, nel caso di due minori, Vedrana Hastor e Dejan Goljanin, la procedura di adottabilità è stata avviata dal Tribunale milanese con questi nomi ma all’anagrafe bosniaca sono iscritti con altri nomi.

    Poi, c’è la questione della rogatoria internazionale, che è l’atto basilare della procedura di adozione internazionale, dove il genitore biologico deve rispondere se vuole riavere il proprio figlio o se vuole abbandonarlo e darlo in adozione. L’Italia ha mandato una prima una nota verbale e poi alcune successive con le quali ha sollecitato le autorità bosniache ad ottenere risposte. Ma le rogatorie – posso parlare per i casi su cui ho indagato – non sono mai arrivate ai genitori e le risposte di questi non sono ovviamente mai arrivate in Italia. Per cui dopo 5 anni di attesa, il Tribunale di Milano ha emesso le sentenze di adozione.

    Questo «gioco» delle rogatorie rappresenta un altro punto importante: il Tribunale dei minorenni di Milano sulla spedizione delle rogatorie internazionali e le autorità bosniache per la parte relativa al ricevimento delle stesse. Questi due «giochi» hanno provocato un distacco ingiusto tra i genitori biologici e i loro figli, violando il diritto delle due parti di potersi esprimersi in merito.

    D’altronde sappiamo che per legge, in base alla Convenzione dell’Aja recepita dall’Italia nel 1998, sono previsti casi estremi in cui si può procedere all’adozione in assenza del consenso dei genitori.

    Sì ma il fatto, non indifferente, è che alcune rogatorie contenevano degli errori. Posso parlare solo per i casi su cui sono riuscita ad ottenere informazioni certe e copie di documenti, sebbene dopo che per anni ci è stato impedito di accedervi.

    Una delle rogatorie è stata spedita nel paese sbagliato: accanto al nome e alla città di residenza del genitore c’è scritta la sigla «Ex Yu», quando invece si tratta di una località (Loznica) che si trova in Serbia e non in Bosnia Erzegovina. Con quella sigla «Ex Yu», come sapete inesistente già da anni, la rogatoria è stata spedita in Bosnia - paese che all’epoca aveva tanti conflitti con la Serbia - e non è stata rispedita al mittente.

    La seconda è stata spedita a una madre defunta da anni, oltre che al padre in vita. E questo nonostante sul fascicolo di questa bimba, nell’anamnesi sociale e familiare che viene allegata ad ogni procedura di adottabilità rilasciata dai servizi preposti, c’era scritto chiaramente che la madre si era suicidata subito dopo il parto. Parliamo del caso di Uzeir Kahvić ed è un dato di cui il giudice del tribunale milanese doveva essere a conoscenza.

    La terza rogatoria è stata spedita a una persona inesistente e lo spiego meglio con nomi inventati: la madre si chiama Maria Ricci e il padre si chiama Alberto Della Costa. Il nome del genitore al quale è stata mandata la rogatoria è «Maria Alberto», quindi un destinatario composto da due nomi propri senza alcun cognome.

    E le autorità bosniache?

    Abbiamo indagato, per quanto è stato possibile, anche rispetto ai passi giuridici fatti o meno in Bosnia. Abbiamo trovato conferma che un gruppo di rogatorie sono state ricevute dal Ministero affari esteri bosniaco e da qui regolamente spedite al Ministero per gli affari civili di BiH che in quel momento era competente per occuparsi del problema.

    Per le restanti rogatorie non ci è stata fornita questa prova. Abbiamo chiesto anche al Dipartimento che si occupava di rifugiati, sfollati e quindi di adozioni che stava sotto al Ministero per gli affari civili di BiH. Ci hanno risposto ufficialmente e per iscritto che negli archivi la documentazione non esisteva. Quindi in quel momento non siamo riusciti a verificare se il Ministero affari civili bosniaco aveva o meno trasmesso ai livelli più bassi le rogatorie arrivate dall’Italia.

    Ma non è finita qui. Ci siamo poi rivolti al livello amministrativo di livello più basso, cioè al Ministero per gli affari sociali della Federazione di BiH, dunque di una delle due entità in cui è diviso il paese. Appellandoci alla legge sul libero accesso alle informazioni abbiamo chiesto di accedere all’archivio, ma dall’archivio ci hanno risposto – mentendo, come abbiamo scoperto dopo - che non avevano alcuna documentazione.

    Non ci siamo dati per vinti e ci siamo rivolti all’ufficio del Ministro federale per gli affari sociali. Dopo anni, ci hanno rilasciato un documento incontrovertibile: vi sono indicati i nomi della Commissione che controlla la consegna della documentazione, con tanto di nomi e firme dei membri, timbro e allegato l’elenco di tutti i file che erano stati depositati all’archivio. E’ da questo elenco che abbiamo scoperto che, la prima volta, all’archivio ci avevano mentito.

    Quindi la complessità amministrativa del paese, frammentata e a più livelli, non ha facilitato una procedura regolare e ha reso molto difficile scoprire i fatti.

    Non avendo potuto accedere agli archivi di tutti i livelli, non possiamo sapere se per parte bosniaca c’è stata premeditazione o se si è trattato solo di una situazione di caos dovuta al periodo di transizione del dopoguerra. A questo proposito, voglio ricordare che ci siamo rivolti anche a livello cantonale (ndr: la Federazione di Bosnia Erzegovina è divisa in 10 cantoni e questi in numerose municipalità). Ma purtroppo, dato che già al livello «superiore» – quello federale - non avevamo ottenuto alcuna informazione sul ricevimento delle rogatorie arrivate dall’Italia, non ci sono state fornite informazioni nemmeno dai Centri sociali per gli affari sociali dei Cantoni diversi in cui risiedevano i genitori.

    Posso solo dire che tra i genitori con cui man mano sono entrata in contatto diretto, nessuno ha ricevuto la rogatoria eccetto in un caso, dove i genitori erano deceduti e la nonna di un bimbo ha dichiarato di averla ricevuta.

    Quanti bambini sono stati dati in adozione?

    In base alle informazioni di cui dispongo sono 16. Perché alcuni, nel corso della procedura di adottabilità, hanno superato i 18 anni di età. Alcuni sono riusciti ad entrare in contatto con le famiglie di origine, altri non l’hanno voluto, altri ancora non sanno che le famiglie di origine li stanno cercando.

    Il risultato, purtroppo, è che dei bambini bosniaci non hanno più fatto ritorno nel loro luogo d’origine e hanno perso contatti con la famiglia. E’ stato creato un distacco artificiale tra i genitori biologici e i figli, e questi ultimi si sono convinti che i genitori avessero deciso di abbandonarli.

    Lo posso dire perché ho seguito diversi casi oltre a quello di Uzeir Kahvić e ne sto seguendo un altro di cui sono venuta a conoscenza nel 2015. Un padre che, com’è stato per Uzeir, da 22 anni sta cercando suo figlio arrivato in Italia con quel convoglio del 1992. Ma questa è un’altra lunga storia.

    https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/aree/Bosnia-Erzegovina/I-bambini-di-Bjelave-un-caso-ancora-aperto-189911
    #orphelins (mais pas tous, justement, c’est la question de l’article) #adoption #guerre #conflits #enfants #enfance #histoire #ex-Yougoslavie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Sarajevo #Italie #orphelinat

  • Threatening wilderness, dams fuel protests in the Balkans

    For almost a year, a clutch of Bosnian women has kept watch over a wooden bridge to disrupt the march of hydropower - part of a Balkan-wide protest against the damming of Europe’s wild rivers.

    From Albania to Slovenia, critics fear the proposed run of dams will destroy their majestic landscape, steal their water and extinguish species unique to the Balkans.

    So the village women stake out the bridge around the clock, listening out for the telltale sounds of diggers on the move.

    “We are always here, during the day, at night, always,” said Hata Hurem, a 31-year-old housewife, in the shadow of the towering mountains that dominate the Balkan landscape.

    Clustered by a creek on the edge of the village of Kruscica, about 40 miles north west of Sarajevo, the local women have taken turns to stand firm, blocking trucks and scrapers from accessing the construction sites of two small plants.

    Investment in renewable energy is growing worldwide as countries rush to meet goals set by the Paris Agreement on climate change. But from China to South America, dams cause controversy for flooding fragile ecosystems and displacing local communities.

    Plans to build almost 3,000 hydropower plants were underway across the Balkans in 2017, about 10 percent of them in Bosnia, according to a study by consultancy Fluvius.

    Authorities and investors say boosting hydropower is key to reducing regional dependency on coal and to falling in line with European Union energy policies as Western Balkan states move toward integration with the bloc.

    Sponsored

    The energy ministry of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of Bosnia’s two autonomous regions, where Kruscica is located, did not respond to a request for comment.

    The government of Bosnia’s other region, Republika Srpska, said building dams was easier and cheaper than shifting toward other power sources.

    “The Republic of Srpska has comparative advantages in its unused hydro potential and considers it quite justified to achieve the goals set by the EU by exploiting its unused hydropower,” said energy ministry spokeswoman Zorana Kisic.
    DAMS AND PICKETS

    Yet, critics say the “dam tsunami” - a term coined by anti-hydropower activists - endangers Europe’s last wild rivers, which flow free.

    If rivers stop running freely, they say dozens of species, from the Danube Salmon to the Balkan Lynx, are at risk.

    About a third of the planned dam projects are in protected areas, including some in national parks, according to the 2017 study, commissioned by campaign groups RiverWatch and Euronatur.

    Most plants are small, producing as little as up to 1 MW each - roughly enough to power about 750 homes - but their combined impact is large as activists say they would cut fish migration routes and damage their habitat.

    “Three thousand hydropower plants ... will destroy these rivers,” said Viktor Bjelić, of the Center for Environment (CZZS), a Bosnian environmental group.

    “Many of the species depending on these ecosystem will disappear or will be extremely endangered.”

    Some local communities fear displacement and lost access to water they’ve long used for drinking, fishing and farming.

    In Kruscica, protesters say water would be diverted through pipelines, leaving the creek empty and sinking hopes for a revival of nature tourism that attracted hikers, hunters and fishing enthusiasts before war intervened in the 1990s.

    “(The river) means everything to us, it’s the life of the community,” said Kruscica’s mayor Tahira Tibold, speaking outside the barren wooden hut used as base by demonstrators.

    Locals first heard about the plants when construction workers showed up last year, added the 65-year-old.

    Women have led protests since fronting a picket to shield men during a confrontation with police last year, said Tibold.

    Campaigners have taken their plight to court, alleging irregularities in the approval process, and works have stalled. But demonstrators keep patrolling around the clock, said Bjelić of CZZS, as it is not known when or how the case will end.
    SHADES OF GREEN

    The protest was backed by U.S. clothing company Patagonia as part of a wider campaign to preserve Balkan rivers and dissuade international banks from investing in hydropower.

    Banks and multilateral investors including the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), fund hundreds of projects, according to a 2018 study by Bankwatch, a financial watchdog.

    “It’s a waste of money and a moral travesty that some of the world’s largest financial institutions have embraced this out-dated and exploitative technology,” Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard said in a statement in April.

    The World Bank, EBRD and EIB said their investments have to comply with environmental and social standards, which EBRD and EIB said they were strengthening.

    EBRD said it also improved its assessment process and pulled out of some projects near protected areas.

    “Hydropower is an important source of renewable energy for Western Balkans,” said EBRD’s spokeswoman Svitlana Pyrkalo.

    Bosnia gets 40 percent of its electricity from hydropower, the rest from coal-fired power plants. It plans to increase the share of renewables to 43 percent by 2020, under a target agreed with the EU.

    Dams are generally considered more reliable than wind and solar plants as they are less dependent on weather conditions.

    But that could change with global warming if droughts and floods grow more common, said Doug Vine, a senior fellow at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, a U.S.-based think tank.

    Last year a long drought lowered water levels across the Western Balkans, hitting hydropower output and driving up prices.

    Campaigners say Balkan states should focus on solar and wind power as they involve less building works and cost less.

    “Just because it doesn’t emit CO2 it doesn’t mean it’s good,” said Ulrich Eichelmann, head of RiverWatch.

    “Is like saying (that) … smoking is healthy because it doesn’t affect the liver”.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bosnia-environment-dams/threatening-wilderness-dams-fuel-protests-in-the-balkans-idUSKCN1J0007
    #barrages_hydroélectriques #eau #énergie #Balkans #Bosnie #résistance #manifestations #faune #wildlife

    Je commence ici une compilation avec des articles d’archive pour l’instant...
    cc @albertocampiphoto

    • Dans les Balkans, un « tsunami de barrages » déferle sur les écosystèmes

      Portée par une image verte et des financements européens, l’énergie hydroélectrique connaît de multiples projets dans les Balkans. Au grand dam des populations locales concernées et au détriment d’écosystèmes encore préservés.

      « Ne touchez pas à la #Valbona ! » « Laissez les fleuves libres ! » Le soleil automnal à peine levé, les cris et les slogans d’une trentaine de manifestants résonnent jusqu’aux plus hauts sommets des « Alpes albanaises ». Coincée entre les montagnes du #Monténégro et du #Kosovo, la vallée de la Valbona a longtemps été l’une des régions les plus isolées d’Europe. Les eaux cristallines de sa rivière et le fragile écosystème qui l’entoure attirent depuis quelques années des milliers de personnes en quête de nature sauvage.

      « Les barrages vont détruire les rares sources de revenus des habitants. Sans le tourisme, comment peut-on gagner sa vie dans une région si délaissée ? » Après avoir travaillé une quinzaine d’années à l’étranger, Ardian Selimaj est revenu investir dans le pays de ses ancêtres. Ses petits chalets en bois se fondent dans la végétation alpine. Mais, à quelques dizaines de mètres seulement, les bétonnières sont à l’œuvre. Malgré l’opposition bruyante des habitants et des militants écologistes, le lit de la rivière est déjà défiguré. « Si la Valbona est bétonnée, ce ne sera plus un parc national mais une zone industrielle », se désole Ardian Selimaj, la larme à l’œil.

      Les barrages qui se construisent aux confins albanais sont loin d’être des cas uniques. « Les Balkans sont l’un des points chauds de la construction des centrales hydroélectriques. Près de 3.000 y sont prévus ou déjà en construction ! » Militant écologiste viennois, Ulrich Eichelmann se bat depuis près de trente ans pour la protection des rivières d’Europe. Son ONG, RiverWatch, est en première ligne contre les 2.796 centrales qu’elle a recensées dans le sud-est du continent. De la Slovénie à la Grèce, rares sont les rivières épargnées par ce « tsunami de barrages ».
      Un désastre environnemental qui se fait souvent avec le soutien du contribuable européen

      « Les raisons de l’explosion du nombre de ces projets sont multiples, commente Ulrich. La corruption, la mauvaise compréhension des enjeux climatiques, les intérêts financiers qu’y trouvent les banques et les institutions financières, l’extrême faiblesse de l’application des lois... » Dans des sociétés malmenées par la corruption, les investisseurs ont peu de mal à faire valoir leurs intérêts auprès des dirigeants. Ceux-ci s’empressent de leur dérouler le tapis rouge. Et sont peu enclins à appliquer leur propre législation environnementale : 37 % des barrages envisagés le sont au cœur de zones protégées.

      Parc national ou zone Natura 2000, des points chauds de la biodiversité mondiale sont ainsi menacés. Un désastre environnemental qui se fait souvent avec le soutien du contribuable européen. « En 2015, nous avons constaté que la Banque européenne pour la reconstruction et le développement (Berd) avait financé 21 projets dans des zones protégées ou valorisées au niveau international », commente Igor Vejnovic, de l’ONG Bankwatch-CEE. Alors que l’Union européenne (UE) promeut officiellement les normes environnementales dans la région, on retrouve ses deux grandes banques de développement derrière plusieurs constructions de centrales. Igor Vejnovic dénonce « un soutien à des projets qui ne seraient pas autorisés par la législation européenne en vigueur ».

      Un soutien financier qui est d’ailleurs difficile à établir. « Leur nombre est probablement encore plus élevé, assure Igor Vejnovic, car la Banque européenne d’investissement (BEI) et la Berd financent ces centrales par des intermédiaires régionaux et les deux banques refusent systématiquement d’identifier les porteurs des projets en invoquant la confidentialité du client. » Des clients qui font souvent peu de cas des obligations légales. Selon Bankwatch-CEE, de nombreuses études d’impact environnemental ont été bâclées ou falsifiées. Des irrégularités parfois si caricaturales qu’elles ont conduit les deux banques européennes à suspendre, quand même, leurs prêts à d’importants projets dans le parc national de Mavrovo, en Macédoine. Ses forêts abritent l’une des espèces les plus menacées au monde, le lynx des Balkans.

      Grâce à une géographie montagneuse et à une histoire récente relativement épargnée par les phases destructrices de l’industrialisation, les rivières des Balkans offrent encore des paysages spectaculaires et une nature sauvage. Leurs eaux cristallines et préservées abritent près de 69 espèces de poissons endémiques de la région, dont le fameux saumon du Danube, en danger d’extinction. Une expédition de quelques jours sur la Vjosa, le « cœur bleu de l’Europe », a ainsi permis la découverte d’une espèce de plécoptères et d’un poisson encore inconnus de la science. Un trésor biologique méconnu dont les jours sont pourtant comptés. Malgré leurs conséquences catastrophiques, les petits barrages de moins de 1 MW se multiplient : ceux-ci ne nécessitent généralement aucune étude d’impact environnemental.
      La détermination des populations locales a fait reculer plusieurs barrages

      Louée pour son caractère « renouvelable », l’hydraulique représente 10 % du parc électrique français et près de 17 % de l’électricité produite sur la planète. Bénéficiant de la relative conversion du secteur énergétique au développement dit « durable », les barrages sont en pleine expansion à travers le globe. Les industriels de l’eau n’hésitent pas à le répéter : l’énergie hydraulique, « solution d’avenir », n’émet ni gaz à effet de serre ni pollution. Ces affirmations sont pourtant contredites par de récentes études. Peu relayées dans les grands médias, celles-ci démontrent que les pollutions causées par l’énergie hydraulique auraient été largement sous-estimées. Dans certaines régions du monde, les grandes retenues d’eau artificielles généreraient d’importantes productions de méthane (CH4), dont le pouvoir de réchauffement est 25 fois supérieur à celui du dioxyde de carbone (CO2).

      « L’hydroélectricité est l’une des pires formes de production d’énergie pour la nature, s’emporte Ulrich. Ce n’est pas parce qu’il n’émet pas de CO2 que c’est une énergie renouvelable. » Le militant écologiste s’indigne des conséquences de ces constructions qui transforment des fleuves libres en lacs artificiels. « La nature et les espèces détruites ne sont pas renouvelables. Quand une rivière est bétonnée, la qualité de l’eau baisse, le niveau des eaux souterraines en aval du barrage chute alors que la côte, elle, est menacée par l’érosion en raison de la diminution de l’apport en sédiments. »

      Les discours positifs des industriels tombent en tout cas à pic pour les dirigeants des Balkans, qui espèrent ainsi tempérer les oppositions à ces centaines de constructions. La diversification énergétique recherchée a pourtant peu de chances de profiter à des populations locales qui verront leur environnement quotidien transformé à jamais. « Si les promoteurs investissent parfois dans les infrastructures locales, cela a une valeur marginale par rapport aux dommages causés au patrimoine naturel et à la qualité de l’eau, explique Igor Vejnovic. L’hydroélectricité est d’ailleurs vulnérable aux périodes de sécheresse, qui sont de plus en plus fréquentes. » Les centrales dites « au fil de l’eau » prévues dans les Balkans risquent de laisser bien souvent les rivières à sec.

      Malgré les problèmes politiques et sociaux qui frappent les pays de la région, les mobilisations s’amplifient. La détermination des populations locales à défendre leurs rivières a même fait reculer plusieurs barrages. En Bosnie, où les habitants ont occupé le chantier de la Fojnička pendant près de 325 jours, plusieurs constructions ont été arrêtées. À Tirana, le tribunal administratif a donné raison aux militants et interrompu les travaux de l’un des plus importants barrages prévus sur la Vjosa. Après s’être retirée du projet sur la Ombla, en Croatie, la Berd a suspendu le versement des 65 millions d’euros promis pour les gros barrages du parc Mavrovo, en Macédoine, et a récemment commencé à privilégier des projets liés à l’énergie solaire. Cette vague de succès suffira-t-elle à contrer le tsunami annoncé ?


      https://reporterre.net/Dans-les-Balkans-un-tsunami-de-barrages-deferle-sur-les-ecosystemes
      #hydroélectricité #extractivisme

    • Balkan hydropower projects soar by 300% putting wildlife at risk, research shows
      More than a third of about 2,800 planned new dams are in protected areas, threatening rivers and biodiversity.

      Hydropower constructions have rocketed by 300% across the western Balkans in the last two years, according to a new analysis, sparking fears of disappearing mountain rivers and biodiversity loss.

      About 2,800 new dams are now in the pipeline across a zone stretching from Slovenia to Greece, 37% of which are set to be built in protected areas such as national parks or Natura 2000 sites.

      Heavy machinery is already channelling new water flows at 187 construction sites, compared to just 61 in 2015, according to the research by Fluvius, a consultancy for UN and EU-backed projects.

      Ulrich Eichelmann, the director of the RiverWatch NGO, which commissioned the paper, said that the small-scale nature of most projects – often in mountainous terrain – was, counterintuitively, having a disastrous impact on nature.

      “They divert water through pipelines away from the river and leave behind empty channels where rivers had been,” he told the Guardian. “It is a catastrophe for local people and for the environment. For many species of fish and insects like dragonflies and stoneflies, it is the end.”

      One stonefly species, Isoperla vjosae, was only discovered on Albania’s iconic Vjosa river this year, during an expedition by 25 scientists which also found an unnamed fish previously unknown to science. Like the Danube salmon and the Prespa trout, it is already thought to be at risk from what Eichelmann calls “a dam tsunami”.

      The scientists’ report described the Vjosa as a remarkably unique and dynamic eco-haven for scores of aquatic species that have disappeared across Europe. “The majority of these viable communities are expected to irrecoverably go extinct as a result of the projected hydropower dams,” it said.

      However, Damian Gjiknuri, Albania’s energy minister, told the Guardian that two planned megadams on the Vjosa would allow “the passage of fish via fish bypass or fish lanes”.

      “These designs have been based on the best environmental practices that are being applied today for minimising the effects of high dams on the circulation of aquatic faunas,” he said.

      Gjiknuri disputed the new report’s findings on the basis that only two “high dams” were being built in Albania, while most others were “run-of-the-river hydropower”.

      These generate less than 10MW of energy and so require no environmental impact assessments, conservationists say. But their small scale often precludes budgets for mitigation measures and allows arrays of turbines to be placed at intervals along waterways, causing what WWF calls “severe cumulative impacts”.

      Beyond aquatic life, the dam boom may also be threatening humans too.

      Since 2012, property conflicts between big energy companies and small farmers have led to one murder and an attempted murder, according to an EU-funded study. The paper logged three work-related deaths, and dozens of arrests linked to Albania’s wave of hydropower projects.

      Albania is a regional hotspot with 81 dams under construction but Serbia, Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina are also installing 71 hydro plants, and Serbia has a further 800 projects on the drawing board.

      Gjiknuri said the Albanian government was committed to declaring a national park on a portion of the Vjosa upstream from the planned 50m-high Kalivaçi dam, preventing further hydro construction there.


      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/27/balkan-hydropower-projects-soar-by-300-putting-wildlife-at-risk-researc
      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/27/balkan-hydropower-projects-soar-by-300-putting-wildlife-at-risk-researc
      signalé par @odilon il y a quelques temps:
      https://seenthis.net/messages/648548

    • Serbie : mobilisation citoyenne contre les centrales hydroélectriques dans la #Stara_planina

      L’État serbe a donné le feu vert aux investisseurs pour la construction de 58 centrales hydroélectriques sur plusieurs rivières dans la Stara planina. S’étalant à l’est de la Serbie, ce massif montagneux constitue la frontière naturelle entre la Serbie et la Bulgarie et continue jusqu’à la mer Noire. Cette zone protégée est l’une des plus grandes réserves naturelles de Serbie.


      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Serbie-mobilisation-citoyenne-contre-les-centrales-hydroelectriqu

    • Le #Monténégro se mobilise contre les mini-centrales hydroélectriques

      Quand les directives européennes sur les énergies renouvelables servent les intérêts des mafieux locaux... Après l’Albanie, la Bosnie-Herzégovine, la Croatie ou la Serbie, c’est maintenant le Monténégro qui entre en résistance contre les constructions de mini-centrales hydroélectriques. 80 projets sont prévus dans le pays, avec de très lourdes conséquences pour l’environnement et les communautés rurales.

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Centrales-hydroelectrique-au-Montenegro

  • Bosnian police block 100 migrants from reaching Croatia

    Bosnian border police on Monday stopped about 100 migrants from reaching the border with European Union member Croatia amid a rise in the influx of people heading through the Balkans toward Western Europe.

    Police blocked the migrants near the Maljevac border crossing in northwestern Bosnia, which was briefly closed down. The group has moved toward Croatia from the nearby town of #Velika_Kladusa, where hundreds have been staying in makeshift camps while looking for ways to move on.

    Migrants have recently turned to Bosnia in order to avoid more heavily guarded routes through the Balkans. Authorities in the war-ravaged country have struggled with the influx of thousands of people from the Mideast, Africa and Asia.

    Peter Van der Auweraert, from the International Organization for Migration, tweeted the attempted group crossing on Monday was a “very worrying development that risks” creating a backlash.

    Van der Auweraert told The Associated Press that the migrant influx has already put pressure on Bosnia and any incidents could further strain the situation, making Bosnians view migrants as “troublemakers” rather than people in need of help, he said.

    Migrants arrive in Bosnia from Serbia or Montenegro after traveling from Greece to Albania, Bulgaria or Macedonia.

    Also Monday, a migrant was stabbed in a fight with another migrant in an asylum center in southern Bosnia, police said.

    The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said Monday that more than 5,600 migrants have reached Bosnia and Herzegovina so far this year, compared with only 754 in all of 2017.

    Hundreds of thousands of people passed through the Balkans toward Europe at the peak of the mass migration in 2015. The flow eased for a while but has recently picked up a bit with the new route through Bosnia.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article213373449.html
    #Bosnie #fermeture_des_frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Croatie #frontières #route_des_Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine

    • Migrants en Croatie : « on ne nous avait encore jamais tiré dessus »

      Le 30 mai, la police croate ouvrait le feu sur une camionnette qui venait de forcer un barrage près de la frontière avec la Bosnie-Herzégovine. À l’intérieur, 29 migrants. Bilan : deux enfants et sept adultes blessés. Reportage sur le lieu du drame, nouvelle étape de la route de l’exil, où des réfugiés désœuvrés errent dans des villages désertés par l’exode.

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Migrants-en-Croatie-nulle-part-ailleurs-on-ne-nous-avait-tire-des
      #police #violences_policières

    • Refugees stranded in Bosnia allege Croatian police brutality

      Croatian officers accused of physical and verbal abuse, along with harassment including theft, but deny all allegations.

      Brutally beaten, mobile phones destroyed, strip-searched and money stolen.

      These are some of the experiences refugees and migrants stranded in western Bosnia report as they describe encounters with Croatian police.

      The abuse, they say, takes place during attempts to pass through Croatia, an EU member, with most headed for Germany.

      Bosnia has emerged as a new route to Western Europe, since the EU tightened its borders. This year, more than 13,000 refugees and migrants have so far arrived in the country, compared with only 755 in 2017.

      In Velika Kladusa, Bosnia’s most western town beside the Croatian border, hundreds have been living in makeshift tents on a field next to a dog kennel for the past four months.

      When night falls, “the game” begins, a term used by refugees and migrants for the challenging journey to the EU through Croatia and Slovenia that involves treks through forests and crossing rivers.

      However, many are caught in Slovenia or Croatia and are forced to return to Bosnia by Croatian police, who heavily patrol its EU borders.

      Then, they have to start the mission all over again.

      Some told Al Jazeera that they have attempted to cross as many as 20 times.

      The use of violence is clearly not acceptable. It is possible to control borders in a strict matter without violence.

      Peter Van der Auweraert, Western Balkans coordinator for the International Organization for Migration

      All 17 refugees and migrants interviewed by Al Jazeera said that they have been beaten by Croatian police - some with police batons, others punched or kicked.

      According to their testimonies, Croatian police have stolen valuables and money, cut passports, and destroyed mobile phones, hindering their communication and navigation towards the EU.

      “Why are they treating us like this?” many asked as they narrated their ordeals.

      “They have no mercy,” said 26-year-old Mohammad from Raqqa, Syria, who said he was beaten all over his body with batons on the two occasions he crossed into the EU. Police also took his money and phone, he said.

      “They treat babies and women the same. An officer pressed his boot against a woman’s head [as she was lying on the ground],” Mohammad said. “Dogs are treated better than us … why are they beating us like this? We don’t want to stay in Croatia; we want to go to Europe.”

      Mohammad Abdullah, a 22-year-old Algerian, told Al Jazeera that officers laughed at a group of migrants as they took turns beating them.

      "One of them would tell the other, ’You don’t know how to hit’ and would switch his place and continue beating us. Then, another officer would say, ’No, you don’t know how to hit’ and would take his place.

      “While [one of them] was beating me, he kissed me and started laughing. They would keep taking turns beating us like this, laughing,” Abdullah said.

      Croatia’s Interior Ministry told Al Jazeera that it “strongly dismisses” allegations of police brutality.

      In an emailed statement, it said those attempting to cross borders know they are acting outside of the law, and claimed that “no complaint so far has proved to be founded.”

      At a meeting in late August with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised Croatia for its control over its borders.

      “You are doing a great job on the borders, and I wish to commend you for that,” Merkel said.

      But according to a new report, the UNHCR received information about 1,500 refugees being denied access to asylum procedures, including over 100 children. More than 700 people reported violence and theft by Croatian police.

      Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify all of the claims against police, because many of the refugees and migrants said their phones - which held evidence - were confiscated or smashed. However, the 17 people interviewed separately reported similar patterns of abuse.

      Shams and Hassan, parents of three, have been trying to reach Germany to apply for asylum, but Croatian authorities have turned them back seven times over the past few months.

      Four years ago, they left their home in Deir Az Zor, Syria, after it was bombed.

      Shams, who worked as a lawyer in Syria, said Croatian policemen strip-searched her and her 13-year-old daughter Rahma on one occasion after they were arrested.

      The male officers handled the women’s bodies, while repeating: “Where’s the money?”

      They pulled off Shams’ headscarf, threw it on the ground and forced her to undress, and took Rahma into a separate room.

      “My daughter was very afraid,” Shams said. "They told her to take off all her clothes. She was shy, she told them, ’No.’

      "They beat her up and stripped her clothes by force, even her underwear.

      “She kept telling them ’No! No! There isn’t [any money]!’ She was embarrassed and was asking them to close the window and door so no one would see her. [The officer] then started yelling at her and pulled at her hair. They beat her up.”

      Rahma screamed for her mother but Shams said she couldn’t do anything.

      “They took 1,500 euros ($1,745) from me and they took my husband’s golden ring. They also broke five of our mobiles and took all the SIM cards … They detained us for two days in prison and didn’t give us any food in the beginning,” Shams said, adding they cut her Syrian passport into pieces.

      “They put my husband in solitary confinement. I didn’t see him for two days; I didn’t know where he was.”

      A senior policeman told Shams that she and her children could apply for asylum, but Hassan would have to return to Bosnia.

      When she refused, she said the police drove the family for three hours to a forest at night and told them to walk back to Bosnia.

      They did not have a torch or mobile phone.

      She said they walked through the forest for two days until they reached a small town in western Bosnia.

      “No nation has the right to treat people this way,” Shams said.

      In another instance, they said they were arrested in a forest with a group of refugees and migrants. All 15 of them were forced into a van for two hours, where it was difficult to breathe.

      “It was closed like a box, but [the officer] refused to turn on the air conditioning so we could breathe. My younger son Mohammad - he’s eight years old - he has asthma and allergies, he was suffocating. When we knocked on the window to ask if he could turn on the air conditioning, [the officer] beat my husband with the baton,” Shams said.

      No Name Kitchen, a volunteer organisation that provides assistance to refugees and migrants on the Balkan route, has been documenting serious injuries on Instagram.

      In one post, the group alleges that Croatian police twice crushed a refugee’s orthopaedic leg.

      Peter Van der Auweraert, the Western Balkans coordinator for the International Organization for Migration, says he has heard stories of police brutality, but called for an independent investigation to judge how alleged victims sustained injuries.

      “Given the fact that there are so many of these stories, I think it’s in everyone’s interest to have an independent inquiry to see what is going on, on the other side of the border,” Van der Auweraert said.

      “The use of violence is clearly not acceptable. It’s not acceptable under European human rights law, it’s not acceptable under international human rights law and it is to my mind also, not necessary. It is possible to control borders in a strict matter without violence.”

      Shams’ family journey from Syria was traumatic from the get-go, and they have spent and lost several thousand euros.

      While travelling in dinghies from Turkey to Greece, they saw dead bodies along the way.

      “We call upon Merkel to help us and open the borders for us. At least for those of us stuck at the borders,” she said. “Why is the EU paying Croatia to prevent our entry into the EU, yet once we reach Germany, after spending a fortune with lives lost on the way, we’ll be granted asylum?”

      “We have nothing,” said her husband Hassan. “Our houses have been destroyed. We didn’t have any problems until the war started. We had peace in our homes. Is there a single country that accepts refugees?”

      “There are countries but there’s no way to reach them,” Shams replied. “This is our misery.”


      https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/refugees-stranded-bosnia-report-campaign-police-brutality-180915100740024

    • Le Conseil de l’Europe somme la Croatie d’enquêter sur les violences policières

      Le Commissariat aux droits de l’Homme du Conseil de l’Europe a appelé la Croatie à ouvrir rapidement des enquêtes sur les allégations de violences policières et de vol à l’encontre de « demandeurs d’asile et autres migrants », ainsi que sur les cas d’expulsions collectives.

      Dans un courrier publié vendredi 5 octobre et adressé au Premier ministre croate Andrej Plenkovic, la commissaire aux droits de l’Homme du Conseil de l’Europe, Dunja Mijatovic, a déclaré être « préoccupée » par les informations « cohérentes et corroborées » fournies par plusieurs organisations attestant « d’un grand nombre d’expulsions collectives de la Croatie vers la Serbie et vers la Bosnie-Herzégovine de migrants en situation irrégulière, dont de potentiels demandeurs d’asile ».

      Elle s’inquiète particulièrement du « recours systématique à la violence des forces de l’ordre croates à l’encontre de ces personnes », y compris les « femmes enceintes et les enfants ». La responsable s’appuie sur les chiffres du Haut-Commissariat de l’ONU aux réfugiés (UNHCR), selon lesquels sur 2 500 migrants expulsés par la Croatie, 700 ont accusé la police de violences et de vols.

      « Consciente des défis auxquels la Croatie est confrontée dans le domaine des migrations », Dunja Mijatovic souligne cependant que les « efforts pour gérer les migrations » doivent respecter les principes du droit international. « Il s’agit notamment de l’interdiction absolue de la torture et des peines ou traitements inhumains prévue à l’article 3 de la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme et l’interdiction des expulsions collectives », qui s’appliquent « aux demandeurs d’asile comme aux migrants en situation irrégulière », écrit-elle.

      Une « violence systématique » selon les associations

      Pour la commissaire, Zagreb doit « entamer et mener rapidement à leur terme des enquêtes rapides, efficaces et indépendantes sur les cas connus d’expulsions collectives et sur les allégations de violence contre les migrants ». Elle somme également le gouvernement croate de « prendre toutes les mesures nécessaires pour mettre fin à ces pratiques et éviter qu’elles ne se reproduisent ».

      « Aucun cas de mauvais de traitement policier à l’encontre de migrants (...) ni aucun vol n’ont été établis », s’est défendu le ministre croate de l’Intérieur Davor Bozinovic dans une lettre de réponse au Conseil de l’Europe.

      Pourtant, dans un rapport intitulé « Games of violence », l’organisation Médecins sans frontières MSF alertait déjà en octobre 2017 sur les violences perpétrées par les polices croates, hongroises et bulgares envers les enfants et les jeunes migrants.

      Sur sa page Facebook, l’association No Name Kitchen a également rappelé qu’elle documentait les cas de violences aux frontières croates depuis 2017 sur le site Border violence.
      En août dernier, cette association qui aide les réfugiés à Sid en Serbie et dans le nord-ouest de la Bosnie expliquait à InfoMigrants que la violence était « systématique » pour les migrants expulsés de Croatie. « Il y a un ou deux nouveaux cas chaque jour. Nous n’avons pas la capacité de tous les documenter », déclarait Marc Pratllus de No Name Kitchen.


      http://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/12518/le-conseil-de-l-europe-somme-la-croatie-d-enqueter-sur-les-violences-p

    • Bosnie-Herzégovine : des réfugiés tentent de passer en force en Croatie

      Alors que les températures ont brutalement chuté ces derniers jours, des réfugiés bloqués en Bosnie-Herzégovine ont tenté de franchir la frontière croate. Des rixes ont éclaté, des policiers croates ont été blessés, des réfugiés aussi.

      Environ 150 à 200 réfugiés ont essayé, mercredi après-midi, de traverser en force le pont reliant la Bosnie-Herzégovine au poste-frontière croate de Mlajevac. Des échauffourées ont éclaté entre la police et les réfugiés, parmi lesquels des femmes et des enfants. Au moins deux policiers croates ont été blessés par des jets de pierres, selon le ministère croate de l’Intérieur. Les réfugiés ont depuis organisé un sit-in devant la frontière, dont ils demandent l’ouverture.

      « Les réfugiés se sont déplacés jusqu’à la frontière croate où la police leur a refusé l’entrée, illégale et violente, sur le territoire », a rapporté le ministère croate de l’Intérieur. « Les réfugiés ont ensuite jeté des pierres sur les agents de la police croate, dont deux ont été légèrement blessé et ont demandé une aide médicale. »

      Après avoir passé la nuit près de la frontière de Velika Kalduša – Maljevac, les réfugiés s’attendaient à pouvoir entrer en Croatie depuis la Bosnie-Herzégovine et ont franchi un premier cordon de la police bosnienne aux frontières. « La police croate n’a pas réagi après que les réfugiés eurent passé le premier cordon de police en direction de la Croatie, car il y avait un second cordon de la police bosnienne », a déclaré la cheffe du département des relations publiques du ministère croate de l’Intérieur, Marina Mandić, soulignant que la police croate, en poste à la frontière, n’est intervenue à aucun moment et n’a donc pas pénétré sur le territoire de la Bosnie-Herzégovine, comme l’ont rapporté certains médias.

      Selon l’ONG No Name Kitchen, la police bosnienne aurait fait usage de gaz lacrymogènes. Au moins trois réfugiés ont été blessés et pris en charge par Médecins sans frontières.

      Mardi, plus de 400 réfugiés sont arrivés à proximité de la frontière où la police a déployé une bande jaune de protection pour les empêcher de passer en Croatie. Parmi les réfugiés qui dorment dehors ou dans des tentes improvisées, on compte beaucoup de femmes et d’enfants. Ils ont ramassé du bois et allumé des feux, alors que la température atteint à peine 10°C.

      Le commandant de la police du canton d’Una-Sana, en Bosnie-Herzégovine, Mujo Koričić, a confirmé mercredi que des mesures d’urgence étaient entrées en vigueur afin d’empêcher l’escalade de la crise migratoire dans la région, notamment l’afflux de nouveaux réfugiés.

      Mise à jour, jeudi 25 octobre, 17h – Environ 120 réfugiés stationnent toujours près du poste-frontière de Velika Kalduša–Maljevac après avoir passé une deuxième nuit sur place, dehors ou dans des tentes improvisées. La police aux frontières de Bosnie-Herzégovine assure que la situation est sous contrôle et pacifiée. La circulation est toujours suspendue. Des enfants portent des banderoles avec des inscriptions demandant l’ouverture de la frontière.

      En réaction, le secrétaire général aux Affaires étrangères de l’UE, l’autrichien Johannes Peterlik, a déclaré jeudi 25 octobre en conférence de presse : « Les migrations illégales ne sont pas la voie à suivre. Il y a des voies légales et cela doit être clair ».

      Le nombre de migrants dans le canton d’Una-Sana est actuellement estimé à 10500.


      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Bosnie-Herzegovine-des-refugies-tentent-un-passage-en-force-en-Cr
      #violence

      v. aussi :

      Sulla porta d’Europa. Scontri e feriti oggi alla frontiera fra Bosnia e Croazia. Dove un gruppo di 200 migranti ha cercato di passare il confine. Foto Reuters/Marko Djurica

      https://twitter.com/NiccoloZancan/status/1055070667710828545

    • Bleak Bosnian winter for migrants camped out on new route to Europe

      Shouting “Open borders!”, several dozen migrants and asylum seekers broke through a police cordon last week at the Maljevac border checkpoint in northwestern Bosnia and Herzegovina and tried to cross into Croatia.

      After being forced back by Croatian police with teargas, they set up camp just inside Bosnian territory. They are in the vanguard of a new wave of migrants determined to reach wealthier European countries, often Germany. Stalled, they have become a political football and face winter with little assistance and inadequate shelter.

      The old Balkan route shut down in 2016 as a raft of European countries closed their borders, with Hungary erecting a razor-wire fence. But a new route emerged this year through Bosnia (via Albania and Montenegro or via Macedonia and Serbia) and on to Croatia, a member of the EU. The flow of travellers has been fed by fresh streams of people from the Middle East and Central and South Asia entering Greece from Turkey, notably across the Evros River.

      By the end of September, more than 16,000 asylum seekers and migrants had entered Bosnia this year, compared to just 359 over the same period last year, according to official figures. The real number is probably far higher as more are smuggled in and uncounted. Over a third of this year’s official arrivals are Pakistani, followed by Iranians (16 percent), Syrians (14 percent), and Iraqis (nine percent).

      This spike is challenging Bosnia’s ability to provide food, shelter, and other aid – especially to the nearly 10,000 people that local institutions and aid organisations warn may be stranded at the Croatian border as winter begins. Two decades after the Balkan wars of the 1990s, the situation is also heightening tensions among the country’s Muslim, Serb, and Croat communities and its often fraught tripartite political leadership.

      How to respond to the unexpected number of migrants was a key issue in the presidential election earlier this month. Nationalist Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, who won the Serb seat in the presidency, charged that it was a conspiracy to boost the country’s Muslim population. The outgoing Croat member of the presidency, Dragan Čović, repeatedly called for Bosnia’s borders to be closed to stem the migrant flow.

      Maja Gasal Vrazalica, a left-wing member of parliament and a refugee herself during the Bosnian wars, accuses nationalist parties of “misusing the topic of refugees because they want to stoke up all this fear through our nation.”
      “I’m very scared”

      Most migrants and asylum seekers are concentrated around two northwestern towns, Bihać and nearby Velika Kladuša. Faris Šabić, youth president of the Bihać Red Cross, organises assistance for the some 4,000 migrants camped in Bihać and others who use the town as a way station.

      Since the spring and throughout the summer, as arrivals spiked, several local volunteers joined his staff to provide food, hygiene items, and first aid. But now, as winter draws in, they fear the scale of the crisis is becoming untenable.

      “I have to be honest, I’m very scared,” Šabić told IRIN, examining a notebook filled with the names of new arrivals. “Not only for migrants, I’m scared for my locals as well. We are a generous and welcoming people, but I fear that we will not be able to manage the emergency anymore.”

      The Bihać Red Cross, along with other aid organisations and human rights groups, is pushing the government to find long-term solutions. But with an economy still recovering from the legacy of the war and a youth unemployment rate of almost 55 percent, it has been hard-pressed to find answers.

      Hope that the end of the election season might improve the national debate around migration appears misguided. Around 1,000 Bihać locals staged protests for three consecutive days, from 20-22 October, demanding the relocation of migrants outside the town centre. On the Saturday, Bihać residents even travelled to the capital, Sarajevo, blocking the main street to protest the inaction of the central government.

      The local government of the border district where most migrants and asylum seekers wait, Una-Sana, complains of being abandoned by the central government in Sarajevo. “We do not have bad feelings towards migrants, but the situation is unmanageable,” the mayor of Bihać, Šuhret Fazlić, told IRIN.

      To begin with most residents openly welcomed the migrants, with volunteers providing food and medical help. But tensions have been growing, especially as dozens of the latest newcomers have started occupying the main public spaces in the town.

      “They turned our stadium into a toilet and occupied children’s playgrounds,” said Fazlić. “I would like to understand why they come here, but what is important at the moment is to understand where to host them in a dignified manner.”
      Beatings and abuse

      Those camped near the Croatian border have all entered Bosnia illegally. Each night, they wait to enter “The Game” – as they refer to attempts to cross the frontier and strike out into dense forests.

      Most are detained and pushed back into Bosnia by the Croatian police. Some reach Slovenia before being deported all the way back. Abuse is rife, according to NGOs and human rights groups. Those who have attempted to cross say Croatian police officers destroy their phones to prevent them from navigating the mountains, beat them with electric batons, unleash dogs, steal their money, and destroy their documents and personal belongings. Croatia’s interior ministry has strongly denied allegations of police brutality.

      No Name Kitchen, a group of activists that provides showers, soap, and hygiene products to migrants in Velika Kladuša, has been documenting cases of violence allegedly committed by the Croatian police. In August alone the organisation collected accounts from 254 deportees. Most claimed to have suffered physical violence. Of those cases, 43 were minors.

      Croatian media has reported cases of shootings, too. In late May, a smuggler’s van bringing migrants and asylum seekers from Bosnia was shot at and three people including a boy and a girl, both 12, were wounded.

      A report earlier this year from the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, collated accounts from 2,500 refugees and migrants allegedly pushed back from Croatia to Serbia and Bosnia. In more than 1,500 cases – 100 of them relating to children – asylum procedures were denied, and over 700 people made allegations of violence or theft.
      Winter housing needed

      In Velika Kladuša, two kilometres from the Maljevac border checkpoint, around 1,000 people live in a makeshift tent camp that turns into a swamp every time it rains. Temperatures here will soon plummet below zero at night. Finding a new place for them "is a race against time and the key challenge,” said Stephanie Woldenberg, senior UNHCR protection officer.

      Already, life is difficult.

      “Nights here are unsustainable,” Emin, a young Afghan girl who tried twice to cross the border with her family and is among those camped in Velika Kladuša, told IRIN. “Dogs in the kennel are treated better than us.”

      Bosnian police reportedly announced last week that migrants are no longer allowed to travel to the northwest zone, and on 30 October said they had bussed dozens of migrants from the border camps to a new government-run facility near Velika Kladuša. Another facility has been set up near Sarajevo since the election. Together, they have doubled the number of beds available to migrants to 1,700, but it’s still nowhere near the capacity needed.

      The federal government has identified a defunct factory, Agrokomerc, once owned by the mayor of Velika Kladuša, Fikret Abdić, as a potential site to house more migrants. Abdić was convicted on charges of war crimes during the Balkan wars and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. He became mayor in 2016, after his 2012 release. His local government is strongly opposed to the move and counters that the migrants and asylum seekers should be equally distributed throughout Bosnia.

      For now, around 800 people live inside a former student dormitory in Velika Kladuša that is falling apart due to damage sustained during the Bosnian wars. Holes in the floor and the absence of basic fixtures and of a proper heating system make it highly unsuitable to house migrants this winter. Clean water and bathing facilities are scarce, and the Red Cross has registered several cases of scabies, lice, and other skin and vector-borne diseases.

      Throughout the three-storey building, migrants and asylum seekers lie sprawled across the floor on mattresses, waiting their turn to charge their phones at one of the few electrical sockets. Many are young people from Lahore, Pakistan who sold their family’s homes and businesses to pay for this trip. On average they say they paid $10,000 to smugglers who promised to transport them to the EU. Several display bruises and abrasions, which they say were given to them by Croatian border patrol officers as they tried to enter Croatia.

      The bedding on one mattress is stained with blood. Witnesses told IRIN the person who sleeps there was stabbed by other migrants trying to steal his few belongings. “It happens frequently here,” one said.


      https://www.irinnews.org/news-feature/2018/10/31/bleak-bosnian-winter-migrants-camped-out-new-route-europe

    • ’They didn’t give a damn’: first footage of Croatian police ’brutality’

      Migrants who allegedly suffer savage beatings by state officials call it ‘the game’. But as shocking evidence suggests, attempting to cross the Bosnia-Croatia border is far from mere sport.

      As screams ring out through the cold night air, Sami, hidden behind bushes, begins to film what he can.

      “The Croatian police are torturing them. They are breaking people’s bones,’’ Sami whispers into his mobile phone, as the dull thumps of truncheons are heard.

      Then silence. Minutes go by before Hamdi, Mohammed and Abdoul emerge from the woods, faces bruised from the alleged beating, mouths and noses bloody, their ribs broken.

      Asylum seekers from Algeria, Syria and Pakistan, they had been captured by the Croatian police attempting to cross the Bosnia-Croatia border into the EU, and brutally beaten before being sent back.

      Sami, 17, from Kobane, gave the Guardian his footage, which appears to provide compelling evidence of the physical abuses, supposedly perpetrated by Croatian police, of which migrants in the Bosnian cities of Bihac and Velika Kladusa have been complaining.

      The EU border agency, Frontex, announced on Wednesday that this year is likely to produce the lowest number of unauthorised migrants arriving into Europe in five years.

      Frontex said that approximately 118,900 irregular border crossings were recorded in the first 10 months of 2018, roughly 31% lower than the same period in 2017.
      Advertisement

      Despite this steady decline in numbers, many states remain embroiled in political disputes that fuel anti-migrant sentiment across Europe.

      Frontex also noted that, while entries are declining, the number of people reaching Europe across the western Mediterranean, mostly through Spain from Morocco, continues to rise. Nearly 9,400 people crossed in October, more than double the number for the same month last year.

      But the brutality of what is happening on Europe’s borders is not documented. Every night, migrants try to cross into Croatia. And, according to dozens of accounts received by the Guardian and charities, many end up in the hands of police, who beat them back to Bosnia.

      No Name Kitchen (NNK), an organisation consisting of volunteers from several countries that distributes food to asylum seekers in Serbia, Bosnia and Italy, registers 50-100 people a week who have been pushed back by the Croatian authorities. Roughly 70% of them claim to have been beaten.

      “In the last months our team in Bosnia and Herzegovina has regularly treated patients – sometimes even women and small children – with wounds allegedly inflicted by state authorities when attempting to cross into Croatia and Slovenia, where, according to their testimonies, their claims for asylum and protection are regularly ignored,” says Julian Koeberer, humanitarian affairs officer in the northern Balkans for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
      Advertisement

      Since the turn of the year, the Bosnian authorities have registered the entry of about 21,000 people, coming from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran or Syria. Of these, an estimated 5,000 remain in the country.

      Of 50 people to whom the Guardian spoke, mostly from Pakistan, 35 said they had been attacked by Croatian police. The majority of them arrived in Bosnia through Turkey, hoping to reach Slovenia, a Schengen country, before heading to Italy, Austria or Germany.

      ‘‘The Iranian police broke all my teeth, the Croatian ones broke my nose and ribs,” says Milad, 29, an Iranian asylum seeker who since September has lived in Bihac. “Yet everyone talks about the violence in Iran and nobody talks about the violence perpetrated by a European country.”

      Adeel, 27, from Pakistan, claims he had his ankle broken with a truncheon. ‘‘Where are the human rights?” he asks.

      Anees, 43, also from Pakistan, says he begged the police not to beat him after he was stopped in the woods on the border with Velika Kladusa. ‘‘I have a heart disease, I told them to stop because they could have killed me,’’ explains Anees, whose medical conditions are detailed in a clinical file.

      On 9 June 2018, he had heart surgery at the Zdravstveni centre hospital in the Serbian city of Uzice. After the operation, he continued his journey. He struggles to breathe as he tells his story: ‘‘I told him I was sick, I showed them the clinical file. They did not give a damn. They started beating me and sent us back to Bosnia. But it does not matter. Tomorrow I will try the game again.’’

      That’s what migrants call it: ‘the game”. But there is nothing fun about it. They set off in groups: 70 or 80 people, or sometimes as few as five to 10. Police, armed with truncheons, pistols and night vision goggles, patrol Europe’s longest border between Bosnia and Croatia. According to accounts provided by more than 10 migrants, some officers wear paramilitary uniforms with a badge depicting a sword upraised by two lightning bolts. This is the badge of Croatian special police.

      “They stop us and, before beating us, they frisk us”, says Hamdi, 35, An Algerian language teacher. “If they find money, they steal it. If they find mobile phones, they destroy them to avoid being filmed or simply to stop us from contacting our friends. And then they beat us, four or five against one. They throw us to the ground, kick us, and beat us with their truncheons. Sometimes their dogs attack us. To them, we probably don’t seem much different from their dogs.”

      Hamdi is one of three men traveling with Sami. The screams in the video are his. His face is covered in blood when he reaches his friends. His nose is broken, his lips swollen.

      “After repeatedly being pushed back or forced to return to Bosnia on their own, asylum seekers find themselves in unsanitary, improvised settlements such as open fields and squats while formal government camps are full,” says Koeberer.

      “Those sites still offer alarmingly inadequate conditions due to only slow improvement in provision of winter shelter (food, hygiene, legal status and medical care), and these inhumane living conditions have severe impact on people’s physical and mental health. In winter, the lives of those who are forced to remain outside will seriously be at risk.’’

      At the camp in Velika Kladusa, where Hamdi lives, dozens of people sit in the mud and on piles of rubbish, awaiting the arrival of the doctors. On man has a cast on his arm and leg, the result, he says, of a police beating. Others show black eyes, bruises on their backs and legs, lumps and wounds on their heads, split lips, and scars on their legs.

      ‘‘There have been cases in which migrants claimed to have been stripped and forced to walk barefoot with temperatures below freezing,” said Stephane Moissaing, MSF’s head of mission in Serbia. “Cases where asylum seekers have told how police would beat children in front of their parents. From the information we have, up until now, it is a systematic and planned violence.”

      Karolina Augustova, an NKK volunteer, says violence has increased since October protests in which hundreds of asylum seekers marched from the north-western town of Velika Kladusa towards Croatia to object against pushbacks that violate the rights of people to seek asylum in Europe.

      The Bosnian police appear to be aware of the assaults. A Bosnian police agent guarding the camp in Velika Kladusa, who prefers to remain anonymous, points out a bruise on a boy’s leg. “You see this bruise?” he says. “It was the Croatian police. The Bosnian police know, but there is no clear and compelling evidence, just the accounts of the refugees and their wounds.”

      The majority of Bosnians live in peace with migrants and view them as refugees. The scars from the war that ravaged this area in the early 1990s are everywhere, in the abandoned homes riddled with machine gun fire and in the collective memory of Bosnians. People from Bihac and Velika Kladusa know what it means to flee from war. The minarets of the numerous mosques along the border are a reminder that Bosnia is the closest Muslim community in Europe.

      “I feel sorry for these people,’’ says the policeman on guard. ‘‘They remind me of the Bosnians when the war devastated our country.’’

      MSF, NNK and a number of other organisations have repeatedly reported and denounced violence perpetrated by the security forces in the Balkans, but Croatian police deny all the allegations.

      The Guardian has contacted the Croatian interior minister, the police and the Croatian government for comment, but has received no response.

      Abdul, 33, recently arrived in Velika Klaudusa after a journey that lasted over a year. He comes from Myanmar and has lost everything: his wife and children were killed, and he has no news of his father, mother and sisters. Abdul has heard about the violence and is worried. The migrants around him, with bandaged legs and noses and bleeding mouths, cause fear.

      “I lost everything, yes, it’s true,” he says. “But I have to get to Europe, one way or another. To make sense of what I lost. I owe it to my dead children. To my wife who was killed. To those who have not had the good fortune to have arrived here safe and sound.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/nov/14/didnt-give-a-damn-refugees-film-croatian-police-brutality-bosnia

    • A la frontière bosno-croate, des matraques pour les migrants

      Les policiers croates violentent les exilés bloqués entre les deux pays, nouveau point de passage de la route des Balkans. Mais dans la région, la #solidarité s’organise.

      L’intervention de la police bosnienne est fixée à 18 heures au poste frontière de Maljevac, entre la Bosnie-Herzégovine et la Croatie. Des dizaines de riverains s’y sont massées, ce jour-là, pour assister à cette opération qui va déloger les migrants qui campent depuis une semaine à 300 mètres de la douane. « Je n’ai rien contre les réfugiés, mais 200 personnes ne peuvent pas bloquer toute une ville », explique un Bosnien d’une cinquantaine d’années. Deux heures plus tard le passage est rouvert. Nous sommes à Velika Kladusa, dans le canton d’Una-Sana, dans le nord-ouest de la Bosnie, le long de la dernière déviation de la « route des Balkans ». Depuis le début de l’année, plus de 21 000 personnes (venant du Pakistan, d’Afghanistan ou encore d’Iran) ont choisi de traverser la Bosnie-Herzégovine dans l’espoir d’atteindre l’ouest de l’Europe. Et alors que 5 000 d’entre eux seraient toujours bloqués dans le pays, Sarajevo a enregistré ces dernières semaines une hausse des arrivées, avec environ 1 000 nouvelles entrées hebdomadaires.

      Sachets à emporter

      Dans ce petit bourg, la situation a dégénéré fin octobre lorsque des centaines de migrants ont tenté d’entrer de force en Croatie, avant d’être repoussés par les policiers. A la suite de ces heurts qui ont fait plusieurs blessés, Zagreb a décidé de suspendre pendant une semaine le transit à Maljevac : une très mauvaise nouvelle pour cette ville qui vit du commerce avec la Croatie et dont les habitants commencent à s’agacer d’une situation qui s’enlise. « La Croatie est à moins de 2 kilomètres dans cette direction », indique Asim Latic en pointant du doigt la plaine qui s’étend derrière les buissons. Avant d’ajouter : « Mais les réfugiés, eux, passent par les bois, et cela prend plusieurs jours de marche. » Ce restaurateur de Velika Kladusa, propriétaire de la pizzeria Teferic, fait partie des habitants qui se sont engagés dans l’aide aux migrants dès février, lorsque des dizaines, puis des centaines de personnes sont arrivées dans ce coin de la Bosnie.

      Pendant neuf mois, il a offert chaque jour 400 repas à autant d’exilés. Début novembre, après une chute des dons de la communauté locale, il a bien cru devoir mettre la clé sous la porte. « Les Bosniens ont aussi connu la guerre, mais ils sont fatigués », explique ce grand gaillard que les réfugiés appellent « papa ». De temps en temps, il leur prépare de la nourriture dans des sachets à emporter, « pour qu’ils survivent dans la forêt ». Le chemin des bois est emprunté par tous ceux qui ne peuvent pas se permettre les tarifs des passeurs : 2 000 euros ou plus pour aller en voiture à Trieste en Italie, 1 200 euros pour descendre à Split en Croatie. A pied, il faut marcher environ une semaine, assurent les migrants : 80 kilomètres en Croatie, puis, une fois entrés en Slovénie, on se dirige vers l’Italie ou l’Autriche. Mais c’est sans compter sur l’intervention de la police croate, véritable inconnue dans le game - nom donné ici aux tentatives de passage de la frontière.

      Non loin de la séparation bosno-croate, Aadi a décidé de planter sur sa tente le drapeau bleu et jaune de la Bosnie-Herzégovine. « Les Bosniens sont des gens accueillants. Ce sont les policiers croates qui nous posent problème », dit-il. « Les policiers m’ont violemment frappé avec une matraque. Les conditions hygiéniques de ce camp ont fait le reste », renchérit Gabdar, un jeune Irakien qui arbore une plaie infectée à la main droite, où du pus s’est formé sous les croûtes. Youssef, un Tunisien trentenaire, se plaint que la police croate n’a pas seulement détruit son smartphone, mais aussi la powerbank, cette batterie externe indispensable à ceux qui passent de longs mois sur les routes.

      Ecrans brisés

      « Police, problem » est un refrain mille fois entendu. Dès que l’on mentionne les forces de l’ordre croates, les migrants sortent leurs portables. La multitude d’écrans brisés et les connecteurs d’alimentation rendus inutilisables avec des tournevis sont la preuve - disent-ils - des abus des policiers. Une accusation difficile à prouver, mais qui a attiré l’attention du Conseil de l’Europe (CoE). Début octobre, la commissaire aux droits de l’homme Dunja Mijatovic a invité Zagreb à faire la lumière sur ces allégations.

      D’après le CoE et le Haut Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés, la Croatie aurait expulsé collectivement 2 500 migrants depuis le début de 2018, « parmi eux, 1 500 personnes ont affirmé n’avoir pas pu soumettre une demande d’asile, tandis que 700 disent avoir été victimes de violences ou de vols de la part des policiers croates ». Joint par mail, le ministère de l’Intérieur de Zagreb assure que la police agit « dans le respect de la loi et des traités internationaux » et que « les vérifications effectuées jusque-là n’ont prouvé aucun cas de violence ».

      Au centre de Bihac, à 60 kilomètres au sud de Velika Kladusa, Ali, un Pakistanais de 17 ans se jette dans l’eau glaciale de la rivière Una et entreprend de se savonner les cheveux. Sur les bancs du parc alentour, d’autres migrants tuent le temps, cigarette ou smartphone à la main. La scène est devenue courante dans cette ville de 60 000 habitants, et la situation qui s’éternise agace certains locaux. Plusieurs pétitions ont fait leur apparition et quelques manifestations ont rassemblé un millier de personnes à Bihac, demandant aux autorités de trouver une solution à la présence des migrants en centre-ville.

      « Je n’ai rien contre les réfugiés, mais ces gens ne viennent pas de pays en guerre, ce sont des migrants économiques », affirme Sej Ramic, conseiller municipal à Bihac et professeur d’art, modérateur du groupe Facebook « Stop invaziji migranata ! Udruženje gradjana Bihaća » (« Stop à l’invasion des migrants ! Collectif de citoyens de Bihac »). Un argumentaire devenu habituel au sein de l’Union européenne, mais qu’on avait moins l’habitude d’entendre en Bosnie, pays lui-même marqué par une forte émigration.

      Face à cette opposition grandissante, le gouvernement du canton a entrepris d’arrêter les bus et les trains en provenance de Sarajevo et de renvoyer vers la capitale tous les migrants qui en descendent. Et dans le centre-ville de Biha, les policiers renvoient les migrants qui traînent vers le Dacki Dom. Cet ancien dortoir étudiant abandonné, dont la carcasse de béton nu se dresse au milieu des bois, héberge environ 1 000 personnes dans des conditions très précaires. Des centaines d’autres sont logées dans les environs, dans une ancienne usine de réfrigérateurs et dans un hôtel fermé depuis de nombreuses années. D’autres campent ou squattent des maisons abandonnées des alentours. L’objectif de l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) est « d’atteindre, dans les prochains jours, une capacité d’hébergement de 5 000 personnes sur l’ensemble du territoire bosnien », indique Peter Van der Auweraert, coordinateur de l’OIM pour les Balkans occidentaux. Cependant, « si le flux actuel de 1 000 entrées par semaine devait continuer, nous serons bientôt dans une situation très compliquée », poursuit-il, et note qu’avec l’hiver qui arrive, « ce qui coince, c’est le timing ».

      L’UE a récemment débloqué 7,2 millions d’euros pour aider la Bosnie, l’un des pays les plus pauvres des Balkans, à gérer le flux migratoire. Alors qu’à Bihac les ouvriers s’affairent à sécuriser les bâtiments et que les ONG tentent de reloger les centaines de personnes toujours dans des tentes, Van der Auweraert souligne le manque de volonté politique des autorités locales. L’imbroglio institutionnel bosnien, hérité des accords de Dayton, complique davantage le processus décisionnel.

      Il est midi à Velika Kladusa, et la pizzeria Teferic est en pleine distribution. Des dizaines de migrants patientent pour s’asseoir devant une assiette de macaronis. Dans la cuisine, Halil et Refik - « c’est lui qui a arrêté le chauffeur de Mladic pendant la guerre », nous glisse Asim - s’affairent autour d’une énorme casserole. Deux jeunes Indiens et un Pakistanais de passage prêtent main forte à la petite équipe. Après neuf mois de travail bénévole dans la pizzeria, Asim est fatigué « physiquement et mentalement ». S’il a trouvé de l’aide auprès de l’association néerlandaise Lemon Foundation, l’avenir de leur activité reste fragile. Tout en contemplant le va-et-vient des migrants à l’extérieur, il secoue la tête : « Mais que vont faire ces gens ? »

      https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2018/11/20/a-la-frontiere-bosno-croate-des-matraques-pour-les-migrants_1693271

    • Croatia: Migrants Pushed Back to Bosnia and Herzegovina

      Croatian police are pushing migrants and asylum seekers back to Bosnia and Herzegovina, in some cases violently, and without giving them the possibility to seek asylum, Human Rights Watch said.

      Human Rights Watch interviewed 20 people, including 11 heads of families and 1 unaccompanied boy, who said that Croatian police deported them to Bosnia and Herzegovina without due process after detaining them deep inside Croatian territory. Sixteen, including women and children, said police beat them with batons, kicked and punched them, stole their money, and either stole or destroyed their mobile phones.

      “Croatia has an obligation to protect asylum seekers and migrants,” said Lydia Gall, Balkans and Eastern EU researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Instead, the Croatian police viciously beat asylum seekers and pushed them back over the border.”

      All 20 interviewees gave detailed accounts of being detained by people who either identified themselves as Croatian police or wore uniforms matching those worn by Croatian police. Seventeen gave consistent descriptions of the police vans used to transport them to the border. One mother and daughter were transported in what they described as a police car. Two people said that police had fired shots in the air, and five said that the police were wearing masks.

      These findings confirm mounting evidence of abuse at Croatia’s external borders, Human Rights Watch said. In December 2016, Human Rights Watch documented similar abuses by Croatian police at Croatia’s border with Serbia. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported in August 2018 that it had received reports Croatia had summarily pushed back 2,500 migrants and asylum seekers to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina since the beginning of the year, at times accompanied by violence and theft.

      In response to a call by the Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner to investigate the allegations, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic in September denied any wrongdoing and questioned the sources of the information. Police in Donji Lapac, on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, refused to provide Croatia’s ombudswoman, Lora Vidović, access to police records on treatment of migrants and told her that police are acting in accordance with the law.

      In a December 4 letter, Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic responded to a detailed description of the Human Rights Watch findings. He said that the evidence of summary returns and violence was insufficient to bring criminal prosecutions, that the allegations could not be confirmed, and that migrants accuse Croatian police in the hope that it will help them enter Croatia. He said that his ministry does not support any type of violence or intolerance by police officers.

      Croatia has a bilateral readmission agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina that allows Croatia to return third-country nationals without legal permission to stay in the country. According to the Security Ministry of Bosnia and Herzegovina, under the agreement, between January and November 27, Croatia returned 493 people to Bosnia and Herzegovina, 265 of whom were Turkish nationals. None of the people Human Rights Watch interviewed underwent any formal return procedure before being forced back over the border.

      The summary return of asylum seekers without consideration of their protection needs is contrary to European Union asylum law, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the 1951 Refugee Convention.

      Croatian authorities should conduct thorough and transparent investigations of abuse implicating their officials and hold those responsible to account, Human Rights Watch said. They should ensure full cooperation with the Ombudswoman’s inquiry, as required by national law and best practice for independent human rights institutions. The European Commission should call on Croatia, an EU member state, to halt and investigate summary returns of asylum seekers to Bosnia and Herzegovina and allegations of violence against asylum seekers. The Commission should also open legal proceedings against Croatia for violating EU laws, Human Rights Watch said.

      As a result of the 2016 border closures on the Western Balkan route, thousands of asylum seekers were stranded, the majority in Serbia, and found new routes toward the EU. In 2018, migrant and asylum seeker arrivals increased in Bosnia and Herzegovina, from fewer than 1,000 in 2017 to approximately 22,400, according to the European Commission. The Commission estimates that 6,000 migrants and asylum seekers are currently in the country. Bosnia and Herzegovina has granted international protection to only 17 people since 2008. In 2017, 381 people applied for asylum there.

      Bosnia and Herzegovina has only one official reception center for asylum seekers near Sarajevo, with capacity to accommodate just 156 people. Asylum seekers and migrants in the border towns of Bihac and Velika Kladusa, where Human Rights Watch conducted the interviews, are housed in temporary facilities managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) – a dilapidated building, a refurbished warehouse, and former hotels – or they sleep outdoors. The IOM and UNHCR have been improving the facilities. The EU has allocated over €9 million to support humanitarian assistance for asylum seekers and migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

      “Just because the EU is sending humanitarian aid to refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina, that does not justify turning a blind eye to violence at the Croatian border,” Gall said. “Brussels should press Zagreb to comply with EU law, investigate alleged abuse, and provide fair and efficient access to asylum.”

      For detailed accounts by the people interviewed, please see below.

      Human Rights Watch interviewed 13 men, 6 women, and one 15-year-old unaccompanied boy. All interviewees’ names have been changed in order to protect their security and privacy. All interviews were conducted in English or with the aid of a Persian or Arabic speaking interpreter. Human Rights Watch informed interviewees of the purpose of the interview and its voluntary nature, and they verbally consented to be interviewed.

      Denied Access to Asylum Procedure, Summarily Returned

      All 20 people interviewed said that people who identified themselves as Croatian police or whom they described as police detained them well inside Croatian territory and subsequently returned them to Bosnia and Herzegovina without any consideration of asylum claims or human rights obstacles to their return.

      Nine said that police detained them and others and took them to a police station in Croatia. The others said that police officers took them directly to the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina and made them cross.

      Those taken to police stations said they were searched, photographed, and questioned about details such as their name, country of origin, age, and their route entering Croatia. They were not given copies of any forms. They said they were held there in rooms with limited or no seating for between 2 and 24 hours, then taken to the border. Three people said they asked for asylum at the police station but that the police ignored or laughed at them. Six others said they dared not speak because police officers told them to remain quiet.

      Faven F. and Kidane K., a married couple in their thirties from Eritrea, said they had been walking for seven days when they were detained on November 9, close to Rijeka, 200 kilometers from the border. They said that four men in green uniforms detained them in the forest and took them in a windowless white van without proper seats to a police station in Rijeka:

      They delivered us to new police. One was in plain clothes, the other one in dark blue uniform that said “Policija” on it…. At the station, they gave us a paper in English where we had to fill in name, surname, and place of birth…. A lady officer asked us questions about our trip, how we got there, who helped us. We told them that if Croatia can give us asylum, we would like to stay. The lady officer just laughed. They wrote our names on a white paper and some number and made us hold them for a mug shot. Then they kept us in the cell the whole night and didn’t give us food, but we could drink tap water in the bathroom.

      Yaran Y., a 19-year-old from Iraq, was carrying his 14-year old sister Dilva, who has a disability and uses a wheelchair, on his back when they were detained along with at least five others at night in the forest. Yaran Y. said he told officers he wanted asylum for his sister, but that the police just laughed. “They told us to go to Brazil and ask for asylum there,” Yaran Y. said.

      Ardashir A., a 33-year-old Iranian, was travelling with his wife and 7-year-old daughter in a group of 18 people, including 3 other children, the youngest of whom is under age 2. He said that Croatian police detained the group 12 kilometers inside Croatian territory on November 15 and took them to a police station:

      They [Croatian police] brought us to a room, like a prison. They took our bags and gave us only a few slices of bread. There were no chairs, we sat on the floor. Two people in civilian clothes came after a while, I don’t know if they were police, but they took a group picture of us and refused to let us go to the toilet. A 10-year-old child really needed to go but wasn’t allowed so he had to endure. After two hours they took us … to the border.

      Adal A., a 15-year-old boy from Afghanistan traveling on his own said that he was detained on November 15 near Zagreb and taken in a white windowless van to a police station:

      They searched us at the police station and took our phones, power banks, bags, and everything we had. They took three kinds of pictures: front, side, and back. We had to hold a paper with a number. I was asked questions about my name, where I am from, my age, and about the smuggler. I told them I’m 15. We then sat in a room for 24 hours and received no food but could get water from the tap in the toilet.

      Palmira P., a 45-year-old Iranian, said that a female police officer mistreated Palmira’s 11-year-old daughter during a body search in a police station courtyard on the outskirts of Rijeka in early November: “She pulled my daughter’s pants down in front of everyone. My daughter still has nightmares about this policewoman, screaming out in the middle of the night, ‘Don’t do it, don’t do it!’”

      Everyone interviewed said that Croatian police confiscated and never returned or destroyed their phones and destroyed power banks and phone chargers. Four people said that Croatian police forced them to unlock their phones before stealing them.

      Madhara M., a 32-year-old from Iran, said a police officer found a €500 bill in his pocket on November 15: “He looked at it, inspected it, and admired it and then demonstratively put it in his pocket in front of me.”

      Accounts of Violence and Abuse

      Seventeen people described agonizing journeys ranging from 15 minutes to five hours in windowless white police vans to the border. In two cases, people described the vans with a deep dark blue/black stripe running through the middle and a police light on top. A Human Rights Watch researcher saw a police van matching that description while driving through Croatia.

      Croatian roads close to the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina cross windy, mountainous terrain. People interviewed said they had experienced nausea, vomited, or felt extreme cold or heat in the van. A 23-year-old Syrian woman said she believed the difficult van ride and pushback caused her to miscarry her 7-week pregnancy. Amez A., a 28-year-old Iraqi, said police sprayed what he thought was teargas into the van before closing the back doors and driving off, making everyone in the car vomit and have difficulty breathing.

      Sixteen people, including women and children, said that they were slapped, pummelled with fists, beaten with police batons made of rubber or wood, or kicked by people they described as or who identified themselves as Croatian police during the pushbacks.

      In many cases, the violence was accompanied by abusive language in English. Human Rights Watch observed marks and bruises on nine people and viewed photographs of injuries on four more who said they were the result of beatings by Croatian police officers. Four people said that they required treatment at Bosnian hospitals.

      Adal A., the 15-year-old unaccompanied boy, described a particularly vicious beating on November 16:

      They wore dark blue uniforms with masks, and as I exited the van, both police hit me with their batons. I felt a blow to my neck and I fell forward and wanted to get up. At that point, I was on the Bosnian side of the border stones, where another six Croatian police officers stood waiting. They were all over me, beating me. I don’t know how they beat me, but it was hard and strong, and I tried to protect my face. I was so badly beaten on my back that I still can’t sleep on it properly because of the pain. When they saw that my nose was bleeding, and that my hand was injured and that I couldn’t walk, they stopped…. They yelled “Go!” and as I was trying to leave, they fired guns in the air.

      Human Rights Watch interviewed Adal A. four days after he said this had happened and observed marks and bruises on his legs and arms.

      Aftab A., 37, from Iran, said that police officers in dark blue uniforms beat him and his 12-year-old son in what he called the “Tunnel of Death:”

      They [police] make this tunnel [lined up on each side] and you have to pass. They took us out of the van one by one and they started beating me with batons from both sides. I was beaten on my arm, shoulder, and on my knee with batons. My son was beaten with batons on his back and on his head…We kept screaming ‘my son my son!’ or ‘my dad my dad!’ but they didn’t care. They kept beating at us until we crossed the border. Even my wife was struck across her back with a baton. The child was so scared and was crying for half an hour and then wouldn’t speak for a long time.

      Madhara M., 32, from Iran, was taken to the border on November 15 along with four others, including a married couple. He said that Croatian police beat him and then threw him into a ditch he said separates Croatia from Bosnia and Herzegovina:

      There were about eight police officers in front of the van. But there were more behind them making sure we can’t run away. The first punch broke my tooth… I fell, and the officer rolled me over, and punched me in the eye. It was so painful, I tried to escape by crawling, but the police struck me with the baton on my back. Suddenly, I received a second blow on the same eye. Then the police officers grabbed me and threw me into the ditch. All along, they were laughing and swearing in English, things like ‘I will fuck your mother.’

      Bahadur B. and Nabila N., both 32 and from Iran, are a married couple who were traveling with Madhara M. Nabila N., who was three-months’ pregnant at the time, described the violence at the border:

      They [Croatian police] were standing four on one side and four on the other side. We call it the ‘terror tunnel.’ They told us to get out. Bahadur tried to help me down from the van, as I was stiff from the ride. When he did, the police started beating him…I turned and screamed at them to stop beating my husband, but…. I stumbled on a bag in the darkness…When I got up, I was face-to-face with a police officer who was wearing a mask. I kept screaming, “Please don’t do it, we will leave” but he deliberately hit me hard with his baton across my hand. I kept screaming “baby, baby!” during the whole ordeal but they didn’t listen, they just laughed.

      Both Yaran Y., 19, and his sister Dilva, 14, who has a physical disability, said they required medical treatment after Croatian police used physical force during the pushback in early July. Yaran Y. said:

      I was carrying Dilva on my back the whole way while others pushed her wheelchair. Our family travelled with five other people. It was dark, when the police surprised us by firing shots in the air. They police wore dark or black color uniforms and there were six or seven of them. I asked one of the police officers for asylum but he harshly pushed me so I fell with my sister on my back. In the fall, my sister and I landed on a sharp wooden log which severely injured her foot and my hand.

      A Human Rights Watch researcher observed scars on Dilva’s foot and Yaran’s hand and saw pictures of the fresh injuries.

      Sirvan S., 38, from Iraq, said Croatian police in dark blue uniforms beat him and his youngest son, age 6, during a pushback on November 14: “My son and I were beaten with a rubber baton. I was beaten in the head and on my leg. My son was beaten with a baton on his leg and head as well as he was running from the police.” Sirvan’s wife, 16-year-old daughter, and 14-year-old son witnessed the violence.

      Gorkem G., 30, travelling with his 25-year-old pregnant wife, 5-year-old son, and 2-year-old daughter, said that Croatian police pushed his son, so he fell hard to the ground. “He only wanted to say “hi” to the police,” Gorkem G. said

      Family members described the anger, frustration, and trauma they experienced seeing the police officers beat their loved ones. A 10-year-old Yazidi boy from Iraq said, “I saw how police kicked my father in his back and how they beat him all over. It made me angry.” His father, Hussein H., said that police officers had dragged him out of the van at the border and kicked and punched him when he was on the ground.

      Fatima F., 34, a Syrian mother of six, travelled with her husband’s 16-year-old brother and three of her children, ages 2, 4, and 10. She said that three police officers in dark uniforms beat her husband’s brother in front of her and her children:

      They were merciless […] One officer was by the van, one in the middle of the line of people, and one close to the path [into Bosnia and Herzegovina]. They kept beating the others with batons, and kicking. They [the officers] saw me and the kids but they just kept beating the men despite the kids crying. They didn’t beat me or the children, but the children were very afraid when they saw the men being beaten. My oldest girl kept screaming when she saw my husband’s brother get beaten…[she] screams out in the middle of the night.

      In three cases, people said they were forced to cross ice-cold rivers or streams even though they were near a bridge.

      Thirty-year-old Abu Hassan A. from Iran, travelling in a group of seven other single men, said:

      They [police] were wearing masks. There was a bridge about 50-60 meters away. More than six police were guarding the bridge. It [the stream] was about 5-6 meters wide and waist high and muddy. They told us we have to cross. Then the police… beat me with batons and kicked me, and the first handed me over to the second police who did the same thing, and then handed me over to the third, who did the same thing. After that, I was close to the riverbank, where two other police were waiting. The first one beat me again with baton and pushed me toward the other. They beat me on the legs, hands, arms, shoulders. This is what they did to force us to go into the water and across. I could barely stand or walk for a week after.

      https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/12/11/croatia-migrants-pushed-back-bosnia-and-herzegovina

    • Why are police in Croatia attacking asylum seekers trapped in the Balkans?

      Hearing increasing reports of police brutality against refugees on the Croatia-Bosnia border, Human Rights Watch is demanding action from Zagreb and the EU Commission.

      In November, I spent four days talking to migrants, including asylum seekers, in dilapidated, freezing buildings in Bihac and Velika Kladusa in Bosnia Herzegovina, an area close to the Croatian border. I heard the same story over and over: Croatian police officers beat and robbed them before illegally forcing them over the border to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

      Unfortunately, in my work as the Eastern Europe and Balkans researcher at Human Rights Watch, these stories are not new to me. But what really struck me this time around was the sheer brutality and cruelty of the police assaults.

      “They are merciless,” 34-year-old Fatima*, from Syria, said of Croatian police officers. She and her three young children, the youngest only two years old, were forced to watch Croatian police officers beat her 16-year-old brother-in-law. “My 10-year-old daughter suffered psychologically since it happened, having nightmares,” Fatima said.

      Nabila*, an Iranian woman who was three months pregnant at the time, told me a police officer struck her on her hand with a baton though she told him and other officers repeatedly that she was pregnant.

      Sirvan*, from Iraq, said a Croatian police officer beat his six-year-old son with a baton on his leg and his head as he was trying to run away from the police beatings.

      Yaran*, also from Iraq, was carrying his 14-year-old sister, Dilva*, who has a physical disability and uses a wheelchair, when Croatian police officers manhandled them. “When they captured us, I immediately told them ‘asylum’ but one police officer just pushed me hard so I fell backwards with my sister on my back.” They both required medical treatment after they were forced back to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

      Croatia’s interior ministry has denied any wrongdoing but testimonies from migrants continue to emerge.

      Since March 2016, when the Western Balkan route was closed, many people have found themselves stuck in the Balkans. After fleeing countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Eritrea, Pakistan and Bangladesh, people had travelled through Turkey to Greece or Bulgaria, and onwards to Macedonia and Serbia.

      There are now between 6,000 and 8,000 people trapped in Serbia and around 6,000 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, who want to move onwards to EU states and particularly to Western Europe.

      Many have tried to cross to Hungary and Croatia but are met with violence from border guards. Most of the people I talked to had been walking for days inside Croatia by the time police detained them.

      Some were taken to police stations, where they were denied food for up to 24 hours; others were taken directly to the border. They were transported in windowless locked vans on winding mountainous roads on trips of up to five hours. People kept sliding off the narrow benches, bumping into each other, and throwing up.

      At the border, a “Tunnel of Terror” – as some called it — greeted them. A gauntlet of police officers beat them, pushing each person to the next officer and then to the next, laughing and mocking them on the way.

      Tired and beaten, migrants and asylum seekers were then chased down a slippery slope or thrown into a ditch four to five meters deep that is the de facto border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina or made to wade across an ice-cold stream.

      Most of the 20 people I interviewed, including parents with their children, the girl with a disability, and pregnant women, said they were brutally forced across the border in the cold of dark winter nights.

      Every person I interviewed also said that Croatian police robbed them of their phones and money. They kept the good phones, forcing people to surrender their passcodes, and smashed the rest. Money, if found, was stolen too.

      All this is going on at the EU’s borders. With total impunity.

      And it has been going on for some time. I documented similar abuses on Croatia’s border with Serbia two years ago. The government rejected our allegations and the EU didn’t act. In two years, rather than improving, the situation has got worse.

      More recently, the Croatian government dismissed concerns raised by UN refugee agency UNHCR and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and told us they didn’t have enough evidence to bring prosecutions and that allegations can’t be confirmed.

      The EU provides funds for humanitarian assistance to migrants and asylum seekers in Bosnia and Herzegovina that, while helpful, cannot justify turning a blind eye to neighbouring member state, Croatia, blatantly breaking EU laws and ignoring violence committed against those same people.

      Croatian authorities need to take these allegations seriously. They need to immediately open an investigation into the summary returns and violence by Croatian police against migrants and asylum seekers. And they need to hold those responsible to account.

      It’s also well past time for EU institutions to break their silence and send a strong message to Zagreb that pushbacks and violence flies in the face of Croatia’s legal obligations. The EU should make failure by Zagreb to address this issue come at a serious cost.

      *Names have been changed to protect identities.

      https://lacuna.org.uk/migration/why-police-croatia-attacking-asylum-seekers-trapped-in-the-balkans

      #Velika_Kladusa

    • Croatia violating EU law by sending asylum seekers back to Bosnia

      Hidden cameras capture apparent expulsions by Croatian border police in forest.

      Croatian police are returning groups of asylum seekers across the EU’s external border with Bosnia, a video obtained by the Guardian suggests, in an apparent breach of EU law.

      Footage shared by the watchdog organisation Border Violence Monitoring (BVM) shows a number of alleged collective expulsions or “pushbacks” of migrants in a forest near Lohovo, in Bosnian territory.

      The videos, filmed on hidden cameras between 29 September and 10 October, capture 54 incidents of people being pushed back in groups from Croatia into Bosnia with 368 people in total returned, according to the footage.

      Bosnia-Herzegovina’s security minister, Dragan Mektić, told the news channel N1 the behaviour of the Croatian police was “a disgrace for an EU country”.

      Croatian police are returning groups of asylum seekers across the EU’s external border with Bosnia, a video obtained by the Guardian suggests, in an apparent breach of EU law.

      Footage shared by the watchdog organisation Border Violence Monitoring (BVM) shows a number of alleged collective expulsions or “pushbacks” of migrants in a forest near Lohovo, in Bosnian territory.

      The videos, filmed on hidden cameras between 29 September and 10 October, capture 54 incidents of people being pushed back in groups from Croatia into Bosnia with 368 people in total returned, according to the footage.

      Bosnia-Herzegovina’s security minister, Dragan Mektić, told the news channel N1 the behaviour of the Croatian police was “a disgrace for an EU country”.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAmdAjzcrcA


      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/17/croatia-violating-eu-law-by-sending-back-asylum-seekers-to-bosnia?CMP=s

    • ‘Unverifiable information from unknown migrants’? – First footage of push-backs on the Croatian-Bosnian border

      By now our database contains more than 150 push-back reports from the Bosnian-Croatian border. In light of this figure it seems hard to deny this illegal practice of collective expulsions of people seeking protection, perpetrated by the Croatian police and often accompanied by violence. The people returning from the border with broken arms or legs, or showing bloodshot eyes and marks of beatings with batons on their backs, are no isolated cases. Their injuries and testimonies prove irrefutably institutionalised and systematically applied practices – even if the Croatian Minister of the Interior [1] continues to deny these accusations and instead prefers to accuse refugees of self-injury [2]. Meanwhile, various large international media have taken up the topic and report on developments at the Bosnian-Croatian border. The Guardian, for example, recently published a video showing a refugee bleeding from several wounds just after a pushback [3]. Yet, for some reason, up to now the available evidence has not been enough to hold the responsible persons and institutions accountable. New video material provided to BVM by an anonymous group should now close this gap in evidence.

      VIDEO MATERIAL PROVES ILLEGAL PUSH-BACKS FROM CROATIA

      On 20 November we received a letter containing extensive video footage from the Bosnian-Croatian border area. For security reasons, the informants themselves prefer to remain anonymous; yet for the extensiveness and level of detail of the material in concordance with other reports, we consider it authentic. The footage was filmed by hidden cameras in a forest near Lohovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, (Coordinates 44.7316124, 15.9133454) between 29 September and 10 October 2018 and show 54 push-backs.

      At least 350 refugees, including small children, minors and women, can clearly be seen on the video recordings as victims of these pushbacks, which take place several times a day and at night. Should they occur just as frequently as during the filmed period, the number of push-backs at this border crossing alone exceeds 150 per month. For the first time, the material can unambiguously prove that the Croatian police systematically conducts collective expulsions on Bosnian territory.

      The group’s report accompanying the material reads:

      “These push-backs are not conducted at an official border checkpoint and without the presence of Bosnian officials and are therefore illegal. In addition, documentation by various NGOs suggests that asylum applications by refugees were previously disregarded.”

      These expulsions over the green border do not follow formal return procedures [4] and can thus not be justified with the 2007 readmission agreement between the EU and Bosnia. The only legal way to return people would be through the readmission process at the official border crossing after a readmission application has been made to the Bosnian authorities.

      PROOF OF MULTIPLE CRIMINAL OFFENCES

      In not complying with these procedures, the police officers involved violate international law, in particular the prohibition of collective expulsions laid down in Article 4 of the Fourth Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights [5] and Article 19 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights [6]. Similarly, the right to asylum, as agreed in the Geneva Convention on Refugees [7] and Article 18 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, is not granted.

      “According to first-hand accounts, the officials inflict violence during approximately one in five push-backs in Lohovo, which is considerably less than on other push-back locations on the Bosnian-Croatian border. Here as in other locations, mobile phones are almost always destroyed and returned in a yellow plastic bag.”

      In the videos themselves, the violence becomes apparent in the form of kicks and insults. Shots and screams that can be heard at close range indicate that the beatings and humilliations which are extensively documented by various NGOs [8], take place nearby.

      Interestingly enough, the group seems to be planning to release even more video material from the border:

      “We already have more recordings from other locations and will publish them as soon as we have collected enough material. Since push-backs at other locations often take place at night, we work here with thermal cameras and other special equipment.”

      With their work, the group aims to contribute to the end of push-backs and police violence in Croatia, they state:

      “We demand that the human rights violations at the Bosnian-Croatian border stop immediately. For this it is necessary that they are examined in an official investigation both internally, by the Croatian Minister of the Interior, and by the European Commission, which co-finances Croatian border security from the Internal Security Fund (ISF).”

      BVM supports these demands. Now more than ever, the evidence is calling for immediate investigations by the Croatian authorities as well as by the European Union of which Croatia is a member state and which co-funds Croatian border security. The European Commission should call on Croatia to stop and investigate collective expulsions of asylum seekers to Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as allegations of violence perpetrated by Croatian officers. The EU Commission should also open legal proceedings against Croatia for violating EU laws.

      We would like to make the material that was sent to us available to the general public, in order to make them visible as evidence of the everyday events at the borders of the European Union.

      The data package, including the report, an overview of the content of the material and all the videos, can be accessed or downloaded here:

      https://files.borderviolence.eu/index.php/s/EYZdTo0OeGXrCqW

      In case of queries we can establish encrypted communication with the anonymous group.


      https://www.borderviolence.eu/proof-of-push-backs

    • Human rights group files complaint against Croatian police

      A Croatian NGO working with migrants has filed a complaint against police who it claims used excessive force and violence against migrants, illegally pushing them back at the border with Bosnia.
      A human rights organization in Croatia on Wednesday filed a complaint against several Croatian police officers, whose identities are unknown. The organization claims that they are guilty of using excessive force, violence and other illegal behavior against migrants and refugees that were pushed back at the border with Bosnia.

      The complaint by the Center for Peace Studies (CMS), a Zagreb-based NGO, is based on footage published in recent days by Border Violence Monitoring (BVM), an international organization that collects evidence of abuse and illegal push-backs against migrants on the Balkan route.

      Video and witness statements

      BVM received the footage from an anonymous source in November. The organization said that it had verified that the videos were credible. They also argued that the footage was in line with hundreds of witness statements from migrants collected over the past year, according to which Croatian police systematically push back migrants towards Bosnia.

      The footage was reportedly filmed in September and allegedly shows a group of migrants lined up and Croatian police forcing them to return to Bosnia, without giving them the possibility to ask for asylum or international humanitarian protection. BVM said that this was against international law, because the incidents occurred in the so-called “green zone,” in the forest between the two countries, not at border crossings, and without the presence of Bosnian border guards.

      The footage also shows some incidents of Croatian police kicking, threatening and insulting migrants.

      Collective forced push-backs

      The Center for Peace Studies said that, for the first time, the footage offers undeniable proof corroborating the many complaints against Croatian police presented in recent months by international organizations including the Council of Europe, UNHCR, and Human Rights Watch. “The footage shows collective forced push-backs and the use of unjustified violence,” CMS said.

      The NGO has asked for an investigation by the judiciary as well as the resignation of the interior minister and some high-ranking members of Croatian police.

      Croatian Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said that he had not seen any video in which Croatian police made use of violence and that there was no substantial evidence that showed illegal conduct by the police. Croatia has always rejected accusations that its police engage in illegal behavior against migrants.

      http://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/14039/human-rights-group-files-complaint-against-croatian-police

    • En Bosnie, des milliers de réfugiés sont bloqués dans la neige aux frontières de l’Union européenne

      La Bosnie-Herzégovine est devenue un cul-de-sac aux portes de l’Union européenne, où sont bloqués plusieurs milliers d’exilés. Malgré les violences de la police croate et une neige redoutable, ils cherchent à continuer leur route vers l’Ouest.

      Depuis l’été, les témoignages et les rapports des organisations internationales s’accumulent : la police croate maltraite systématiquement les migrants et les réfugiés, et procède à des rapatriements forcés extra-légaux en Bosnie-Herzégovine. Le 16 décembre, le réseau Border violence monitoring a ainsi publié d’accablantes vidéos montrant comment les forces de l’ordre regroupaient des réfugiés arrêtés alors qu’ils tentaient d’entrer en Croatie et les forçaient à reprendre la route de la Bosnie-Herzégovine.

      Ces vidéos, réalisées en caméra cachée, documentent 54 cas de refoulement, effectués entre le 29 septembre et le 10 octobre dans la forêt de Lehovo, dans les régions montagneuses et très peuplées de Krajina, qui marquent la frontière entre les deux pays. Sur les vidéos, on peut dénombrer au moins 350 réfugiés, dont des femmes et des enfants. « Pour la première fois, des documents prouvent que la police croate mène systématiquement des expulsions collectives sur le territoire bosnien, note Border Violence Monitoring. Ces refoulements ne sont pas menés à un poste-frontière et ont lieu sans présence de représentants légaux de la Bosnie-Herzégovine, ils sont donc contraires au droit international. »

      https://twitter.com/Border_Violence/status/1074178137217478656

      Deux jours plus tôt, Human Rights Watch publiait un rapport accablant sur les actes de violence et de torture commis par la police croate. Zagreb interdit bien souvent aux réfugiés de déposer une demande d’asile, contrevenant ainsi à ses obligations internationales. L’organisation internationale affirme avoir recueilli les témoignages de 20 personnes, dont 16 évoquaient des brutalités systématiques, voire de véritables actes de torture commis par les forces de l’ordre croates, ainsi que des vols d’argent et de téléphones portables.

      Le Commissaire des Nations unies pour les réfugiés confirmait de son côté en août 2018 avoir reçu des rapports qui soulignaient que la Croatie avait illégalement refoulé 2 500 migrants et demandeurs d’asile vers la Bosnie-Herzégovine et la Serbie depuis le début de l’année dernière. Ces accusations ont été réfutées par le premier ministre croate Andrej Plenković, dans une réponse à une interpellation du Conseil de l’Europe.

      Depuis plusieurs mois, les associations et les collectifs croates de soutien aux réfugiés font d’ailleurs l’objet d’un véritable harcèlement : attaques de leurs locaux ou de leurs véhicules par des « inconnus », poursuites judiciaires contre plusieurs militants. Ces collectifs viennent d’ailleurs de publier une « Lettre ouverte aux citoyens de l’Union européenne depuis la périphérie », soulignant que les politiques de fermeture des frontières pourraient faire basculer tous ces pays de la périphérie européenne – membres ou non de l’Union – dans des régimes de plus en plus autoritaires.

      Dragan Mektić, le ministre de la sécurité de Bosnie-Herzégovine, a pourtant confirmé à la télévision N1 la réalité de ces mauvais traitements. « Le comportement de la police croate est une honte pour un pays membre de l’Union européenne. Les policiers se font les complices des trafiquants, en poussant les migrants dans les mains des réseaux criminels », a-t-il expliqué. Depuis la fermeture de la « route des Balkans », au printemps 2016, et l’édification d’un mur de barbelés le long de la frontière hongroise, les candidats à l’exil empruntent de nouvelles routes depuis la Grèce, transitant par l’Albanie, le Monténégro et la Bosnie-Herzégovine, ou directement depuis la Serbie vers la Bosnie-Herzégovine, devenue une étape obligatoire sur la route vers l’Union européenne.

      La région de Bihać constitue effectivement un cul-de-sac. Selon les chiffres officiels, 18 628 réfugiés ont été enregistrés en Bosnie-Herzégovine en 2018. Au 18 décembre, 5 300 se trouvaient dans le pays, dont au moins 4 000 dans le canton de Bihać, les autres étant répartis dans des centres d’accueil à proximité de la capitale Sarajevo ou de la ville de Mostar. La majorité d’entre eux ne fait que transiter, alors que des températures polaires et de fortes neiges se sont abattues sur la Bosnie-Herzégovine depuis la fin du mois de décembre.

      À Velika Kladuša, une petite ville coincée à la frontière occidentale du pays, le camp de Trnovi a été évacué mi-décembre et tous ses habitants relogés dans l’ancienne usine Miral, aménagée en centre d’hébergement d’urgence par l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM). « Les conditions sont très précaires, mais au moins, il y a du chauffage », se réjouit Husein Kličić, président du Comité cantonal de la Croix-Rouge.

      Les entrées en Bosnie-Herzégovine se sont ralenties avec l’arrivée de l’hiver, 450 par semaine en novembre contre 1 200 un mois plus tôt, selon Peter Van der Auweraert, directeur de l’OIM dans le pays, mais les flux ne se sont pas taris : en ce début janvier, de nouveaux groupes arrivent tous les jours au Monténégro, explique Sabina Talovic, volontaire dans la ville de Pljevlja, proche des frontières de la Bosnie-Herzégovine. Ces flux devraient recommencer à enfler une fois le printemps revenu.

      L’urgence est désormais de passer l’hiver. Selon Damir Omerdić, ministre de l’éducation du canton d’Una-Sana, une trentaine d’enfants installés avec leurs familles dans l’ancien hôtel Sreda, dans la ville de Cazin, devraient même pouvoir intégrer l’école primaire d’un petit village voisin et des négociations sont en cours avec un autre établissement. « Ils passeront deux ou trois heures par jour à l’école. Notre but est de leur permettre de faire connaissance avec d’autres enfants », explique-t-il à Radio Slobodna Evropa.

      La police du canton d’Una-Sana a observé, courant décembre, plusieurs groupes de réfugiés en train de s’engager dans le massif de Plješevica, qui fait frontière avec la Croatie. Non seulement, des secteurs n’ont toujours pas été déminés depuis la fin de la guerre, mais seuls des montagnards expérimentés et bien équipés peuvent s’engager en plein hiver dans ces montagnes dont les sommets culminent à plus de 1 600 mètres. Les policiers bosniens n’ont aucun mandat pour stopper les réfugiés qui prennent cette route dangereuse – mais si jamais ils parviennent à franchir ces montagnes, on peut hélas gager que la police croate les arrêtera.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/130119/en-bosnie-des-milliers-de-refugies-sont-bloques-dans-la-neige-aux-frontier

    • Entre violences et désespoir, le quotidien des migrants oubliés en Bosnie-Herzégovine

      Ils sont plus de 3 500 dans les #camps surpeuplés à la frontière avec la Croatie, des centaines dans les squats insalubres à Sarajevo, et bien d’autres encore dans le reste du pays. Depuis plus d’un an, la Bosnie-Herzégovine subit afflux massif de migrants, auquel les autorités ont toutes les peines de faire face. Pour ces candidats à l’exil bloqués à la lisière de l’Union européenne, l’espoir de passer se fait de plus en plus ténu. « Entre violences et désespoir, le quotidien des migrants oubliés en Bosnie-Herzégovine », un Grand reportage de Jean-Arnault Dérens et Simon Rico.


      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/15228/entre-violences-et-desespoir-le-quotidien-des-migrants-oublies-en-bosn
      #campement

    • In Bosnia, a Migrant Way Station Is Becoming a Winter Prison

      For years, the country remained untouched by the global migrant crisis, but now, even in a place where many people were once refugees, tensions are on the rise.

      BIHAC, Bosnia and Herzegovina—Zohaib Ali, a 22-year-old student from Pakistan, has attempted to cross into the European Union through the mountainous border separating Bosnia and Herzegovina from Croatia 16 times. Many of the migrants he met during his repeated efforts have now made it to Italy or France. “I tried, and they tried. … [I had] bad luck,” he told Foreign Policy in December. But bad luck is not the only element to blame.

      Ali speculated that if he had come to Bosnia earlier in the spring of 2018, when the border with Croatia wasn’t so heavily guarded, he might have succeeded. Instead, he arrived in August, finding himself in one of the world’s most difficult migration bottlenecks.

      For years, the global migrant crisis was a remote concern for Bosnia. Migrants traveling along the Balkan corridor first arrived in Greece by sea from Turkey and then moved toward Macedonia and Serbia in order to enter Croatia and Hungary, both EU member states. As in 2015 and 2016, countries along the route have closed their borders, sending migrants fanning out across the Balkans.

      Now, migrants leaving Greece go through jagged mountains and dense woodland to reach Albania, then Montenegro, only to find themselves stuck in Bosnia. This small, ethnically divided country with a dearth of economic opportunities has found itself at the epicenter of the crisis, as more people make their way in and can no longer find a way out.

      Since January 2018, more than 23,000 migrants and asylum-seekers have arrived in Bosnia. The year before, there were fewer than 1,000.

      The shift has caught the country’s authorities flat-footed. Many international actors, including the Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights, have expressed concerns over the slow and chaotic response to the needs of these new arrivals.

      Despite his determination to reach his brother in Germany or his sister in Canada, Ali has resolved to spend the winter in northwestern Bosnia before he attempts his next crossing in the spring. Maybe borders won’t be so heavily guarded and Croatian police so brutal, he speculates. He wasn’t beaten or attacked with dogs, as was the case for many less fortunate migrants, who have accused Croatian forces of systematic violence. But he was the victim of theft on multiple occasions. “They took my rucksack with belongings,” he recounted matter-of-factly.

      It’s an uncomfortable compromise. Ali’s efforts to find help to get out of Bosnia have been anything but fruitful. When a smuggler promised to get him a safe passage to Italy, Ali handed over 16,000 euros ($18,000), and in return, he received nothing.

      In Bosnia, he was told that he would need a visa. Then a smuggler took his passport and never gave it back, making his presence in Bihac—without documents or refugee status—completely illegal. “It’s not a problem,” Ali said. “There [are] too many migrants here. No one will notice.”

      Extreme temperatures are a factor, too. “The cold in the mountains is like ice going inside you, in your blood,” Ali said. In these conditions, around 4,000 others have made the same pragmatic decision—Bosnia will have to do, for now.

      For migrants and asylum-seekers stuck in Bosnia through the winter, options are limited. They’re allowed to stay in one of four refugee camps along the border with Croatia. The camps are temporary and were never intended for their current purpose.

      https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/02/20/in-bosnia-a-migrant-way-station-is-becoming-a-winter-prison-bihac-cro

    • Reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa Dobrodosli, le 29.04.2019

      Since 18 July 2018, the border has been monitored by a Frontex airplane. Croatian border with Bosnia and Herzegovina is regularly patrolled by over 1,000 officers (out of a total of 6,500 border police officers) and there are additional 2,000 riot police officers deployed for border surveillance.

      #militarisation_des_frontières #Frontex #surveillance #surveillance_aérienne #police #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Croatie #frontières #surveillance_frontalière #contrôles_frontaliers

    • Kroatische Polizei bei illegaler Abschiebung gefilmt

      Kroatien schiebt Flüchtlinge an der grünen Grenze illegal nach Bosnien ab. Das verstösst gegen EU- und Völkerrecht.

      Ein verlassener Grenzabschnitt im Norden Bosniens Ende April. Aus dem Wald tauchen kroatische Uniformierte auf. Dahinter eine Gruppe von rund 30 Menschen mit Rucksäcken und Decken bepackt. Am Grenzstein zwischen Kroatien und Bosnien bleiben die Beamten stehen und schicken die Gruppe per Handbewegung nach Bosnien.

      Was aus der Ferne wie eine Grenzwanderung am Balkan aussieht, ist eine illegale Abschiebung von Flüchtlingen an der kroatischen EU-Aussengrenze. «Rundschau»-Reporter dokumentieren an zwei Tagen vier sogenannte Push-Backs. Die vier Aktionen betreffen rund 70 Menschen, hauptsächlich aus Pakistan, Algerien und Afghanistan.

      Knüppelhiebe und zerstörte Handys

      Die «Rundschau» konnte direkt nach den Push-Backs mit den betroffenen Migranten reden. Es ist das erste Mal, dass diese illegalen Ausschaffungen an der EU-Aussengrenze vollständig dokumentiert werden können.

      Die Betroffenen berichteten übereinstimmend, dass sie von der kroatischen Polizei ohne Verfahren an der grünen Grenze nach Bosnien zurückgeschafft worden seien. Bei den Push-Backs sei von kroatischen Beamten auch Gewalt angewendet worden.

      Ein junger Pakistani erzählt: «Sie haben uns im Wald aufgegriffen, alle in einen Van gesteckt und direkt zur Grenze gefahren. Die Fahrt dauerte etwa zwei Stunden. Dann haben sie unsere Handys zerstört und uns mit Knüppelhieben Richtung Bosnien geschickt».

      Das Geld, das einige dabeigehabt hätten, sei ihnen gestohlen worden. Diese und ähnliche Berichte über zum Teil brutales Vorgehen der kroatischen Grenzwächter dokumentieren NGO seit über einem Jahr.
      Asylanfragen ignoriert

      Eine afghanische Familie mit Kleinkindern berichtet, wie sie im Wald von kroatischen Polizisten gestoppt worden sei. «Sie richteten die Pistolen auf uns und sagten ‹Stopp›. Wir hatten grosse Angst und weinten», erzählt das älteste der Kinder. Als die Familie um Asyl gebeten habe, hätten die Beamten gelacht, man werde ihnen «bosnisches Asyl» geben – sie also nach Bosnien zurückschaffen.

      Die «Rundschau» sprach mit mehr als hundert weiteren Migranten und Flüchtlingen. Alle erklärten, dass sie daran gehindert worden seien, in Kroatien Asyl zu beantragen.

      Kein Einzelfall in Europa

      Die «Rundschau» legte die Filmaufnahmen Migrationsexperten und Menschenrechtsorganisationen vor. Der deutsche Migrationsforscher Marcus Engler ist deutlich: «Es ist ein Verstoss gegen EU-Recht und Völkerrecht.» Kroatien sei kein Einzelfall. «Diese Praxis wird an der ganzen EU-Aussengrenze angewendet.»

      András Léderer vom Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC), spricht von schweren Menschenrechtsverletzungen. Bei einer möglichen Rückführung von Migranten brauche es immer ein offizielles Verfahren – auch wenn diese illegal über die grüne Grenze eingereist seien. Jeder Mensch muss einzeln angehört, sein Fall einzeln geprüft werden.

      Aber das Video zeige klar: Hier finde eine kollektive Ausschaffung statt, was immer illegal sei. «Man darf Menschen nicht mitten im Wald oder auf einem Feld aus dem Land werfen», so Léderer. Dass die Zurückweisungen an der grünen Grenze inoffiziell stattfänden, also nicht in Gegenwart der bosnischen Behörden, sei eine klare Verletzung des Grenzabkommens.

      https://www.srf.ch/news/international/ausschaffung-ueber-gruene-grenze-kroatische-polizei-bei-illegaler-abschiebung-ge
      #vidéo

      Commentaire sur la vidéo de Inicijativa Dobrodosli, reçu par email, le 22.05.2019 :

      This week, the Swiss media SRF released a report containing recordings of police conduct on the Croatian border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The aforementioned report brings us new testimonies and evidence of illegal conduct of the Croatian police at the border with BH. Footage concretely demonstrate collective expulsion on the green border and a police van transporting people from the depths of the Croatian territory, which confirms that this is not a “discouragement”, and all without the presence of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian police that would be there in case of lawful readmission process. The testimonies reaffirm that this is a European problem, not just a Croatian one because refugees speak of chain pushbacks from Slovenia (https://push-forward.org/porocilo/report-illegal-practice-collective-expulsion-slovene-croatian-border) through Croatia to BH. Footage also brings shocking testimonies of children (https://www.srf.ch/play/tv/news-clip/video/kinder-erzaehlen-wie-sie-mit-waffengewalt-zurueckgedraengt-worden-sind?id=090062) describing police threats with weapons, as well as testimonies of denial of asylum seeking. The Ministry of Interior, as usual, rejects the responsibility without any counter-evidence or legally justified arguments. We wonder how many more violations of human rights should happen in order for the Croatian authorities to take responsibility and stop the illegal conduct.

    • Prvi intervju u kojem hrvatski policajac tvrdi: šefovi nam naređuju da ilegalno protjerujemo migrante

      Telegram ekskluzivno objavljuje priču Barbare Matejčić, nastalu nakon iscrpnih razgovora s pripadnikom MUP-a

      "Početkom 2017. vratio sam prvu grupu migranata. Naredbe sam dobivao od šefa smjene. Dakle, nazovem šefa, kažem da imamo grupu migranata. Često nam građani dojave kada vide migrante, a nekada bismo ih i sami našli na ulici. Šef smjene mi onda kaže da će me nazvati za 10 minuta. Nazove me na privatni mobitel na kojemu se ne snimaju razgovori, kaže da ih vozimo na granicu. Migranti kažu: ’Azil’, a mi: ’No azil’ i stavimo ih u maricu u kojoj isključimo vezu, koja inače stalno odašilje GPS signal, da se ne bi znalo gdje smo’, detaljno prepričava hrvatski policajac kojem, zbog zaštite, nećemo otkriti identitet

      “I ja i moje kolege policajci provodili smo nezakonita vraćanja migranta iz Zagreba na granicu Hrvatske s Bosnom i Hercegovinom i Srbijom. Doveli bismo ih pred zelenu granicu i rekli im da prijeđu nazad u Bosnu ili Srbiju. Nismo ih evidentirali. Takve smo naredbe dobivali od nadređenih u policijskoj postaji, nisu se policajci toga sami sjetili”, rekao nam je zagrebački policajac u razgovorima koje smo s njim vodili tijekom lipnja 2019. Time je potvrdio ono na što međunarodne i domaće organizacije poput Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Are You Syrious i Centar za mirovne studije upozoravaju već duže od dvije i pol godine: hrvatska policija suprotno hrvatskim i međunarodnim zakonima sustavno i organizirano provodi grupna protjerivanja izbjeglica s teritorija Republike Hrvatske na teritorije Republike Srbije i Bosne i Hercegovine. Pri tome im ne dozvoljava da zatraže azil u Hrvatskoj.

      Unatoč stotinama svjedočanstava samih izbjeglica koje tvrde da ih je hrvatska policija nezakonito protjerala u Bosnu i Srbiju, anonimnoj pritužbi koju je od pripadnika granične policije nedavno primila pučka pravobraniteljica Lora Vidović, snimkama protjerivanja koje su prikupile nevladine organizacije i mediji, tvrdnjama stanovnika Bosne i Hercegovine koji su vidjeli hrvatsku policiju kako protjeruje izbjeglice, hrvatsko Ministarstvo unutarnjih poslova negira sve optužbe. Također, MUP tvrdi da se ne radi o protjerivanju, već o zakonitom odvraćanju na samoj granici. No ovo je prvi put da izvor iz policije osobno novinarki potvrđuje grupna protjerivanja tražitelja azila, i to iz Zagreba, daleko od hrvatske granice. Riječ je o policajcu s dugim stažem u zagrebačkoj policiji, kojem zbog zaštite ne otkrivamo identitet kao ni policijsku postaju kojoj pripada.

      ‘Šef me zove na privatni mobitel, jer se ne snima i kaže mi da ih vozimo’

      “Početkom 2017. vratio sam prvu grupu migranata. Naredbe sam dobivao od šefa smjene, jer o svemu što se dogodi na terenu moraš obavijestiti šefa smjene. Dakle, nazovem šefa smjene, kažem da imamo grupu migranata. Često nam građani dojave kada vide migrante, a nekada bismo ih i sami našli na ulici. Šef smjene mi onda kaže da će me nazvati za 10 minuta. Nazove me na privatni mobitel na kojemu se ne snimaju razgovori, kaže da ih vozimo na granicu. Migranti kažu: ‘Azil’, a mi: ‘No azil’ i stavimo ih u maricu u kojoj isključimo vezu, koja inače stalno odašilje GPS signal, da se ne bi znalo gdje smo.

      Napravimo im pretres, bez naloga naravno, da vidimo odakle su ušli u Hrvatsku, imaju li neki račun iz kafića, karticu za mobitel, ili nam oni sami kažu. Kada utvrdimo iz koje zemlje su došli, tamo ih vodimo. Na putu bi se pri svakom ulasku i izlasku iz područja policijske postaje trebalo prijaviti operativno-komunikacijskom centru. I putuje se s putnim nalogom na kojem sve piše, gdje ideš i zašto. Kod vraćanja migranata to se ništa nije radilo. Njih se vraćalo bez ikakve dokumentirane procedure. Kao da ih nikada nismo našli ni odveli do granice“, prepričava postupak nezakonitih vraćanja naš izvor.

      ‘Na internetu smo sami proučavali zakone i shvatili da to nije legalno’

      U početku nije znao da je takav postupak nezakonit. “Kada je krenuo onaj prvi val izbjeglica 2015., dolazili su organizirano i dobivali smo smjernice kako da postupamo. Kada su kasnije počeli ilegalni prelasci, nitko nam nije rekao koja je procedura. Tek kada smo ih trebali procesuirati, jer nismo sve automatski vraćali na granicu, onda smo na internetu proučavali zakone i gledali što treba raditi. Sami smo se educirali i tako smo shvatili da način na koji smo mi to obavljali nije po zakonu.”

      Takvim postupanjem, za koje naš izvor optužuje hrvatsku policiju, osim što se krši pravo izbjeglicama da zatraže međunarodnu zaštitu, krše se i propisi prema kojima se ne smiju provoditi grupna protjerivanja, već individualni povratci, i to u zakonom predviđenom postupku uz propisanu dokumentaciju te u dogovoru s policijom zemlje u koju ih se vraća. Redom, krši se UN-ova Konvencija o statusu izbjeglica, Europska konvencija o ljudskim pravima, Povelja EU o temeljnim pravima, direktive koje reguliraju sustav međunarodne zaštite i postupke povratka državljana trećih zemalja, Zakonik o schengenskim granicama, hrvatski Zakon o strancima i Zakon o međunarodnoj i privremenoj zaštiti.

      ‘Neki policajci su odbijali to raditi, njih su odmah kažnjavali’

      Naš izvor nije ni jednom obavijestio bosansku ili srpsku policiju, već bi odveo grupu na zelenu granicu i protjerao ih same preko. Također ne postoji nikakav pisani trag o takvom postupanju. Izvor, nadalje, tvrdi kako nisu vraćali sve migrante koje bi našli. “Ako bi u grupi bile žene i djeca, ili ako je puno građana prijavilo da je vidjelo migrante – jer ti pozivi ostaju zabilježeni – ili ako bi ih našli usred dana na cesti kada bi postojala mogućnost da netko fotografira policiju kako odvodi migrante i može kasnije pitati gdje su ti ljudi, onda se išlo po proceduri”, tvrdi. Odvelo bi ih se u policijsku postaju, pokrenulo postupak utvrđivanja identiteta, fotografiralo bi ih se, uzelo otiske prstiju i smjestilo u Porin (prihvatilište za azilante) gdje im se pruža utočište do odluke hoće li im se udovoljiti zahtjevu za azil ili ne.

      Također, izvor kaže da nije svaki šef smjene naređivao nezakonita vraćanja, kao što ni svi policajci nisu to htjeli raditi: “Bilo je policajaca koji su odbili takve naredbe pa su za kaznu završili na čuvanju objekata. Šest mjeseci čuvaš zgradu i dobiješ bitno manju plaću, ukupno oko 3500 do 4000 kuna. Nakon što bi im se to dogodilo, nitko više nije odbio vratiti migrante na granicu.

      Po pravilniku bismo morali odbiti naredbu ako je protuzakonita i obavijestiti o tome neposrednog nadređenog osobe koja je izdala protuzakonitu naredbu. Ali, nemaš se kome obratiti, jer su te naredbe dolazile od nadređenih kojima bi se ti, kao, trebao žaliti. Svi smo znali da su šefovi smjene naredbe dobivali od svojih nadređenih, to je javna tajna. Takva je hijerarhija MUP-a. Imaš načelnika postaje i trojicu pomoćnika načelnika, nije se ni jedan šef smjene sam toga sjetio”, priča.
      Isključivo usmene naredbe, nema pisanih tragova

      Sve naredbe su, kaže, bile usmene i naš izvor nije nikada vidio pisani trag o tome. Također, nikada nije dobio naredbu da primjenjuje silu ili da uništava imovinu izbjeglica, iako su zabilježena brojna svjedočanstva o nasilju policije nad izbjeglicama. “Svakakve priče su kolale o tome, ali osobno nisam ni dobio takvu naredbu ni vidio da je netko od policajaca tukao migrante ili im uništio mobitel.” On je obavio četiri vraćanja, odnosno tri jer je jedno bilo neuspješno – dva u Bosnu i Hercegovinu i jedno u Srbiju.

      Svaki put se radilo o grupama mlađih muškaraca. Jednom ih je bilo devetero otraga u marici, a dvaput četrnaestero. Po zakonu se u marici u stražnjem dijelu može voziti najviše šestero ljudi. Iako tri vraćanja ne zvuči kao da se radi o čestoj praksi, napominje da je to ono što ga je zapalo u njegovoj smjeni, a da treba uračunati sve policajce u svim zagrebačkim postajama te smjene kroz 365 dana u godini, čime bi se došlo do puno veće brojke nezakonitih vraćanja samo s područja Zagreba.
      Zašto je odlučio progovoriti, iako bi mogao završiti u zatvoru?

      Zna da bi, kada bi se saznalo o kome se radi, mogao završiti u istražnom zatvoru. Ovime što je radio počinio je kazneno djelo, a nadređeni u policiji bi, uvjeren je, tvrdili da nije bilo nikakve naredbe. Zbog čega je, usprkos tome, pristao istupiti u medije?

      “Ni jedan policajac nije se sam sjetio da tjera ljude preko granice. Gdje će policajcu iz Zagreba pasti na pamet da skupi u maricu migrante i vozi ih na granicu? Ali nitko od šefova neće preuzeti odgovornost ako se sazna za takvo ponašanje, nego će reći da je policajac to sam napravio. Nije, već mu je naredio šef smjene, pomoćnici načelnika, načelnik policijske postaje, načelnik uprave… Po tom lancu išla je naredba na niže, do policajaca. Ali, nitko to neće reći i nastradat će obični policajci koji su najmanje krivi”, objašnjava svoje motive.

      Pravobraniteljica: ‘Zaštita policajaca koji časno rade svoj posao’

      Komentar smo zatražili od pučke pravobraniteljice Lore Vidović: “Ovi navodi, na žalost, samo potvrđuju ono što mi govorimo i pišemo već godinama, a MUP demantira bez argumenata. Ponovno se nameće pitanje kako u ovakvim okolnostima utvrditi odgovornost onih koji takva postupanja naređuju i provode, između ostaloga i kako bi se zaštitili oni policijski službenici koji časno obavljaju svoj posao. Osim toga, jedan od ključnih argumenata koji MUP neprekidno ističe je i kako su policijski službenici educirani za postupanje s migrantima, a sada vidimo da to ipak nije tako”, kaže pravobraniteljica.

      Vidović napominje i da MUP njenom uredu protivno zakonu brani pristup podacima i informacijskom sustavu MUP-a dok se komunikacija s policijskim službenicima “svodi na kontrolirano i šablonizirano davanje podataka”. Amnesty International je u svom opsežnom izvještaju, objavljenom u ožujku 2019., također utvrdio da su sustavna grupna protjerivanja, ponekad popraćena nasiljem i zastrašivanjem, redovita na granici između Hrvatske i Bosne i Hercegovine.
      Nevladine procjene kažu da je 2018. bilo 10.000 protjerivanja iz RH

      Milena Zajović Milka iz nevladine organizacije Are You Syrious kaže da je prema njihovim procjenama u 2018. bilo čak 10.000 protjerivanja iz Hrvatske. “Nezakonite prakse hrvatske policije nadilaze svaku vjerodostojnu mogućnost poricanja. Razmjeri i dosljednost izvještaja, video snimaka i uznemirujućih svjedočenja ljudi koji su iskusili loše postupanje u rukama hrvatske policije, ukazuju na sustavnu i namjernu politiku hrvatskih vlasti, a ne na dobro organiziranu urotu izbjeglica i migranata kako bi dobili međunarodnu zaštitu, kao što hrvatsko Ministarstvo unutarnjih poslova često sugerira.

      Želeći zaštitom vanjske granice EU pokazati svoju spremnost za pridruživanje schengenskoj zoni 2020., Hrvatska je postala jedan od europskih marljivih čuvara vrata. U svom pristupu migracijama, hrvatske vlasti se opasno približavaju ponašanju mađarske vlade protiv koje je Europska komisija pokrenula postupak zbog povrede propisa EU-a”, komentirala nam je Jelena Sesar, autorica izvještaja Amnesty Internationala. Ona napominje da treba provesti neko vrijeme na bosanskoj strani granice kako bi se svjedočilo grupama ljudi protjeranih duboko s hrvatskog teritorija. To smo i napravili.
      Slovenska policija ih ne tuče, za našu kažu: ‘Croatian police very bad’

      U Velikoj Kladuši i Bihaću krajem lipnja 2019. čuli smo desetine podjednakih svjedočenja izbjeglica: prešli su hrvatsku granicu, policija ih je uhvatila, razbila im mobitele da ne mogu dokazati gdje su uhvaćeni, da ne mogu dokumentirati što su im policajci napravili, a i da im otežaju ponovni prelazak. Većinu ih je, tvrde, hrvatska policija i pretukla. Mnogi su nam pokazivali svježe ozljede, kao i zarasle ožiljke od, kako tvrde, hrvatske policije.

      Umar (18), Rizwan (18) i Ali (19) su iz Pakistana i više puta ih je u Bosnu, tvrde, vratila hrvatska policija. Pričaju kako su ih tukli palicom. Uzeli im novac. Papire koje su dobili u Bosni su im uništili. Stvari, uključujući vreću za spavanje, su im zapalili. Jednom su došli do Slovenije, ali ih je uhvatila slovenska policija i predala hrvatskoj policiji, koja ih je pak protjerala u Bosnu, kažu. Slovenska policija ih nije tukla. “Croatian police very bad”, ponavljaju, a Umar svaki put doda: “I’m sorry, madam”, jer sam iz Hrvatske pa da me ne uvrijedi njihovo loše mišljenje o hrvatskoj policiji.

      Gradonačelnik Bihaća koji je naletio na hrvatske policajce s migrantima

      Jelena Sesar potvrđuje da su dokumentirali brojne slučajeve prisilnog vraćanja iz Slovenije, pa čak i Italije u Bosnu i Hercegovinu: “Takva se vraćanja događaju na, čini se, dobro organiziran način i kroz učinkovitu suradnju talijanske, slovenske i hrvatske policije, iako se ne radi o sustavnoj praksi”. I gradonačelnik Bihaća Šuhret Fazlić nezadovoljan je postupanjem hrvatske policije. Razgovarali smo u blizini Bihaća gdje je tijekom lova u siječnju 2019., kaže, zatekao dvojicu naoružanih hrvatskih policajaca koji su doveli grupu od 30 do 40 migranata.

      “Bili su otprilike 500 metara od granice s Hrvatskom. Predstavio sam se tim policajcima i rekao im da su na bosanskom teritoriju i da je to što rade nezakonito. Policajac je slegnuo ramenima i rekao da su dobili takve naredbe. Znam i ime tog policajca, ali mu ne želim stvarati probleme”, kaže gradonačelnik. Hrvatski ministar unutarnjih poslova Davor Božinović nazvao je čak i te gradonačelnikove tvrdnje “insinuacijama” i “lažnim optužbama”.
      Europska unija Hrvatskoj cijelo vrijeme šalje različite signale

      Ministar Božinović očigledno se osjeća dovoljno jakim i sigurnim da može opovrgavati sve dokaze o nezakonitostima policije kojom zapovijeda. Znači li to da ima potporu u EU u obrani njezine vanjske granice bez obzira na primijenjena sredstva? “Tvrdnje o zloporabama hrvatske policije daleko se ozbiljnije shvaćaju izvan Hrvatske. Povjerenica Vijeća Europe za ljudska prava, posebni izaslanik Vijeća Europe za migracije, Europski parlament i Europska komisija zatražili su od hrvatskih vlasti da istraže te tvrdnje i ustrajali na tome da Hrvatska mora nadzirati svoje granice u punoj suglasnosti s europskim zakonima.

      Europska komisija je također zatražila od hrvatskih vlasti da ojačaju trenutačno prilično neučinkovit nadzorni mehanizam nad svojim praksama na granici, što bi uključivalo neovisni nadzor nevladinih organizacija. No, istina je da su dužnosnici EU Hrvatskoj slali različite signale. Istovremeno su kritizirali dokumentirane nezakonitosti policije i hvalili vlasti za zaštitu vanjskih granica EU.

      Također, Europska komisija je u proteklih nekoliko godina Hrvatskoj dodijelila više od 100 milijuna eura, od čega je značajan dio namijenjen nadzoru i upravljanju granicom, uključujući financiranje plaća policijskih službenika, unatoč vjerodostojnim dokazima represivnih mjera koje koriste iste te snage. Osiguravajući sredstva te propuštajući da se hrvatske vlasti javno i odlučno prozovu zbog postupanja prema izbjeglicama i migrantima, EU je de facto odobrila takvo ponašanje”, kaže Jelena Sesar. Tražili smo od MUP-a očitovanje o našim saznanjima, no nismo dobili odgovor.

      https://www.telegram.hr/price/prvi-intervju-u-kojem-hrvatski-policajac-tvrdi-sefovi-nam-nareduju-da-ilega

      –------------------

      Reçu via la newsletter Inicijativa Dobrodosli, le 29.07.2019, avec ce commentaire:

      The new testimony of the policeman within which he describes the practice of pushbacks confirms countless testimonies of refugees who claimed that pushbacks are implemented even from the depths of the territory of the Republic of Croatia. In this text, written by Barbara Matejčić, you can read about methods and internal procedures that the policeman describes, and given the fact that he is already the second policeman who spoke about illegal, inhuman and immoral procedures that they have been seeking to do. It will be interesting to see what will be the next step taken by Minister Božinović, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Government of the Republic of Croatia. Until the writing of this report, five days after the publication, we did not receive any response from the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

      Et en plus:

      You can read about anonymous testimonies and the work of the State Attorney of the Republic of Croatia and the Parliamentary Committee on Internal Affairs as well as other events that followed the theme of pushbacks and violence at the border in a new interview with the Croatian Ombudswoman, Lora Vidović (https://www.jutarnji.hr/vijesti/hrvatska/pucka-pravobraniteljica-u-velikom-intervjuu-za-jutarnji-stat-cu-iza-svakog-policajca-koji-odluci-progovoriti-o-nasilju-nad-migrantima/9157892). You can also take a look at the TV report on police violence and refugee testimonies at the SRF (https://www.srf.ch/news/international/migration-auf-der-balkanroute-asyl-tuersteher-fuer-die-schweiz).

      Minister Božinović in his reaction that came a week later after the anonymous complaint of the policeman got published failed to address the content of the complaint. Additionally, following concerns show that state institutions did not approach seriously to these problems and that are no sufficient efforts to stop these practices and properly sanction them: the information that the Parliamentary Committee on Internal Affairs and National Security revealed the details of the above mentioned anonymous complaint to the Ministry of Internal Affairs as well as the fact of the insufficient capacity of the State Attorney of the Republic of Croatia to conduct an investigation within the Ministry of Internal Affairs without using the capacities of MoI.

      This week we could read numerous comments about the latest statement of the President in which she tried to explain what she meant when she addressed pushbacks and her admitting that they are carried out at the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. While trying to justify illegal pushbacks, the President, strengthened the narrative of refugees as threats and instructed journalists to work in official propaganda service. In connection to this, we are sharing comments of Ladislav Tomčić (www.novilist.hr/Komentari/Kolumne/Ladovina-Ladislava-Tomicica/LADISLAV-TOMICIC-Spomenar-Kolinde-Grabar-Kitarovic), Boris Pavelić (novilist.hr/Komentari/Kolumne/Pronadena-zemlja-Borisa-Pavelica/Kuscevic-Maric-Zalac-A-Bozinovic-Trebao-je-prvi-otici), Slavica Lukić (https://www.jutarnji.hr/komentari/opasne-poruke-predsjednice-grabar-kitarovic/9138125), and Gordan Duhaček (https://www.index.hr/vijesti/clanak/eu-koristi-hrvatsku-za-obavljanje-prljavog-posla-s-migrantima/2103291.aspx).

    • Asyl-Türsteher für die Schweiz

      Mit umstrittenen Methoden weist Kroatien Asylsuchende ab. Die Schweiz profitiert. Welche Verantwortung hat die Politik?

      Der junge Afghane taucht mit einer Gruppe anderer junger Männer aus dem Niemandsland zwischen Kroatien und Bosnien auf. Den Migranten war es gelungen, bei Velika Kladuša über die grüne Grenze in die EU zu kommen. Nach sechs Tagen Fussmarsch wurden sie kurz vor dem Übergang nach Slowenien entdeckt: «Männer mit Masken übers ganze Gesicht haben uns weggeschleppt. An der Grenze haben sie mich geschlagen.» Offenbar haben ihn kroatische Polizisten zusammen mit seinen Kollegen ohne Verfahren über die EU-Aussengrenze ausgeschafft. Nach internationalem Recht wäre dies ein illegaler «push back».
      Fragen an den Bundesrat

      Derweil sinken in der Schweiz die Asylzahlen. Der Bund prüft gar den Verzicht auf einzelne Asylzentren. Auch im Wahlherbst dürften die Themen Asyl und Migration kaum eine Rolle spielen. Die Türsteher an der EU-Aussengrenzen erledigen ihren Job effektiv – auch im Interessen der Schweiz. So stellt sich die Frage: Welche Verantwortung trägt die Schweizer Politik für den Umgang mit Migranten und Flüchtlingen vor den Toren der europäischen Wohlstandszone?

      SP-Nationalrätin Samira Marti hat Fragen: «Ich will vom Bundesrat wissen, ob Flüchtlinge in Kroatien Zugang zum Rechtssystem und zum Asylverfahren haben. Es handelt sich schliesslich nicht einfach um eine Staatsgrenze, sondern um eine europäische Aussengrenze.» Der Bundesrat wird die Interpellation voraussichtlich im Herbst beantworten. Bis dann hält sich die Verwaltung mit öffentlichen Auftritten zum Thema zurück.

      «Push backs» auf Befehl

      Trotzdem gibt es indirekt eine Antwort: In einem Brief an ein Basler Bürgerforum von Ende Juni 2019 hält die zuständige EJPD-Chefin Karin Keller-Sutter fest: «Die Schweiz setzt sich (…) mit Nachdruck dafür ein, dass ein effektiver Grenzschutz nicht zu Lasten der internationalen und europäischen Menschenrechtsnormen gehen darf.» Schengen-Kandidat Kroatien betone, dass er sich an die geltenden Normen und Gesetze halte.

      Unterdessen sind in Kroatien mögliche Beweise aufgetaucht, dass illegale «push backs» durchaus System haben könnten: Ein Mann, der angeblich für die Polizei arbeitet, schreibt an die Ombudsfrau für Menschenrechte, dass es klare Befehle gebe, «die Flüchtlinge gewaltsam nach Bosnien zurückzuschicken». Die kroatische Polizeigewerkschaft HSP bestreitet die Echtheit des Briefs. Ihr Präsident Dubravko Jagić sagt zu SRF: «Wie soll die Polizei das Gesetz umsetzen, wenn sie nicht selbst dem Gesetz folgt.»

      8500 Asylsuchende allein in Bosnien

      In den nächsten Tagen erscheint allerdings auf dem Newsportal Telegram eine Recherche der renommierten Journalistin Barbara Matejčić. Sie hat einen kroatischen Polizisten interviewt, der bestätigt, dass die illegalen «push backs» von Migranten über die Befehlskette befohlen werden: «Wir führten sie ins Grenzgebiet. Dort wurden sie angewiesen, nach Bosnien oder Serbien zurückzukehren. Ohne Registrierung oder Asylantrag. Dies waren die Befehle unserer Vorgesetzten.»

      Während in Kroatien der Widerstand gegen das Vorgehen der Polizei wächst, warten in Bosnien nach Schätzungen des UNHCR rund 8500 Asylsuchende darauf, ihr Glück in der europäischen Wohlstandszone zu suchen. Dazu gehört auch die Schweiz. Das Staatsekretariat für Migration (SEM) bemüht sich, die Not vor Ort zu lindern und ist dabei, zusammen mit einer lokalen Organisation die Trinkwasseraufbereitung sicherzustellen. Auch wenn die Schweiz offiziell ihr Handeln auf die EU abstimmt: Als unabhängiger Kleinstaat kann sie ihre Chance nutzen, selbständig zu agieren.

      https://www.srf.ch/news/international/migration-auf-der-balkanroute-asyl-tuersteher-fuer-die-schweiz

      L’adresse URL de la vidéo:
      https://www.srf.ch/play/tv/rundschau/video/pruegel-an-der-eu-grenze-wie-kroatien-migranten-abschiebt?id=972c5996-ec49-4079-

    • Reçu via la newsletter Inicijativa Dobrodosli, le 12.08.2019:

      The accusations against the Croatian police and their execution of violent pushbacks continue. The Mayor of Bihac reiterated that Croatian police conducts violent pushbacks and is illegally entering the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina (https://m.vecernji.hr/vijesti/eurozastupnik-podupire-bih-sram-me-je-hrvatska-granicna-policija-se-ne-sm). The Greens - European Free Alliance MEP Eric Marquardt, condemned the execution of illegal pushbacks by Croatian police (https://m.vecernji.hr/vijesti/eurozastupnik-podupire-bih-sram-me-je-hrvatska-granicna-policija-se-ne-sm), saying that “the European Border Police act as a criminal gang robbing and beating people and illegally returning them to BiH from Croatia.” Another accusation (https://www.oslobodjenje.ba/vijesti/bih/potvrdeno-za-oslobodenje-povrijedeno-18-migranata-gpbih-ih-skupljala-uz in the series of testimonies arrived on Wednesday when Migrant Coordinator for the Municipality of Velika Kladuša Jasmin Čehić confirmed that a total of 18 injured refugees were brought to the Velika Kladuša Health Center. Border police found refugees beaten up at various locations along the border, and refugees later said in their statements that they had entered Croatian territory when they were intercepted by Croatian police, beaten up, the police seized their money, put them in a van and transferred to the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In their statement (http://hr.n1info.com/Vijesti/a425120/MUP-kaze-da-nisu-tukli-migrante-samo-su-ih-odvratili-od-prelaska-granice.), the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Croatia again rejected the conduct of violent pushbacks, stating that Croatian police intercepted the refugees as they crossed the border and that they were deterred from doing so without force. However, the content of a statement from the Interior Ministry was challenged by a local man from #Kladuša (http://hr.n1info.com/Vijesti/a425170/Mjestanin-Velike-Kladuse-kaze-da-je-vidio-2-kombija-iz-kojih-su-izasli-mi), who told reporters that he witnessed the arrival of two Croatian police vans and the expulsion of refugees into the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is beyond dispute that the Ministry of the Interior systematically ignores the numerous testimonies of refugees about violence at the borders. Numerous foreign media such as the Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/16/croatian-police-use-violence-to-push-back-migrants-says-president and the BBC (https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-europe-49132735/beaten-and-robbed-how-croatia-is-policing-its-borders published the stories about illegal pushbacks. This week the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel (https://www.index.hr/vijesti/clanak/potresna-reportaza-iz-bih-hrvatski-policajci-su-se-smijali-dok-su-nas-tukli/2107078.aspx), published testimonies from refugees stating that Croatian police officers laughed while kicking them on the body and face, confiscating their cell phones and money and burning their personal belongings.

  • Bosnie-Herzégovine : l’heure du retour va-t-elle sonner pour les déboutés de l’espace #Schengen ?

    Des milliers d’émigrés bosniens déboutés de l’asile dans les pays occidentaux risquent d’être renvoyés chez eux. Or, beaucoup n’ont justement plus « de chez eux » en Bosnie-Herzégovine et rien n’est prévu pour leur retour. Les autorités ont-t-elles la capacité de les réintégrer ?

    La libéralisation du régime des #visas en 2010 a offert aux ressortissants bosniens la possibilité de voyager dans les pays de l’#Espace_Schengen sans visa pendant 90 jours, mais sans avoir la possibilité d’y travailler. Or beaucoup ont saisi cette opportunité pour quitter définitivement leur pays. En 2015, selon le ministère bosnien de la Sécurité, 1 679 177 personnes nées en Bosnie-Herzégovine vivaient à l’étranger, dont 57% dans un pays de l’Union européenne.

    « Selon nos estimations, plus de 30 000 de nos ressortissants partis dans des pays tiers depuis 2010 y séjournent illégalement. Étant donné que les Balkans occidentaux sont à présent considérés comme un territoire d’origine sûr, ces personnes sont de plus en plus souvent rapatriées de force dans leur pays d’origine », explique Drago Vuleta, assistant du ministre pour les Personnes déplacées et les Réfugiés de la Republika Srpska.

    “Si les renvois annoncés par l’Italie et la France s’intensifient, nous aurons un afflux de rapatriés et nous serons face à un problème, d’autant qu’un accord de réadmission avec les États-Unis est en préparation.”

    Or, pour pouvoir partir en Allemagne, en Belgique, en France, en Italie, aux États-Unis à la recherche d’une vie meilleure, beaucoup ont vendu leur maison et tous leurs biens. Aujourd’hui, alors que ces émigrés bosniens sont menacés d’être renvoyés chez eux en vertu de l’Accord de réadmission, la convention qui impose à un État de recevoir ceux de ses ressortissants qui n’ont pas le droit de séjour dans des pays tiers, les autorités bosniennes redoutent que les capacités de logement ne soient pas suffisantes pour les réintégrer. Pour Drago Vuletta, c’est le statut des familles roms de Bosnie-Herzégovine vivant en Italie qui est aujourd’hui le plus alarmant. « Si l’Italie décide de faire le pas de les renvoyer, nous serons obligés de trouver une solution pour accepter tous ces gens. »

    En Bosnie-Herzégovine, 30 institutions et trois ONG sont chargées de la réintégration des rapatriés. « Au rythme actuel, la Bosnie-Herzégovine peut répondre aux demandes des personnes réadmises. Mais si les renvois annoncés par l’Italie et la France s’intensifient, nous aurons un afflux de rapatriés et la Bosnie-Herzégovine fera face à un problème, d’autant qu’un accord de réadmission avec les États-Unis est en préparation », explique Drago Vuletta.

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Bosnie-Herzegovine-le-rapatriement-des-milliers-de-Bosniens-de-l-
    #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #déboutés #asile #migrations #réfugiés #renvois #expulsions #migrants_bosniens #réfugiés_bosniens #home #réintégration

  • Bosnians’ Homecoming Marred by Post-War Tensions and Poverty

    People who returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the years after they fled the war say they face poverty, discrimination and occasionally #violence - especially in areas where they are the ethnic minority.

    Out of the 2.2 million people who left Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 1992-95 war, a total of 1,025,011 have now returned.


    http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/bosnians-homecoming-marred-by-post-war-tensions-and-poverty-02-21-201
    #réfugiés_bosniens #retour_au_pays #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #asile #migrations #pauvreté #discriminations