• Video Documents Illegal Refugee Pushbacks in Croatia

    For years, asylum-seekers have been claiming abuse at the hands of Croatian border police, with some reporting beatings, electric shocks and even having their toenails torn out. For the first time, videos in combination with reporting by DER SPIEGEL have confirmed some of these reports.

    Ibrahim had a hunch he knew what was coming when the Croatian police car stopped. The young Pakistani had set off from Kashmir two years earlier to reach Europe. But now, on a cold day at the end of March, the Croatian police dragged him and the other refugees out of the vehicle, Ibrahim recalls. More security forces were waiting outside. They wore black balaclavas to hide their faces.

    The men forced the refugees to take off their jackets, shoes and pants, and one by one, the hooded men lined up. One of the men in masks grabbed Ibrahim by the neck and dragged him toward the river, according to his recollection. The others beat him, aiming at Ibrahim’s back, arms and legs. "They were beating me like crazy,” he says. Out of fear, he asked that he not be identified by his last name in this article.

    Ibrahim recalls a long, thick branch that hurt especially bad when he was hit with it. Three other refugees say they were beaten with a metal rod and with a sling that had a heavy object attached to the end of it.

    The beatings lasted only a few minutes, but it felt like an eternity to Ibrahim. The hooded men pushed him down to the Glina River, the natural border between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina in the village of Poljana. The river is only a few meters wide there. "Fast, jump,” one of the masked men shouted in English, says Ibrahim. “Go back Bosnia!”

    The European Union closed the Balkan route to migrants in 2016, after it had already been used in previous months by hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria and other countries as they made their way to Western Europe. Thousands of refugees have been camping in the forest and in old war ruins in northwest Bosnia-Herzegovina ever since. On the other side of the border, Croatian officials with night-vision goggles and firearms patrol the border. But that doesn’t stop the refugees from setting off each night. They have a name for their dangerous attempt to get past the border guards: "The Game.”

    Asylum seekers have been reporting for years of abuse at the hands of Croatian police and of being forced back to Bosnia. Photos from aid organizations show refugees with bleeding lacerations, broken arms, knocked-out teeth and dark red marks on their backs. Asylum-seekers speak of torture with stun guns, sexual abuse and even torn-out toenails. The focus of their reports is always the same: Masked police officers.
    Beatings Instead of Hearings

    NGOs, doctors and even the United Nations Refugee Agency have collected thousands of such testimonies. Sometimes, skin color alone is enough to become a target of the security forces. In winter 2019, Croatian border guards illegally deported two Nigerian table-tennis players who were only trying to take part in a university championship.

    Pushbacks, as they are called, violate not only Croatian asylum law but also European law and the Geneva Convention on Refugees. They make a mockery of the right to apply for asylum. Instead of being given a hearing, asylum-seekers are beaten.

    The Croatian authorities deny that officers use force at the border or that they illegally drag asylum seekers back across the border. The government has simply ignored video clips showing security forces leading asylum-seekers to the border. Government officials also claim that refugees have simply invented claims of violence. Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman recently said that his country denies "all accusations of incorrect behavior at the border.”

    But Ibrahim’s case makes Croatia’s claims of innocence all the more difficult to uphold.

    DER SPIEGEL spent months investigating his case together with the media organization Lighthouse Reports. The reporters spoke with three refugees who were traveling with Ibrahim. To the extent possible, they reconstructed the route they took. The refugees’ reports can only be partly independently verified, but their geodata does corroborate their statements. There is also a video that the NGO No Name Kitchen obtained when interviewing the refugees. DER SPIEGEL and Lighthouse Reports were able to verify its authenticity.

    The reporting clearly shows that it is not only in Greece that refugees are being pushed back forcibly. On the Bosnian-Croatian border, masked men are beating up refugees. The images reveal a disturbing level of violence that is increasingly becoming the norm at the EU’s external borders.

    Ibrahim, for his part, had already failed to get past the Croatian security forces dozens of times, but in March things went better than usual. He and three other migrants described to DER SPIEGEL how they, together with around 50 other refugees, some of them underage, set off that day for the EU. The men crossed the border near Šturlić, a village in Bosnia, before walking through the wilderness of the Croatian forests. It was cold, and at night they slept in cheap sleeping bags.

    After around seven days, the group reached the Kulpa River, which borders Slovenia, and the migrants spent the night there. They ate the last of their supplies, they recall, and finally waded through the river on their way to Western Europe. The group stopped in a patch of forest above the Slovenian village Kočevje. Smugglers were supposed to meet them there to take the men to Italy, but nobody showed up. "We held out for three or four days without food or anything to drink,” says Ibrahim. But then they finally gave up.

    Slovenian police intercepted the refugees as they left their hiding place. The refugees say the officers took them to a police station, questioned each individually and took photos and fingerprints. The migrants claim that each of them asked to be allowed to file an asylum application. But the answer they received, they say, was clear: “No asylum. You’re going back to Bosnia.”
    "I Have Never Been So Scared in My Life"

    When contacted by DER SPIEGEL, the Slovenian police confirmed that they had apprehended the refugees. They deny, however, that Ibrahim asked to apply for asylum, so they handed the men over to the Croatian authorities as part of a return agreement. Both the Croatian and the Slovenian officials certified the handover with their signatures.

    Things moved quickly once the they were in the hands of the Croatian police. The men say the officers drove the group to the border river, where the men wearing the balaclavas were already waiting for them. "I have never been so scared in my life,” says Ibrahim.

    The refugees’ geodata, stored in a Google Maps account, supports their statements. It includes data geolocating the group in Croatia and Slovenia. Shaky mobile phone images provide even more evidence. One of the refugees says that the images only exist because he was able to hide his mobile phone in his underwear.

    DER SPIEGEL

    The images show Ibrahim standing on the Bosnian side of the river, in wet pants and no shoes. The young Pakistani can be see crying, his face twisted in agony. "I have such pain in my leg!” he whimpers. Another refugee whose clothes are wet and also doesn’t have any shoes, can be seen supporting him.

    Four men can be seen in the background on Croatian soil with blue and olive-green clothing reminiscent of uniforms. Three are seen putting on black masks. The men carry a long pole with them, as well as a stick with rope that has a heavy object attached to it. One of the men can be seen wielding the homemade weapon.

    The hooded men lead another group of people to the border river. They beat one of the migrants with a stick or a pole. They then chase another a few seconds later, running toward the border. "Fuck your mother” rings out across the river.

    The metadata show that the video was taken on the afternoon of March 23. The buildings in the background prove that the events unfolded near Poljana on the Bosnian-Croatian border. The masked men can’t be clearly identified in the images. However, their presence at the closely guarded border suggests that the men are part of the Croatian security forces. It’s unlikely that masked men could operate in broad daylight without the knowledge of the authorities.

    "Some of the uniforms visible in the video seem to be all mixed up,” says Ranko Ostojić, a politician with the center-left social democrats in Croatia. He says he suspects the men in question are retired police officers who are now part of the reserves. "They used to be allowed to keep their uniforms, and now they are apparently carrying out pushbacks.”

    Ostojić was once Croatia’s director of police and interior minister. He spent years chairing the Domestic Affairs Committee in the Croatian national parliament. "The pushbacks are systematic,” he says. "Based on my experience, I am convinced that they are at least tolerated by the government.”

    When contacted by DER SPIEGEL, officials at the Croatian Interior Ministry said in a statement that they have no records of any operations on the date and location in question. They said they could not comment on the events described without further details. Croatia offers asylum seekers the opportunity to apply for asylum, the statement says, and goes on to claim that NGO reports on injured migrants almost completely ignore the conflicts between migrants in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The ministry claims that the migrants are injured in accidents or that they inflict injuries on each other and then blame Croatian border police.

    When Bosnian Milo Gujić hears shots or screams from the woods below his barn, he knows they are coming again. A short time later, bleeding, crying and half-naked men show up in his yard. Sometimes, he says, it happens daily.
    Fear of Retaliation

    Gujić and his wife have been experiencing the brutality of the Croatian border police up close for years now. Their property is located only a few hundred meters away from the EU’s external border. Gujić, who has a wiry build, has asked that we not use his real name for this story. He is afraid that Croatian security forces might retaliate against him.

    In March, Gujić opened up his home to Ibrahim and his companions. Gujic says he found the men standing at his door trembling and sobbing. When shown the video, he immediately recognizes them. He built a fire for them and brought dry clothes and food. "When I took the clothes off one of them, I saw his back. It looked like someone had stuck an iron bar into a fire and then hit him with it. That’s how deep red the marks from the blows were.”

    The Glina River along the border is a popular place for pushbacks. It is easily accessible from the Croatian side and only sparsely populated on the Bosnian side. Gujić says the Croatians recently paved the gravel road leading to the border, an omen, he believes, that the half-naked, injured men will keep coming. Gujić can’t understand the violence: “You don’t even hurt animals like that.”

    The EU pays Croatia millions of euros to secure the border. Croatia is also slated to join the Schengen Area soon, meaning its borders with other members of the area will no longer by controlled. Once that happens, the Croatian border with Bosnia-Herzegovina will become one of those places where decisions are made on how many asylum-seekers are actually allowed to reach Western Europe.

    In October 2019, the European Commission gave Croatia a positive evaluation in its progress toward accession into the Schengen Area, but said it would have to continue its work on "management of the external borders.” All Schengen member states must approve any country’s accession. But already, the Croatian government is effectively acting as one of Europe’s gatekeepers.

    So far, the EU has largely ignored these obvious violations of human rights. In Germany, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and Chancellor Angela Merkel have openly praised the work of the Croatian border police. EU border management agency Frontex, which monitors the border from the air, has reported hundreds of illegal border crossings, but no human rights violations.

    "The EU is turning a blind eye to pushbacks,” says former Croatian Interior Minister Ostojić. He says it appears EU officials don’t seem to care whether the border police act in accordance with international law. And their silence merely encourages the Croatian government.

    "The images are the clearest evidence yet that Croatia engages in violent pushbacks,” says Hanaa Hakiki, a lawyer with the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), a Berlin-based human rights organization that provides support to refugees facing court proceedings. She notes that the deportations did not take place at official border crossings and that some of the weapons used by the masked men were homemade. "In light of these terrible images, the EU should take immediate action,” she says.
    Schengen As a Means of Pressure?

    Ylva Johansson, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs responsible for EU borders, sent a letter to the Croatian Ministry of the Interior at the end of October and urged that the reports be investigated. “If proven true, what is shown there is of course unacceptable,” she now says after viewing the images. “People cannot be beaten up at the border. There must be consequences.”

    Meanwhile, the EU’s ombudswoman has also opened a probe. But real pressure on Croatia would probably only arise if the pushbacks were to put Croatia’s Schengen accession into question. “Violence at the border cannot continue,” Johansson says. “This will not help Croatia in its efforts to join the Schengen Area.”

    In the end, Ibrahim finally managed to win the "Game.” After another attempt, he managed to make it to Italy. He is currently living in a housing project in the north of the country and he was able to apply for asylum.

    But the months spent on the Croatian border took a massive toll on him. When he looks at the videos of himself on the Croatian border today, he bursts out in tears. He says he still suffers from headaches and the pain in his knee is also getting worse, especially now that the weather is getting colder. At night, he says, he sometimes has nightmares about the beatings by the Croatian policemen. One time, his roommates told him the next morning that he had been calling out for help. Again.

    https://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/croatia-video-documents-illegal-refugee-pushbacks-a-294b128d-4840-4d6b-9e96-

    #Croatie #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #violence #asile #migrations #réfugiés #push-backs #refoulements #frontières #Bosnie #Glina_river #Kulpa #Kulpa_river #Slovénie #Kolpa_river #frontière_sud-alpine #Kupa_river #rivière #Kočevje #Kocevje #Poljana #témoignage

  • Europe’s chain of migrant expulsion, from Italy to Bosnia

    ‘They pushed back Afghans, Syrians, people from Iraq, people in clear need of protection.’

    Italian authorities are drawing criticism from legal advocacy groups for returning asylum seekers and migrants across Italy’s northeastern land border to Slovenia, triggering a series of often violent pushbacks through the Balkans and out of the European Union.

    Several asylum seekers told The New Humanitarian that after being returned to Slovenia they were pushed back to Croatia, another EU member state. In turn, the Croatian authorities – accused of using systematic violence and abuse against migrants – expelled them to Bosnia, which is outside the EU.

    “Generally, in two days, the person disappears from Italy and appears again in Bosnia,” Gianfranco Schiavone, a legal expert at the Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration, or ASGI, an Italian NGO that provides legal aid to migrants and asylum seekers, told TNH.

    Advocacy groups say the returns are illegal because they block people from requesting asylum in Italy, and ultimately end with them being expelled from the EU without due process.

    The Balkans serve as a key part of the migration route from Turkey and Greece to Western and Northern Europe, and the UN’s migration agency, IOM, estimates that nearly 22,000* asylum seekers and migrants are currently stranded in the region.

    The allegations of illegal returns from Italy come amidst increased scrutiny by watchdog groups, and growing concern on the part of the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, over reports of widespread and frequently violent pushbacks at EU borders, especially in Greece and Croatia.

    Pushbacks violate EU law and are prohibited by the European Convention on Human Rights.

    In July, Italy’s Interior Ministry told the Italian Parliament in a letter that the returns are taking place under a longstanding agreement between Italy and Slovenia and are within the bounds of the law because Slovenia is also an EU member state. Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese later backtracked on the position, saying that only irregular migrants were being returned – not asylum seekers.

    At the end of October, the governor of Friuli Venezia-Giulia, the Italian region bordering Slovenia, said 1,321 people had been returned to Slovenia this year. Last year, just 250 people were returned between January and September, according to the interior ministry.

    Civil society groups say the returns are being carried out so quickly there is no way Italian authorities are implementing a full legal process at the border to determine if someone is in need of international protection.

    “Under European law, [police are required to accept] asylum applications made on the border,” Schiavone said.

    Such returns are not new, but began to take place in larger numbers following an uptick in arrivals in Friuli Venezia-Giulia from Slovenia as the first round of coronavirus lockdowns ended in the spring.

    These arrivals fed into a charged political environment in Italy over migration during the pandemic and led Italy to increase its military presence along the Slovenian border to help “fight illegal migration”.

    In the first 10 months of 2020, local authorities in Friuli Venezia-Giulia counted 4,500 arrivals. By comparison, nearly 28,000 asylum seekers and migrants have arrived In Italy by sea so far this year.

    But it is difficult to know exactly how many people enter from Slovenia because local officials and international organisations do not regularly publish comprehensive data on land arrivals to Italy, and those crossing the border often try to steer clear of authorities to avoid being pushed back or having their fingerprints taken, which would subject them to the Dublin Protocol, requiring them to apply for asylum in the first EU country they entered.

    Much of the migration activity since May has been taking place in the city of Trieste – just four kilometres from the Slovenian border – and in the surrounding countryside.

    Trieste is a key transit point, and a destination that many migrants and asylum seekers see as offering some respite after the long and often dangerous trek through the mountainous Balkans.

    Those who reach Trieste without being returned are often in poor physical condition and find little official support.

    “Both the services and the response provided to people who arrive is not the most adequate. More should be done,” Chiara Cardoletti, the UN refugee agency’s representative in Italy, said following a visit to Trieste in October, adding: “Coronavirus is complicating the situation."
    The pushback chain

    Asylum seekers and migrants have nicknamed the journey across the Balkans “the game”, because to reach Italy they have to try over and over again, facing pushbacks and violence at each border along the way.

    For many, “the game” – if they are successful – sees them end up under the arches of an old, abandoned building close to Trieste’s train station.

    When TNH visited in October, voices echoed inside. Around 30 people – all recently arrived from Slovenia – were taking shelter on a rainy morning surrounded by worn out children’s shoes, piles of discarded clothes, rotting foam mattresses, and torn backpacks.

    Most were young men in their teens and early twenties from Pakistan and Afghanistan. Like others before them, they were resting for a couple of days before continuing on – they hoped – to Milan, France, or elsewhere in Europe.

    After crossing from Turkey to Greece, they had all reached a bottleneck in Bihać, a town in Bosnia close to the Croatian border where people often become stuck as they try repeatedly to enter the EU. Once they cross the border, it takes up to 20 days through the mountains of Croatia and Slovenia to reach Italy. Many paid thousands of dollars to smugglers to assist them along the way, but ended up with no food for days and only rainwater to drink. Most could barely walk on their battered feet.

    Umar, a 20-year-old from Pakistan who preferred not to use his real name, said he had tried to cross the Balkans nine times before landing up in Trieste. He said he had made it to Italy once before, in May.

    “[The] police caught us and put us somewhere in a [camouflage] tent with many people,” Umar said. “They took our fingerprints. I told the police we are staying here in Italy. We showed our foot injuries, but they said, ‘There is no camp. Go back’.”

    Umar said the Italian authorities handed him over the next morning to the Slovenian police, who passed the group he was with on to the Croatian police, who then put them in a small van and deposited them near the border with Bosnia. “There was no air inside,” he recalled. “The weather was hot.”

    Now back in Italy, Umar planned to travel further inland to the city of Udine, about 65 kilometres from Trieste, to apply for asylum. He was afraid to present himself to authorities in Trieste, believing it was too close to the border and that he might be pushed back again.

    Others in Trieste shared similar stories of reaching Italy on previous attempts only to end up back in Bosnia after being pushed back from one country to the next.

    Muhammed, a 21-year-old also from Pakistan, said he reached Italy on his third attempt crossing the Balkans, and he was taken to the same tent. “There was a translator, who told us, ‘you guys will be staying here in Italy’,” Muhammed said. “Despite that, we were pushed back.”

    Muhammed then described how the Slovenian authorities pushed his group back to Croatia. “The police in Croatia kicked us, punched us,” he recalled. “They… took our money and left us on the Bosnia border.”

    After making it back to Italy again on his fourth attempt, Muhammed said he had now managed to apply for asylum in Trieste.
    ‘It had become systematic’

    The pushbacks from Italy to Slovenia appear to be indiscriminate, according to Schiavone, from ASGI. “[They] have involved everybody, regardless of nationality,” he said. “They pushed back Afghans, Syrians, people from Iraq, people in clear need of protection.”

    Schiavone said the removal procedures appeared to be informal and people are not given the chance to apply for asylum before being returned to Slovenia.

    A spokesperson for the border police in Gorizia, an Italian border town in Friuli Venezia-Giulia, told TNH in a statement that the department was operating in accordance with Ministry of Interior directives, and that people belonging to “‘protected categories’ such as unaccompanied children and pregnant women or, in general, anyone in need of medical assistance”, were excluded from returns. “To safeguard each migrant’s individual circumstances, interviews take place with an interpreter… and multilingual information brochures are handed out,” the spokesperson added.

    The asylum seekers in Trieste told TNH that authorities took their fingerprints and gave them a slip of paper before sending them back to Slovenia.

    “It had become systematic,” Marco Albanese, the supervisor of a migration reception centre in Italy close to the Slovenian border, told TNH. “They were pushing back people who were unable to walk.”

    Those who are intercepted but not pushed back spend a quarantine period at a camp in the countryside before being transferred to a reception centre. Others manage to evade the authorities altogether.

    The job of providing basic services to asylum seekers and migrants not in the official system largely falls to volunteer groups.

    The square outside Trieste’s train station begins to fill with asylum seekers and migrants around 6 in the evening. The night TNH visited, around 30 to 40 people came in small groups, milled around, and sat on benches. Many had no shoes and their badly swollen feet were covered with blisters and cuts.

    Volunteers served hot meals and handed out warm clothes, and young doctors and nurses from an organisation called Strada Si.Cura – a play on the Italian words for safe streets and healing – checked people’s temperatures, performed basic medical screenings, and attended to injuries.

    Sharif, a 16-year-old Afghan whose name has been changed to protect his identity – waited in line to show an infected blister on his foot to one of the medical volunteers. He spent two years in Bosnia and said he was pushed back 15 or 16 times before finally reaching Trieste. Like nearly everyone, he had a story about Croatian police violence, recalling how he was stripped naked, beaten with a stick, and abandoned near the border with Bosnia.

    The thoughts of some in the square turned to people they had met along the way who hadn’t made it to Italy and now face harsh winters somewhere in the Balkans.

    “In our group, there were 80 people,” said Sami, a 23-year-old from Pakistan. “Other people [had] a lot of injuries, a lot of problems… So they stay in the forests in Croatia, in Slovenia, near Bosnia because the way is so hard.”

    https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2020/11/17/europe-italy-bosnia-slovenia-migration-pushbacks-expulsion

    #expulsions #refoulements #refoulements_en_chaîne #route_des_Balkans #Italie #Bosnie #Slovénie #Balkans #asile #migrations #réfugiés #push-backs #frontière_sud-alpine #Croatie #Game #The_Game

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • “They punched me because I asked to stop the hot air - pushback from Trieste to Bihac”

      Date and time: September 16, 2020 01:00
      Location: San Dorligo della Valle, TS, Italy
      Coordinates: 45.607175981734, 13.85383960105
      Push-back from: Croatia, Italy, Slovenia
      Push-back to: Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia
      Demographics: 6 person(s), age: 25-35 , from: Bangladesh, Algeria
      Minors involved? No
      Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), exposure to air condition and extreme temperature during car ride, dog attacks, forcing to undress, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
      Police involved: Italian Army officers, one army van and one army car; several Italian police officers, one police van; several Slovenian police officers, one police van and several Croatian police officers (masked), one german shepard,, one police van.
      Taken to a police station?: yes
      Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, fingerprints taken, photos taken, personal information taken, papers signed, denial of access to toilets, denial of food/water
      Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
      Reported by: Anonymous Partner

      Original Report

      The respondent, an Algerian man, left the city of Bihac (BiH) on 2nd September, 2020 in a group with five other Algerians, aged between 22 and 30 years old. After 12 days of travel they arrived in Trieste (ITA). They entered into Italy near the municipality of San Dorligo della Valle (45.607871, 13.857776), in the early morning on the 14th September. While the group was walking along a the SP12B road, they were tracked down by a military convoy, composed of a car and a van. The three military officers onboard stopped them at the side of the road and called the Italian police, who arrived shortly after with a van.

      The captured group were then transferred with the van to a police station in Fernetti [exact location], a site with a military tent erected for identification procedures of people on the move and asylum seekers. The respondent claims that he found himself together with many around 60 other people from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, in addition to a person from Morocco. Many of the people held at the site, according to him, were minors or had been fingerprinted previously in Greece.

      The people detained in the tent were seperated by nationality. Each person of the transit group was questioned and processed individually in a separate, smaller tent, described as a small silo, the others had to wait in a small room which he describes as a “prison-room”. Personal data was gathered, fingerprints were recorded and photos of their faces were taken. The respondent clearly expressed the will to seek asylum in Italy.

      The assigned translator for the respondent and his group, of Moroccan origin, was already attending to one person from Morocco who was present when they arrived. The respondent overheard the translator suggesting to this person that he should declare himself as a minor. The police officers also searched him and confiscated his phone, a power bank and a watch, which were put inside a plastic bag. After that, the respondent had to sign 3 different documents, one of them – an identification and domicile paper – hidden and preserved by the respondent.

      When they deport you, they make you sign this paper so that they can say you accept it. And of course, you sign it. who care about you? They just say: ‘sign’ and you sign, because you don’t have power and there is no one listening to you.”

      The captured transit group remained in the police station from 08:00 until 17:00. The food was distributed collectively and due to a massive amount of people, some were left without. At some point the respondent requested to go to the
      toilet and he was taken outside, which allowed him to understand the area where he was. The respondent saw a reception center in front of him.

      At the end of the identification procedure, the police took five of the Algerians from the transit group. The sixth person was taken away however, the respondent stating this was because he had been fingerprinted in Greece. Some other Moroccans who were present in the tent were also kept there, which the respondent suggests was due to help from the translator in assisting their access to asylum.

      “Translator plays a big role. Maybe 80%”

      The remaining five people from Algeria were put inside a van. The respondent claims that he clearly saw the officers carrying the bag with his personal items, which he thought they would return to him once left at the next destination. The vehicle did not have either windows or light and the respondent described experiencing difficulties to breath during the ride. At this point the people-on-the-move received a small bottle of water and a small cracker for the first time since the apprehension.

      “They play with you. You just think just when is it finish.”

      Once they were sitting inside the van, the group realized that they were about to be deported to Slovenia and they asked what was going on. The police officers reassured them that they would stay in Trieste. The van then moved on: inside it was very hot and from the ventilation came out hot air. The respondent knocked on a window to attract the attention of the agents, who stopped the van, got out of the vehicle and opened the hatch to ask for explanations of why they were knocking on the window.

      There was a squabble, and one of the two officers punched the respondent, but was immediately stopped by his colleague who invited him to calm down. After the incident, they continued to drive and they arrived in an area, which was described as a road border crossing (likely Pesek-Kozina) between Italy and Slovenia. There, the group found a Slovenian police van with police officers waiting for them. They were transferred very quickly from the Italian police van to the Slovenian van: according to the respondent, officers were looking around with circumspection, as if they were worried about being noticed during the operation ongoing.

      Once the captured transit group were transferred to the Slovenian police van, they were taken in a police station, in Kozina, Slovenia. Here the respondent asked for his personal belongings, but the Slovenian police replied that the Italian police had not given them anything. The respondent doesn’t know if his belongings were kept by the Italian police officers or if the Slovenian police officers lied to him, keeping his belongings.

      In the station in Kozina, the officers took the prints of their thumbs of both hands, and realized that the respondent was already registered in the police database, due to previous entrance he had made into Slovenia (on this occasion he had also signed some documents). Later on, the group was transferred from Kozina to Ljubljana for a Covid-19 screening. After that, they returned to Kozina, where
      they spent the night detained. They stayed in this this location for what the respondent estimated to be a whole night. During this detention the group members could use the toilet and were handed another small bottle of water but were not provided with any food.

      The next morning (15th September) the group were transferred to Croatia, through the Socerga/Pozane border crossing. Here the Slovenian police photographed the documents that they had signed and threw them away in the garbage, before giving the group over to the regular Croatian police. The respondent, also in this occasion, managed to hide one Italian document, putting it inside his underwear (see previous photograph).

      The respondent identified the van that they were put in afterwards to be a Croatian police vehicle. Concerning the ride to Croatia he described that the driver was driving very bumpy, braking very sharply at any given moment.

      “you know, they really try to make you hate yourself. For what you have done and so you never try again to cross border to Croatia.”

      “If they deport you in the day you stay in the police car all day till it gets night. If they deport you in the night, they let you go directly.”

      In Croatia they had to wait for 15 hours, from 10:00 to 01:00 the next day (16th September) in the van. During this time they were not provided with any food or water and just left alone in the car. While they were waiting several other people-on-the-move were brought into the van by Croatian police officers, including a Bangladeshi man. Finally, at around 01:00 two Croatian police officers drove the van to the border of Bosnian territory, about 10 kilometers out of Bihac.

      When they arrived to this location, the respondent described that a Croatian officer wearing a dark uniform and a black ski-mask with a big German Shepherd told them to leave the van and line up in a file. The group-members were then told to get undressed to their boxers and a T-shirt. The officer took all of the clothes in a bin bag and set them on fire. Another officer was waiting behind the wheel of the vehicle during the procedure. The men then had to line up in a row, crowded closely together. The policeman yelled: “haide, go,go,go,go” and let the dog off the leash, which immediately snapped at the arm of the man in the last position in the row. The other men were able to run away in this way, but the last one apparently received a severe wound in his arm. The respondent then walked another 24 hours back to Velika Kladusa, where he started his journey.

      https://www.borderviolence.eu/violence-reports/deport-from-trieste

  • Inquiry launched into EU commission’s protection of migrants at Croatia border

    Investigation follows allegations of brutal pushbacks of refugees into Bosnia and lack of monitoring of border police

    An official inquiry has been launched into the European commission’s alleged failure to protect the rights of migrants and refugees said to have been robbed and abused by police at Croatia’s borders.

    The EU ombudsman is investigating the potential complicity of the EU’s executive branch in the maladministration of funds that should have been spent on supervising the behaviour of border officers working at the scene of some of the violence.

    There have been multiple allegations of aggressive pushbacks of migrants and refugees by Croatian police on the country’s border with Bosnia, including an incident in which a migrant was shot.

    Croatia has repeatedly denied allegations of violence by its border patrol and in October said it would launch an investigation with the goal of removing any doubt about police conduct.

    In June, the Guardian revealed that the commission had withheld from MEPs details of the Croatian government’s failure to spend EU money committed to the supervision the police officers on the border. One European commission official privately warned that disclosure of the underspend “will for sure be seen as a ‘scandal’”.

    The revelation highlighted the Croatian government’s human rights record and the apparent willingness of the EU’s executive branch to cover for Zagreb’s failure.

    Croatia is seeking to enter the EU’s passport-free Schengen zone – a move that requires compliance with European human rights standards.

    The ombudsman’s inquiry has been launched in response to a complaint by Amnesty International whose European institutions director Eve Geddie said: “Over the years, Amnesty and other organisations have documented numerous violations, including beatings and torture of migrants and asylum-seekers by Croatian police, whose salaries may have been paid for by EU funds.

    “Today’s announcement of an inquiry by the EU ombudsman into how the commission allowed the funds to continue to be used without ensuring compliance with human rights is a significant first step towards addressing these flagrant abuses and providing accountability.

    “By continuing to fund border operations and giving a green light for Croatia’s accession to the Schengen area, the commission abdicated its responsibilities to monitor how EU assistance is used and sent a dangerous signal that blatant human rights violations can continue with no questions asked.”

    The establishment of supervisory mechanisms to ensure the humane treatment of migrants at the border had been a condition of a €6.8m (£6.1m) cash injection announced in December 2018 to strengthen Croatia’s borders with non-EU countries.

    The mechanism was publicised by the European commission as a way to “ensure that all measures applied at the EU external borders are proportionate and are in full compliance with fundamental rights and EU asylum laws”.

    Croatian ministers claimed last year that the funds had been handed over to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and the Croatian Law Centre to establish the supervisory mechanism.

    But both organisations subsequently denied receiving the money. In January this year, the commission was asked by Clare Daly, an Irish MEP in the Independents 4 Change party, to account for the discrepancy.

    A commission official responded that the UNHCR and Croatian Law Centre had established the monitoring mechanism but from “their own funds” to ensure independence from the government.

    He added: “Hopefully [this] clarifies this matter once and for all”.

    But both organisations denied being involved in any monitoring project, clarifying that they had only been engaged in an earlier initiative involving the examination of police files.

    Beyond the apparent inaccuracy of the response to Daly, internal emails suggest the full facts of the “underspending” – as its known to the commission – were also withheld from MEPs.

    The European commission failed to inform Daly that the Croatian government had decided to ringfence only €102,000 of the €300,000 provided for the monitoring mechanism and that ultimately only €84,672 was actually spent: €17,469.87 was given to the interior ministry and €59,637.91 went to NGOs. A roundtable conference accounted for €1,703.16.

    “While we know that there has been underspending on the €300,000 … we thought that around €240,000 were nevertheless spent in the context of the monitoring mechanism,” an EU official wrote while discussing how to deal with the MEP’s questions. “Having spent only €102,000, will for sure be seen as a ‘scandal’.”

    In response to questions by this newspaper at the time, a spokesman for the commission said they had not provided the full information to MEPs as they had an “incomplete” account.

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/nov/10/inquiry-launched-into-eu-commissions-protection-of-migrants-at-croatia-

    #enquête #commission_européenne #Croatie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Balkans #route_des_balkans #violence #frontières #push-backs #refoulements #Bosnie #police #violences_policières

    ping @isskein @karine4

  • At the same conference, Birte Schorpion of the Danish Refugee Council presented the findings of border monitoring by the Danish Refugee Council on pushbacks and human rights violations, focusing on serious human rights violations of refugees and other migrants registered over the past 16 days at the borders of Croatia with Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the testimonies of doctors who intervened after the pushbacks and confirmed the serious injuries. Out of 75 cases recorded in the period from 12 to 16 October, 52 people needed medical aid and four were visibly underage. Additionally, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) has published its monthly reports (https://drc.ngo/our-work/where-we-work/europe/bosnia-and-herzegovina) on the violent and illegal pushbacks of refugees and other migrants from Croatian territory. Since December 2019, the DRC has recorded 14,090 pushbacks, and in recent months there has been a rise in the number of pushbacks accompanied by violence, torture, confiscation and destruction of personal belongings. Out of 1,659 documented pushbacks last month, 84% included the destruction of personal belongings, 72% degrading treatment and 60% physical violence. These alarming figures are just one more thing in a series of reasons demonstrating the importance and urgency of establishing an independent border control mechanism!

    Reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa Dobrodosli, mail du 04.11.2020

    #Croatie #Bosnie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #push-backs #refoulements #frontière #route_des_balkans #Balkans #violence
    ping @karine4

  • Croatia stopped 16,000 migrant border crossings since January

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

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

    Bosnian border crossings

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

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

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

    Migrants still on Balkan Route

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

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

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

    Migrants hiding on trucks

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

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

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

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

  • Bosnie : à pied, en taxi ou en bus, les migrants n’ont plus le droit de se déplacer - InfoMigrants
    https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/26901/bosnie-a-pied-en-taxi-ou-en-bus-les-migrants-n-ont-plus-le-droit-de-se

    Dans le nord de la Bosnie, sur la route migratoire des Balkans, les exilés sont depuis le 19 août sous le coup d’une interdiction de circuler, contraints de se cacher de la police et de milices qui se sont formées pour les chasser. Le gouvernement local invoque de nombreuses contaminations au coronavirus parmi les migrants. Amnesty international dénonce une mesure « discriminatoire » et « dangereuse ». Impossible de continuer leur route vers l’Europe ni même de sortir de leurs squats et autres refuges de fortune : depuis un peu plus d’une semaine, les migrants se trouvant dans le nord de la Bosnie dans l’attente de pénétrer dans l’Union européenne (UE) sont dans l’impasse. Les autorités locales du canton d’Una-Sana, frontalier avec la Croatie, membre de l’UE, ont imposé d’importantes restrictions de mouvements aux quelques milliers de migrants sans-abri de cette région. Il leur est désormais interdit de se déplacer à pied, en taxi et même via les transports en commun. Cette décision radicale, Nermina Cemalovic, ministre de la Santé d’Una-Sana, la justifie par le nombre grandissant, dit-elle, de migrants contaminés par le coronavirus dans le canton. « Nous ne pouvons pas les contrôler, ils se déplacent par dizaines. Ils ne suivent aucune règle et nous nous devons de protéger nos concitoyens », a-t-elle déclaré lors d’une conférence de presse lundi 24 août. « Si nous les mettons tous dans les camps, il va y avoir une explosion du nombre de contaminations. Et si nous les laissons dehors, ils vont entrer en contact avec les habitants et les mettre en danger », a-t-elle ajouté sans fournir de solution. Contraints de se cacher, les migrants, eux, attendent un revirement de situation dans la peur ou bien tentent de traverser la frontière par eux-mêmes, se heurtant à de violents refoulements des autorités croates. Selon Amnesty international, la police locale d’Una-Sana n’hésite pas non plus à organiser des descentes dans des squats ou des habitations privées où seraient logés des migrants afin de les expulser de force, sans proposition d’hébergement. Ceux se trouvant dans les camps de migrants du canton sont aussi bloqués, ne pouvant pas se déplacer librement à l’extérieur sans risquer d’être interpellés

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#bosnie#balkan#croatie#routemigratoire#discrimination#contamination#sante#politiquemigratoire#frontiere#logement

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

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

    –---

    Texte du post sur FB:

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

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

    ping @isskein

  • Le choc et la panique à la rescousse des traités pour fragiliser l’Etat
    https://www.investigaction.net/fr/le-choc-et-la-panique-a-la-rescousse-des-traites-pour-fragiliser-let

    Nos gouvernements vont-ils profiter du contexte de la crise pour passer des réformes impopulaires selon la stratégie du choc dévoilée par Naomi Klein ? C’est ce que redoute Carlos Perez. Auteur de L’Enfance sous pression et d’Au-delà du geste technique, il dénonce les atteintes à la démocratie qui pourraient ouvrir la voie à de nouvelles percées du néolibéralisme. (IGA)

     

    Comme le souligne Naomi Klein dans son essai « Stratégie du Choc : La montée d’un capitalisme du désastre », les États profitent et se servent de la crise et de la panique pour s’accorder des pouvoirs spéciaux et mettre en place des réglementations liberticides et par la même occasion affaiblir les services sociaux.

    La stratégie consiste à profiter du choc et de la désorientation pour faire passer des politiques impopulaires. En voici quelques exemples récents en pleine période de pandémie :

    1° En Belgique, le ministre-président flamand, Jan Jambon (N-VA), veut voir davantage de gens au travail, entre autres dans les secteurs de la construction et des titres-services où le mécanisme du chômage temporaire est, à ses yeux, parfois trop rapidement demandé, a-t-il indiqué mercredi 25 mars au parlement flamand1.
    On voit bien là un confinement de classes sociales à deux vitesses : déjà qu’ils n’ont pratiquement pas de matériel de protection pour sauver leur propre vie, les ouvriers n’ont pas les mêmes droits face à la pandémie.

    2° En France, le Sénat a voté, dans la nuit de jeudi à vendredi (19-20 mars), la loi dite d’adaptation au coronavirus (la loi « urgence coronavirus ») à 252 voix pour, 2 contre, et 90 abstentions. « Ce texte, qui acte le report des élections municipales « au plus tard en juin », constitue une attaque importante contre les droits des travailleurs, tant sur le plan social que démocratique. (…)Macron et son gouvernement instrumentalisent ainsi la crise sanitaire, pour faire les cadeaux dont ils rêvaient au patronat ».2 Entré en vigueur en mars, l’état d’urgence était fixé pour une période de deux mois. Il a ensuite été prolongé jusqu’au 10 juillet.

    3° Les États-Unis, qui n’en sont plus à une folie près, envisagent « pourquoi pas » (puisque ce pays n’a pas forcément de sécurité sociale) ni plus ni moins que de laisser mourir les anciens dans cette période de Coronavirus qui va effectivement toucher un maximum de personnes âgées. « Sacrifier les personnes âgées pour sauver l’économie » ce sont les propos chocs du vice-gouverneur Républicain du Texas, Dan Patrick.
    De plus, ce même pays va utiliser la pandémie pour réduire les libertés individuelles et serrer la vis un cran de plus en annonçant que les personnes qui propagent le virus intentionnellement pourraient entrer dans le champ d’application des lois antiterroristes et être poursuivies au pénal, autant dire presque tout le monde se promenant dans la rue3.

    4° Pour couronner le tout, au Royaume-Uni, l’ancien Premier ministre britannique, Gordon Brown, appelle à la création d’un « gouvernement mondial » pour lutter contre la menace actuelle. Un groupe de travail international « veillerait à ce que les efforts des banques centrales soient coordonnés », selon M. Brown, qui souhaite que la Banque mondiale et le Fonds monétaire international reçoivent plus d’argent et de pouvoir.

    Sans une minute à perdre les banques sont d’ores et déjà à la manœuvre pour régler les problèmes, quelle ironie !4
Comme on le constate les idées et les projets pour détruire nos droits et nos services sociaux ne manquent pas, même en pleine période de chaos pas un moment de répit chez nos réformateurs libéraux pour placer leurs projets politiques.

    Les traités sont en place depuis pas mal de temps, il faut juste la bonne excuse pour les sortir du placard. Le but inavoué reste inchangé : passer toutes les lois liberticides et proposer des traités toxiques qui doivent déréguler l’État.

    Si nos gouvernements promettent de renforcer les soins de santé, ils assurent aussi qu’il faudra retrouver l’équilibre budgétaire après s’être massivement endetté, en bonne partie pour « rassurer les marchés ». Des milliards d’euros ont ainsi été déversés pour sauver une finance déjà en crise bien avant la pandémie. Le danger, bien réel, est de voir passer de nouvelles réformes et accords qui, une fois de plus, fragiliseront les plus faibles pour tenter de sauver un système qui profite aux plus riches. Nos gouvernements pourraient profiter de la crise pour passer en force des accords impopulaires, parfois négociés en catimini.

    On se souvient comment WikiLeaks avait débusqué l’Accord sur le Commerce des Services (ACS), connu sous son acronyme anglais TiSA (pour Trade in Services Agreement), concocté en douce en 2013 à l’initiative des États-Unis et de L’Australie.

    « TISA quatre lettres qui vont changer le monde ou qui font peur ? TISA serait l’accord fondateur du commerce mondial libéré des grandes contraintes des États d’une cinquantaine de pays, dont les États-Unis et l’Union européenne ».

    « C’est en 2013 que les négociations TISA ont vraiment commencé. Les négociateurs sont représentatifs de 70% du commerce mondial. Et le traité porte sur le lissage des règles communes, ouvrant ainsi les portes à un desserrement des liens qui entravent les entreprises en activités dans le secteur des services »5.

    C’est un marché mondial de 44.000 milliards de dollars, selon le département du Commerce américain. Les services représentent plus des trois quarts du produit intérieur brut (PIB) des pays développés (75% aux États-Unis et 78% dans l’Union européenne).

    Mais au plan du commerce international les exportations de services sont bien moins élevées que celles des marchandises et c’est peut-être là que le bât blesse. Il faut libéraliser cette caverne d’Ali Baba seul. Les services de l’État du ressort exclusif du régalien sont exclus de la négociation.

    Sinon tout est sur la table : services financiers, commerces de détail, transports maritimes et routiers, conseils, approvisionnements en énergie, santé, éducation, gestion de l’eau, etc. bref tous nos services sociaux sont susceptibles d’être privatisés et libéralisés. Voilà l’imposture qui peut nous tomber sur la tête si nous ne prenons pas le dessus très rapidement sur la peur du moment et repartons sur nos propres revendications chacun dans son secteur. Une doctrine de choc qui spécule sur les catastrophes et qui va encore approfondir les inégalités pourrait nous être imposée.

    Dans mon secteur d’activité, le sport, parent pauvre des services sociaux, cette stratégie de dérégulation est depuis bien longtemps en action par le truchement du partenariat public-privé (« PPP ») dans l’investissement de mégaprojets d’infrastructures. Une façon sournoise de socialiser les pertes tout en privatisant les bénéfices, ce sont des millions d’argent public qui sont détournés. 

    Si on veut penser à l’après-crise, chacun doit le faire dès maintenant dans chaque secteur et se poser les bonnes questions. Dans le domaine du sport, prendre réellement soin de la population est une urgence que tout le monde a bien comprise. À travers cette crise, qu’est-ce que cela signifie ? C’est à ce stade qu’intervient ma modeste contribution.

    Les solutions sont à portée de main et ne vont pas forcément dans le sens des grandes rencontres sportives de prestige qui devraient démarrer très vite et redonner des jeux et du pain à la plèbe pour masquer la tragédie et l’irresponsabilité de nos représentants politiques. 
Ce confinement nous a bien démontré à quel point le sport-compétition est futile et inutile et que l’éducation motrice sanitaire, la culture physique était le meilleur outil à notre disposition pour favoriser et surmonter les altérations physiques et psychologiques dues au confinement, en plus de permettre une meilleure adaptation et résilience individuelle et collective et donc un véritable outil de santé publique.

    Si on parle du sport comme outil de santé publique, il faut au contraire et inéluctablement dans ce secteur clé de la prévention s’orienter vers des revendications claires. Le sport n’est pas une marchandise, mais un droit, le droit au bien-être, aux soins et à la santé pour tous et accessible à tous : 

    1° Cela commence par une planification intégrée : mettre au service de la population et prioritairement de nos anciens et de nos jeunes une vraie prévention sanitaire. Cela semble véritablement nécessaire comme on l’a constaté dans cette dure épreuve de pandémie où le taux de morbidité critique a été une cause de l’inflation de personnes en danger de mort.

    Avec l’aide de tous les professionnels de la prévention, de l’hygiène et de la santé, médecins nutritionnistes spécialistes de la motricité, tous doivent collaborer c’est-à-dire dans les petits clubs et dans les petites structures qui s’occupent de plus de 90% des affiliés dans le sport et pas au service des clubs de première division qui ont des budgets cotés en bourse et qui représentent une infime minorité de personnes. La santé de tous doit passer avant l’argent de quelques-uns. 

    2° Il faudrait mutualiser toutes les ASBL qui représentent plus de 90% des affiliés et les organiser en coopératives en y développant pourquoi pas une véritable politique de masse salariale au lieu de la comprimer , ASBL qui bien souvent pour fonctionner ont du personnel bénévole précarisé et instable et où les gens doivent faire don de leur argent et de leur travail. Ce sont des milliers d’heures non rétribuées, en gros ce sont des sous-traitants de l’État paupérisés et marginalisés.

     
3° Même si la mesure peut paraître radicale sur la forme, sur le fond elle est essentielle et empreinte de justice sociale, les multinationales ne peuvent pas avoir la clé de notre santé : réquisitionner toutes les structures de grandes marques « Low Cost » disséminées à travers le pays et les mettre à la disposition du citoyen comme service public pour soutenir les populations dans les quartiers en y incorporant une véritable masse salariale c’est-à-dire des salariés compétents et au service de tous. 

    Généraliser la question d’utilité publique au sport qui est un outil d’émancipation, d’hygiène et de progrès social, est la seule démarche logique saine et indispensable, le constat est très clair et largement partagé. Ce secteur, en dehors de la compétition, du tri, de la sélection et de la relégation, est un outil essentiel pour renforcer la colonne vertébrale sanitaire, pour sortir de périodes difficiles voir d’émulation générale. Si l’utopie est le début de la transformation, alors soyons utopiques et préparons notre avenir, l’intelligence collective viendra toujours d’en bas !

    Fils d’immigrés espagnols ayant fui le franquisme pour travailler dans les mines de Belgique, Carlos Perez est préparateur physique. Il a notamment animé un centre sportif dans un quartier populaire de Molenbeek. Il y a été confronté à des problèmes récurrents qui l’ont amené à questionner l’impact de notre modèle économique et de notre système scolaire sur la santé des jeunes et des travailleurs. Dans son dernier ouvrage qui vient de paraître chez Aden http://www.aden.be/index.php , Carlos Perez lance les bases d’une nouvelle pratique, l’écomotricité, pour un développement durable de l’être humain.

    #néolibéralisme #capitalisme #capitalisme_du_désastre #Stratégie_du_Choc #Angleterre #Belgique #France #USA #ACS #TISA #PPP #Sport #pandémie #covid-19 #coronavirus #santé_publique #low_cost

    • Près de 2 députés européens sur 3 ne déclarent pas de rencontres avec des lobbyistes
      https://www.rtbf.be/info/monde/detail_rencontres-lobbyistes-et-deputes-europeens-le-lent-chemin-vers-la-transp

      Plus de 35.000 lobbyistes gravitent autour des institutions européennes, à Bruxelles : du représentant de Google à celui des producteurs de patates, des activistes pour les droits humains à l’industrie navale, de Greenpeace à Total, ils tentent de peser sur les décisions politiques de l’Union.

      Un travail discret mais intensif : à Bruxelles, les lobbys ont un budget cumulé de 1,5 milliard d’euros par an.

      Restent-ils dans les clous, pour influencer la fabrication des lois ?

      Un code de conduite encadre les contacts de ces lobbys avec les politiques et les fonctionnaires européens. Des règles qui ont été renforcées l’an dernier dans les institutions européennes, à la Commission et au Parlement. Les institutions sont-elles pour autant devenues transparentes ?

      Un rapport de l’ONG « Transparency International » (un lobby… sur le travail de lobbying) au sujet du Parlement européen montre qu’il reste du chemin à faire.

      63% des députés européens ne déclarent pas leurs rencontres
      Depuis un an, les députés européens sont invités à inscrire dans un registre informatique les réunions qu’ils tiennent avec des lobbyistes.

      C’est obligatoire pour les parlementaires qui sont en première ligne sur un dossier : ceux qui sont Président ou Rapporteur d’une Commission parlementaire (des rôles clefs dans la fabrication d’une loi européenne), ou ceux qui mènent le travail législatif sur un dossier pour un groupe politique.

      Les autres eurodéputés ne sont pas obligés de publier leurs réunions avec les lobbys, mais ils sont invités à le faire.

      Selon le comptage de « Transparency International », en un an, 259 députés européens ont fait le pas, sur les 704 : c’est 37% de l’hémicycle.

      63% des députés européens n’ont donc publié aucune de leurs rencontres.

      De grands écarts entre Etats…
      « Transparency International » constate de grands écarts selon les Etats de ces députés européens.

      Aux extrêmes, 90% des députés de Suède ont pris le pli de communiquer leurs contacts avec des groupes d’intérêts. Tandis qu’aucun député croate ou chypriote n’a déclaré de rencontre, en un an.

      « Les pays du nord, la Suède, le Danemark, la Finlande sont assez transparents » commente Raphaël Kergueno, pour Transparency International, « mais d’un autre côté, il y a des pays à la traîne ». Et il épingle l’Italie, l’Etat qui envoie le plus d’Eurodéputés au Parlement européen après l’Allemagne et la France : 76 élus. « En Italie, moins de 7% des députés européens publient des rencontres avec des lobbyistes. »

      La Belgique, pour sa part, affiche un bilan mitigé. Ni cancre, ni exemplaire.

      52% des eurodéputés belges publient leurs rencontres : Pascal Arimont (Christlich Soziale Partei), Marc Botenga (PTB), Geert Bourgeois (N-VA), Saskia Bricmont (Ecolo), Petra de Sutter (Groen), Cindy Franssen (CD&V), Philippe Lamberts (Ecolo), Kris Peeters (CD&V), Frédérique Ries (MR), Johan Van Overtveldt (N-VA) et Marc Tarabella (PS).

      Et les autres ? Ceux que nous avons pu joindre se disent tous « favorables » à l’exercice, tout en n’ayant pas encore publié de réunion. Certains rappellent, au détour de justifications souvent administratives, que ce n’est pas obligatoire.

      Marie Arena (PS) a rejoint le mouvement dans la foulée de ce rapport. Elle évoque « un enregistrement en interne mais pas sur le site du Parlement, à cause de contraintes logistiques. Un souci à présent corrigé ».

      Olivier Chastel (MR) explique qu’il a fait le choix de ne pas recevoir de représentants des lobbys : « Etant actif dans les commissions budget et de contrôle budgétaire, mes rencontres se font principalement avec les différentes instances de l’Union comme la Commission européenne ou la Cour des comptes, et ces rencontres ne doivent pas être indiquées », explique-t-il.

      Benoît Lutgen (cdH) dit compter aujourd’hui très peu de réunions « avec des lobbys en tant que tels », rien qui ne justifierait d’être publiés. Il assure qu’il en fera état lorsque ce sera le cas.

      Son de cloche semblable chez Assita Kanko (N-VA). Elle invoque le lent démarrage de la législature et le confinement, des débuts de mandat qui ne l’ont pas exposée aux rencontres avec des lobbyistes. Mais si de telles rencontres se présentaient à présent, « je déclarerai bien entendu tout entretien comme prévu » assure-t-elle.

      La Belgique, bientôt plus exemplaire que la Suède ?

      … et entre groupes politiques
      Des différences importantes sont perceptibles aussi entre groupes politiques du Parlement européen.

      Deux familles politiques comptent une majorité de députés actifs sur le registre de transparence, le groupe des verts (Green-EFA avec 91% des députés qui ont publié au moins une réunion) et le groupe des libéraux-centristes Renew Europe (57%).

      Dans tous les autres groupes, une minorité d’élus ont fait la démarche.

      Pourquoi ces réticences ?
      Elles peuvent être liées à plusieurs facteurs : une hésitation à investir du temps dans une démarche administrative qui n’est, la plupart du temps, pas légalement obligatoire. Une culture de la transparence encore faible dans certains Etats.

      Des eurodéputés estiment que c’est une atteinte à leur liberté d’élu, à leur droit de consulter qui ils veulent sans devoir en faire état. Ils peuvent également trouver difficile d’assumer publiquement certaines rencontres avec certains lobbys.

      Mettre cartes sur table
      Daniel Freund est un ancien de transparency International, à présent passé de l’autre côté : il est devenu parlementaire européen. Son cheval de bataille reste la transparence du travail politique européen. Il plaide pour une publication la plus large possible des rencontres avec les lobbys.

      Des rencontres qui, souligne-t-il, sont nécessaires pour un élu.

      « Rencontrer des lobbys, ça fait naturellement partie de la démocratie. Quand je prends une décision sur une certaine loi, comme député européen, il faut que j’aie parlé aux personnes concernées. Aux citoyens, aux entreprises concernées, aux organismes de protections des consommateurs, etc. Et si je fais bien mon travail, j’entends tous les arguments et puis je prends une décision en étant bien informé. »

      Mais ce processus doit être transparent, insiste-t-il, pour percevoir qui pèse sur les décisions de qui. « Je trouve qu’en dehors des périodes électorales, les citoyens ont le droit de savoir comment je vote et avec qui je parle. Et cela m’aide aussi à travailler » dit Daniel Freund. Parce que lister ses entrevues permet d’avoir à l’esprit qui on voit et qui on a tendance à ne pas écouter.

      Un chantier entamé, pas terminé
      Ceux qui regardent le verre à moitié plein souligneront que 37% des eurodéputés, c’est un bon début, d’autant que l’on partait de rien et que cette publication des contacts avec les lobbys n’est pas obligatoire pour la plupart des députés européens.

      Ceux qui regardent le verre à moitié vide relèveront que 63% des eurodéputés ne se livrent pas à un exercice pourtant peu contraignant puisqu’il ne s’agit que de mentionner le lobby, le sujet de discussion et le moment.

      Et ils épingleront d’autres améliorations à apporter.

      Au Parlement européen, « Transparency International » déplore un manque de contrôle des déclarations de députés qui sont contraints à l’exercice. Et une légèreté des sanctions pour ceux – lobbys ou élus — qui franchiraient la ligne rouge : acceptation de cadeaux, rencontres non-déclarées alors qu’elles auraient dû l’être, lobby qui aborderait des élus sans clarté sur son identité, etc. Aujourd’hui un lobby au comportement douteux risque, dans les faits, un retrait temporaire de son badge d’accès aux institutions, rien de plus.

      L’ONG demande que progresse le projet d’une autorité indépendante pour faire respecter les règles sur les rapports lobbys/UE. Une autorité dont l’action serait étendue aux trois institutions : le Parlement mais aussi la Commission européenne et le Conseil.

      #ue #union_européenne #Bruxelles #Députés #Députés_européens #Transparency_International #eurodéputés #Suéde #Croatie #Chypre #Suède, #Danemark, #Finlande #Italie #Allemagne #commission_européenne #conseil_européen #transparence #lobbying #lobby #influence #lobbies #corruption #politique #multinationales

  • L’Europe centrale fait face à une hausse des cas de Covid-19
    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2020/07/08/l-europe-centrale-fait-face-a-une-hausse-des-cas-de-covid-19_6045612_3210.ht

    Si les chiffres absolus restent encore limités et que les systèmes sanitaires locaux semblent tenir la charge, ce pic vient démontrer les limites de la méthode de protection des ex-pays de l’Est. Ceux-ci s’étaient barricadés derrière leurs frontières dès que les premiers cas étaient apparus à l’Ouest, en mars. Cela avait permis de protéger les populations locales. Mais les travailleurs partis à l’Ouest sont désormais de retour pour les congés d’été et importent le virus avec eux. Sans compter la particularité de la Croatie, qui a rouvert largement ses frontières aux touristes, cruciaux pour l’économie, ce qui s’est immédiatement traduit par une hausse des cas, même si les autorités se veulent rassurantes. Dans ce contexte, certaines capitales ont décidé de réintroduire des contrôles aux frontières dans la cacophonie. La Slovénie exige par exemple des tests négatifs de certains Tchèques en route pour la Croatie, tandis que la Slovaquie a placé le Monténégro en « zone rouge » et interdit à ses concitoyens d’y partir en vacances. L’Autriche exige de son côté à nouveau aux voyageurs venant de Bulgarie ou de Roumanie de présenter un test négatif ou de se soumettre à une quatorzaine.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#serbie#slovenie#croatie#montenegro#slovaquie#autriche#retour#tourisme#economie#sante

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • More deaths of refugees on the Balkan route

    “The bodies of two younger men were found in the #Mrežnica River on Thursday (https://www.jutarnji.hr/vijesti/crna-kronika/iz-rijeke-mreznice-izvucena-tijela-dvojice-muskaraca-po-svemu-sudeci-radi-s). In the last three years, not counting these cases, 25 refugees have died in this area, and drowning in rivers is prevalent. Approximately one body per month appeared in one of the rivers, and only in Mrežnica six of them were found this June.”

    Reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa Dobrodosli, mail du 01.07.2020

    #décès #morts #mourir_dans_la_forteresse_europe #Croatie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #route_des_balkans #frontière_sud-alpine #Mrežnica_River #Mreznica #frontières

    –—

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur les morts à la frontière alpine :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/758646#message806448

  • HCDH | Croatia: Police brutality in migrant pushback operations must be investigated and sanctioned – UN Special Rapporteurs
    https://www.ohchr.org/FR/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=25976&LangID=E

    Croatia must immediately investigate reports of excessive use of force by law enforcement personnel against migrants, including acts amounting to torture and ill-treatment, and sanction those responsible, UN human rights experts said today.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#onu#croatie#droitsfondamentaux

  • Réfugiés en Bosnie-Herzégovine : à la frontière croate, le « game » a repris

    Bloqués depuis la mi-avril par les mesures de confinement liés à la pandémie, les candidats à l’exil sont de plus en plus nombreux à reprendre la route de Bihać pour tenter de passer en Croatie puis se diriger vers l’Europe occidentale. Malgré les violences, les humiliations et les actes de torture commis par la police, dénoncés par Amnesty international.

    « Je vais en Italie. J’ai fait 100 km à pied pour arriver ici », raconte Velid, un Afghan. Trois jours plus tôt, il est parti du camp de Blažuj, près de Sarajevo, afin d’essayer de passer la frontière croate par Bihać, dans le nord-ouest de la Bosnie-Herzégovine. Velid dort dans des bâtiments abandonnés en attendant de tenter le « game ». « Je n’ai rien à boire ni à manger. Les conditions de logement sont mauvaises, sans eau, ni électricité. On a essayé d’aller dans un camp officiel, mais les gens de la sécurité nous disent qu’il n’y a pas de place pour nous. ». Velid est accompagné d’Abdul Samed, lui aussi venu de Blažuj avec l’objectif de rallier l’Italie.

    Muhamed Husein est Pakistanais. Il y a trois semaines, il logeait au camp Lipa, à 30 km de Bihać. Il a fini dans les locaux désaffectés de Krajinametal après avoir échoué à passer la frontière croate. « Nous sommes arrivés dans ce bâtiment. Nous n’avons pas d’eau, pas de chaussures. Le camp de Lipa est plein et de nouvelles personnes arrivent. Quand on essaie de pénétrer en Croatie, la police nous attrape et nous reconduit à la frontière. Mais nous, on veut aller en Italie. »

    Suite à l’assouplissement des mesures de lutte contre la pandémie, l’arrivée de réfugiés et de migrants sur le territoire du canton d’Una-Sana (USK) est en forte hausse. Selon les informations de la police locale, ces dix derniers jours, 1500 à 2000 nouveaux réfugiés et migrants seraient entrés dans le canton. « Chaque jour, entre 100 et 150 nouveaux migrants en moyenne arrivent dans notre canton en autocar, depuis Sarajevo, Tuzla et Banja Luka », confirme Ale Šiljededić, porte-parole de la police de l’USK. « Comme nous avons pu nous en assurer lors de nos contrôles, certains ont des cartes de camps en activité en Bosnie-Herzégovine, plus précisément à Sarajevo, ce qui signifie qu’ils en partent librement, sans le moindre contrôle ni surveillance. »

    Dans le canton de Bihać, les autorités sont inquiètes

    Selon les autorités municipales, l’augmentation des arrivées à Bihać réveille la crainte que la situation ne revienne à son état d’avant l’état d’urgence, quand les bâtiments abandonnés, mais également les parcs de la ville, étaient devenus des lieux de rassemblement et de vie pour les migrants faute de place dans les camps officiels saturés. « Il n’y a pas eu de nouvelles arrivées pendant la pandémie », précise Ale Šiljededić. « Nous avons vidé les bâtiments squattés et installé les migrants dans le camp Lipa. Ces jours-ci, ces espaces se remplissent à nouveaux, car les centres d’accueil affichent complet. »

    Selon les données de l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM), en charge de la gestion des camps officiels en Bosnie-Herzégovine, 3500 migrants séjournent actuellement dans les camps du Canton d’Una-Sana, dont 1200 dans le nouveau camp de Lipa. Autre problème pour les autorités municipales, le camp de Bira, situé dans la ville de Bihać, dont la fermeture traîne depuis des mois. D’après l’OIM, il accueille à l’heure actuelle quelque 610 migrants. « Bira doit fermer, c’est notre objectif à long terme, mais fermer Bira et avoir des milliers de migrants dans la nature et dans les rues, ce n’est pas non plus une solution », a déclaré le maire Šuhret Fazlić lors d’une conférence de presse le 4 juin.

    Sur la base des conclusions du Groupe opérationnel de suivi de la crise migratoire dans le Canton d’Una-Sana, la police contrôle les autocars qui entrent sur le territoire du canton. « Malheureusement, nous n’arrivons pas complètement à dissuader les migrants d’entrer dans le canton, car la majorité d’entre eux poursuit son chemin vers Bihać à pied ou par d’autres moyens », précise Ale Šiljededić.

    Les migrants ont le même objectif que les Bosniens

    Azra Ibrahimović-Srebrenica, directrice du camp d’Ušivak, près de Sarajevo, confirme que les migrants sont à nouveau en mouvement. Pendant le confinement, il y avait dans ce centre d’accueil dirigé par l’OIM environ 900 migrants, ils ne sont plus que 400 aujourd’hui. « Leur objectif n’est pas la Bosnie-Herzégovine, mais les pays d’Europe occidentale », rappelle-t-elle. « Toute surveillance de la direction du camp cesse quand les migrants les quittent », poursuit-elle. « D’après ce qu’ils nous disent, ils utilisent les transports publics, selon l’argent dont ils disposent. Certains paient leur voyage, et ceux qui ne peuvent pas s’acheter un billet partent à pied. »

    Les restrictions de déplacement des migrants sont-elles toujours en vigueur ? Pour l’OIM, « depuis l’adoption de la décision du Conseil des ministres sur la restriction des déplacements et du séjour des étrangers, qui a suivi l’annonce officielle de la pandémie de Covid-19, il est impossible de quitter les centres d’accueil temporaires de manière régulière ». Cette décision, adoptée le 16 avril, interdit les déplacements et le séjour des sans-papiers en dehors des centres d’accueil. Mais les migrants, comme l’a confirmé l’OIM, quittent en général les camps en sautant les barrières.

    La population locale est inquiète, « mais c’est principalement à cause des préjugés envers les migrants », affirme la directrice du camp Ušivak. L’objectif de ces derniers, rappelle-t-elle, est exactement le même que celui des citoyens bosniens qui quittent le pays : une vie meilleure. « Les gens se font des idées fausses et des préjugés sur la base de quelques individus problématiques. En réalité, nous avons dans nos centres des gens charmants, bien élevés, éduqués, cultivés, des sportifs talentueux, comme ce groupe de six footballeurs qui se sont entraînés avec le petit club près du camp. Nous avons aussi des musiciens, des enseignants, des médecins... » Selon les données de l’OIM, il y aurait actuellement sur l’ensemble du territoire de la Bosnie-Herzégovine, plus de 5700 migrants logés dans les sept centres d’accueil sous sa tutelle.

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/A-la-frontiere-Bosnie-Herzegovine-Croatie-les-migrants-tentent-de

    #covid-19 #migration #migrant #bosnie #croatie #camp #surpeuplement #campementinformel #traversee #frontiere

  • Info Park Weekly 10 – 16 June 2020

    Serbia

    More and more refugees and other migrants are leaving reception centers in Serbia following the end of the state of emergency and lifting of lockdown measures. According to the data from Info Park’s mobile team, the number of the refugees and migrants in the
    central Belgrade area has constantly been on the rise with approximately 200 persons present daily. According to the latest data of the Serbian Commissariat for Refugees and Migration (SCRM), 4,677 people are registered in 18 camps which is almost two times
    less than during the state of emergency. This resulted in the reorganization of accommodation facilities across the country. The SCRM announced the closure of reception centers in Bujanovac and Pirot for renovation during summer, while beneficiaries and staff will be relocated to Vranje and Divljana RCs respectively.

    Despite a rapid downfall of the number of migrants in the government-run centers, Serbian Ministry of Interior continued with illegal practice of pushbacks to Macedonia. Info Park was approached by a Syrian man who stated he had been collected in central
    Belgrade and driven 400km south with two other migrants near Tabanovce on Serbian – Macedonian border. All three of them returned to Belgrade the following day.

    The number of Covid-19 cases in Serbia is on the rise again. However, there have been no registered cases among the migrant population so far. Living in overcrowded reception centers with no possibility to practice physical distancing or follow hygienic measures puts them at increased risk of contracting the virus. Even if they have some
    symptoms, they are afraid to seek testing or care. As a result of these new developments, Info Park decided to reduce its working hours and the number of beneficiaries accommodated in our daily shelter. To find out more on humanitarian response during COVID-19 in Serbia, read the appendix on NGO reflections on migration during coronavirus, written by Avanti Puri.

    Croatia
    Amnesty International has accused the EU of turning a blind eye to Croatian police violence targeting migrants and called on the bloc to probe alleged abuses. Amnesty International late Thursday cited an incident which allegedly took place in late May near Bosnian border. A group of 16 Pakistani and Afghan asylum-seekers were “bound,
    brutally beaten and tortured” by Croatian police after having illegally entered the country, the rights monitor said in a statement. Greece

    Greece
    The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) urged Greece to investigate multiple reports of push backs of asylum-seekers by Greek authorities at the country’s sea and land borders. The
    agency said that while the number of asylum-seekers arriving in Greece by land and sea had dropped significantly since March, the number of reported pushbacks has been rising.

    #covid-19 #migration #migrant #croatie #grece #serbie #camp #campementinformel #refoulement #republiquedemacedoine #violence

  • La Croatie de nouveau épinglée pour des violences exercées contre des migrants

    L’organisation de défense des droits de l’homme Amnesty international est repartie à la charge dénonçant la violence des forces de police croates à l’égard des migrants dans un rapport publié cette semaine, et demandant à la Commission européenne de prendre position. Ce qu’elle a fait.

    Selon le communiqué de l’ONG publié cette semaine soir, seize migrants ont été « ligotés, brutalement battus et torturés » par des policiers croates, après avoir illégalement franchi la frontière. L’organisation cite des médecins bosniens et plusieurs migrants ayant raconté avoir été frappés avec des « bâtons en fer, des matraques et des crosses de pistolet », avant d’être renvoyés vers la Bosnie.

    L’épisode se serait déroulé dans la nuit du 26 au 27 mai, près de la frontière avec la Bosnie. « On a été en contact avec un groupe de 16 personnes, raconte Lola Schulmann, chargée des dossiers Réfugiés et Migrants à Amnesty International France à Béatrice Léveillé du service international de RFI, des ressortissants pakistanais et afghans... et avec des médecins qui interviennent du côté bosnien de la frontière ». Les médecins ont raconté les blessures souvent infligées aux migrants, « des fractures dont ils mettent plusieurs mois à guérir ».

    L’Union européenne interpellée

    « Ce qui est catastrophique, c’est que l’Union européenne donne de l’argent à ces fonctionnaires croates pour protéger la frontière et ces personnes commettent des actes de torture », poursuit Lola Schulmann. Amnesty a interpellé la Commission européenne qui a réagi ce vendredi 12 juin. « Nous sommes très préoccupés par ces allégations », a déclaré un porte-parole de l’exécutif européen, Adalbert Jahnz lors du point de presse quotidien. « La violence, l’humiliation et les traitements dégradants des demandeurs d’asile et migrants n’ont pas leur place dans l’Union européenne et doivent être condamnés », a-t-il ajouté.

    La Commission prévoit d’envoyer, quand la situation sanitaire le permettra, une mission sur place, dans le cadre d’un mécanisme de surveillance européen du respect des droits fondamentaux aux frontières. Mais ce n’est pas la première que l’organisation de défense des droits de l’homme dénonce de semblables faits. Des milliers de migrants empruntent chaque année la dite Route des Balkans pour essayer de rejoindre l’Europe occidentale. La plupart passent par la Croatie, pays membre de l’UE, le plus souvent en provenance de la Bosnie. Le ministère croate de l’Intérieur a immédiatement démenti « des allégations qui comme d’habitude et sans aucune preuve mettent en cause la police croate accusée de blesser des migrants », rapporte l’AFP. Il a cependant annoncé qu’une enquête serait ouverte sur ces accusations.

    http://www.rfi.fr/fr/europe/20200613-croatie-nouveau-%C3%A9pingl%C3%A9e-violences-exerc%C3%A9es-migrants-fro

    #covid-19 #migration #migrant #croatie #violence #frontiere #refoulement

  • EU ’covered up’ Croatia’s failure to protect migrants from border brutality

    Exclusive: Brussels officials feared disclosing Zagreb’s lack of commitment to monitoring would cause ‘scandal’

    EU officials have been accused of an “outrageous cover-up” after withholding evidence of a failure by Croatia’s government to supervise #police repeatedly accused of robbing, abusing and humiliating migrants at its borders.

    Internal European commission emails seen by the Guardian reveal officials in Brussels had been fearful of a backlash when deciding against full disclosure of Croatia’s lack of commitment to a monitoring mechanism that ministers had previously agreed to fund with EU money.

    Ahead of responding to inquiries from a senior MEP in January, a commission official had warned a colleague that the Croatian government’s failure to use money earmarked two years ago for border police “will for sure be seen as a ‘scandal’”.

    Supervision of the behaviour of border officers had been the condition set on a larger grant of EU funds to Croatia. There have been multiple allegations of violent pushbacks of migrants and refugees by Croatian police on the border with Bosnia, including an incident in which a migrant was shot.

    In response to allegations of a cover-up, an EC spokesman told the Guardian that what was known had been withheld from MEPs as the information was believed to have been “incomplete”.
    Crosses on our heads to ’cure’ Covid-19: refugees report abuse by Croatian police
    Read more

    It throws a spotlight on both the Croatian government’s human rights record and the apparent willingness of the EU’s executive branch to cover for Zagreb’s failure.

    Croatia is seeking to enter the EU’s passport-free Schengen zone – a move that requires compliance with European human rights standards at borders.

    Despite heated denials by the Croatian authorities, the latest border incident has been described by aid workers as the most violent in the Balkan migration crisis. On 26 May, 11 Pakistani and five Afghan men were stopped by a group wearing black uniforms and balaclavas in the Plitvice Lakes, 16km (10 miles) into Croatia from the Bosnian border.

    “The men in uniforms tied each of the Pakistanis and Afghanis around a tree, so their wrists were bound and they had to turn their faces toward the trees,” according to a report from the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), which provides healthcare for migrants in Bosnia. “Once these people were unable to move, the men in uniforms fired several shots in the air with guns placed close to the ears of the Pakistanis and Afghanis. There were also shots fired close to their legs.’’

    “They kept shooting. They were shooting so closely that the stones under our feet were flying and being blown to pieces,” one of the men told the Guardian. “They kept saying: ‘I want to beat and kill you.’ They tortured us for three to four hours.”

    The council’s report says electro-shockers were placed on people’s necks and heads. “One of the men in uniform was cutting several victims with knives and the same person inflicted cuts on both of the palms of one person.”

    One asylum seeker said that one of the men put his knee on his neck, then cut at him with a blade. ‘‘He sliced the index finger of my left hand, and blood started spurting out like a small shower,’’ he said. “Then he smiled and cut my middle finger followed by my palm with a larger cut. The whole hand is swollen beyond recognition.”

    After a while, the men in balaclavas called other uniformed officers.

    According to the victims and a report by the DRC, “before the police arrival, one of the men in uniform made a film with his mobile phone, while others in his company were laughing, yelling and provoking”.

    Upon the arrival of police officers, the migrants were put into vans and taken to the border at Šiljkovača, a village close to Velika Kladuša. Police officers did not beat them, but ordered them into Bosnian territory.

    “All of them had bleeding wounds on their heads and numerous bruises on various parts of the body,” Nicola Bay, the DRC country director for Bosnia, told the Guardian. “Four of them had broken arms and one had a broken leg and both arms.”

    Contacted by the Guardian, the Croatian police denied the allegations and suggested that asylum seekers could have fabricated the account and that the wounds could be the result of “a confrontation among migrants” that took place ‘‘on 28 May in the vicinity of the Croatian border, near Cazin’’.

    Volunteers and charities who have treated migrants involved in the fight in Cazin, said the two incidents are unrelated and happened two days apart. Those involved in the fight in Cazin have not claimed they were attacked by the police.

    The establishment of supervisory mechanisms to ensure the humane treatment of migrants at the border had been a condition of a €6.8m (£6.1m) cash injection announced in December 2018 to strengthen Croatia’s borders with non-EU countries.

    The mechanism was publicised by the European commission as a way to “ensure that all measures applied at the EU external borders are proportionate and are in full compliance with fundamental rights and EU asylum laws”.

    Croatian ministers claimed last year that the funds had been handed over to the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Croatian Law Centre to establish the supervisory mechanism.

    Both organisations deny receiving the money.

    In January this year, the commission was asked by Clare Daly, an Irish MEP in the Independents 4 Change party, to account for the discrepancy.

    A commission official responded that the UNCHR and Croatian Law Centre had established the monitoring mechanism but from “their own funds” to ensure independence from the government.

    He added: “Hopefully [this] clarifies this matter once and for all”.

    But both organisations have again denied being involved in any monitoring project, clarifying that they had only been engaged in an earlier initiative involving the examination of police files.

    Beyond the apparent inaccuracy of the response to Daly, internal emails suggest the full facts of the “underspending” – as its known to the commission – were also withheld.

    The EC failed to inform Daly that the Croatian government had decided to ring-fence only €102,000 of the €300,000 provided for the monitoring mechanism and that ultimately only €84,672 was actually spent – €17,469.87 was given to the interior ministry and €59,637.91 went to NGOs. A roundtable conference accounted for €1,703.16.

    “While we know that there has been underspending on the €300,000 … we thought that around € 240,000 were nevertheless spent in the context of the monitoring mechanism,” an EU official had written while discussing how to deal with the MEP’s questions. “Having spent only EUR 102,000, will for sure be seen as a ‘scandal’.”

    The commission did not pass on information on the spending to Daly but privately officials agreed to seek answers urgently. They also discussed in a phone and email exchange the possibility of intervening in the member state’s planned report due to the poor handling of the matter by the Croatian government.

    “Seeing how unfortunate [Croatia] is presenting this issue, [Croatia] definitively needs (your?) help in putting some ‘final touches’ to the report,” an official in the commission’s migration department wrote to a colleague. “Will [Croatia] provide you with an advance copy of the final report?”

    Daly told the Guardian: “It is outrageous – the commission appears to be colluding with the Croatian authorities in a cover-up.”

    An EC spokesperson said the EU’s executive branch was committed to the establishment of a fully independent border monitoring mechanism.

    The spokesperson said: “We would caution against drawing misleading conclusions from reading the internal email exchanges in isolation.”

    He added: “The Croatian authorities are explaining in their final implementation report how the monitoring mechanism was established, how it works in practice and outline the results.

    “Given that the report submitted by the Croatian authorities was incomplete, the commission asked the Croatian authorities for clarifications first in writing and orally regarding outstanding issues (eg factual data confirming the achievements of the project indicators relating to internal controls and trainings).”

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/jun/15/eu-covered-up-croatias-failure-to-protect-migrants-from-border-brutalit
    #complicité #EU #UE #Croatie #violence #réfugiés #asile #migrations #violence #violences #hauts_fonctionnaires #fonds #argent #gardes_frontière #route_des_Balkans #frontières #Plitvice_Lakes #commission_européenne #Union_européenne #couverture

    • Report from Centre for Peace Studies on the pushback of children

      On 29th May 2020, the Centre for Peace Studies – a key member of the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) – presented a new report alongside the Welcome! Initiative. Addressing the Croatian Government, the “Report on violent and illegal expulsions of children and unaccompanied children” is based on testimonies collected by activists through the BVMN shared database. The publication shares the story of children who sought protection from Croatia, and how Croatia answered in violence.

      “We came to the door of Prime Minister Plenković and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Božinović, who have been turning their backs on testimonies and accusations for years and silently pursuing a policy of flattering the European Union. Even the most vulnerable are not excluded from violence – children “, said Tea Vidović on behalf of the Welcome! Initiative.

      The report submitted to the Government by the organizations provides testimonies of children and their families and unaccompanied children on violent and illegal methods that they had to experience at the hands of police authorities. This illegal and inhuman behavior violates national laws, international law and human rights, prevents access to international protection and, most importantly, marks children’s lives. Although the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the Ministry of the Interior should take into account the special vulnerability of children, respect their rights and best interests, children experience police brutality and limitation of their freedom for hours without access to water and food.

      “While the government uses every opportunity to emphasize the importance of border protection, we wonder in which way is police protecting Croatian borders? By beating children, confiscating their personal belongings, locking children in police vans for several hours in which they are exposed to extremely high or extremely low temperatures, shooting and using electric shocks, is this how the police protect Croatian borders? ”, points out Ana Ćuća.

      The exact number of children who are victims of police brutality remains unknown. BVMN has reported 209 cases of violent and illegal expulsions of children from Croatia since 2017, while Save the Children recorded 2969 expulsions of children at the borders in the Western Balkans during the first 9 months of last year.

      Two cases are currently pending at the European Court of Human Rights against Croatia, both involving violence and pushback. The first is the case of the family of the tragically late six-year-old girl Madina Hussiny, who was killed at the Croatian-Serbian border. The second includes pushbacks, illegal detention and inhumane treatment of a 17-year-old Syrian boy by Croatian police, who was pushed back to Bosnia and Herzegovina despite seeking asylum in Croatia.

      The latest report presented is the sixth report on violent and illegal expulsions published in the last four years, and it is the collective work of the Centre for Peace Studies, the Society for Psychological Assistance, the Welcome! Initiative and the Border Violence Monitoring Network. It also brings a short graphic novel based on the story of little #Madina, a young girl killed in transit, for whose death no one has yet been held accountable.

      Therefore, the organisations ask the Government and the Ministry of the Interior to finally take responsibility and for those who sanction and carry out systematic violence. Responsible institutions are obliged to investigate those who commit violence and push back children in need of protection. All children deserve justice and protection.

      https://www.borderviolence.eu/report-from-centre-for-peace-studies-on-the-pushback-of-children
      #enfants #enfance #mineurs

      Pour télécharger le #rapport:
      https://www.cms.hr/system/article_document/doc/647/Pushback_report_on_children_and_unaccompanied_children_in_Croatia.pdf

    • Policiers croates accusés de violences contre des migrants : l’UE réclame une "enquête approfondie’’

      Après avoir été interpellée par Amnesty International sur la « violence » des policiers croates à l’égard des migrants, la Commission européenne a réclamé à Zagreb une « enquête approfondie ». L’institution prévoit d’envoyer une mission sur place, quand la situation sanitaire le permettra.

      L’Union européenne est sortie de son ’’silence’’ au sujet des accusations de violences contre des migrants perpétrées par la police croate. Vendredi 12 juin, la Commission européenne a réclamé à Zagreb une "#enquête_approfondie'' à la suite de la publication d’un rapport à charge de l’ONG Amnesty International dénonçant des #passages_à_tabac, des #tortures et des tentatives d’#humiliation de la part de policiers croates (https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/25339/on-les-suppliait-d-arreter-de-nous-frapper-ils-chantaient-et-riaient-l).

      « Nous sommes très préoccupés par ces allégations », a déclaré un porte-parole de l’exécutif européen, Adalbert Jahnz. « La #violence, l’humiliation et les #traitements_dégradants des demandeurs d’asile et migrants n’ont pas leur place dans l’Union européenne et doivent être condamnés », a-t-il assuré.

      L’Union européenne avait été directement interpellée par Amnesty International dans son rapport. Ce document affirme que 16 migrants, qui tentaient d’entrer illégalement en Croatie, ont été « ligotés, brutalement battus et torturés » pendant plusieurs heures par des forces de l’ordre, dans la nuit du 26 au 27 mai. « L’Union européenne ne peut plus rester silencieuse et ignorer délibérément les violences et les abus commis par la police croate à la frontière », avait déclaré Massimo Moratti, directeur adjoint de l’antenne européenne de l’ONG.

      https://twitter.com/Jelena_Sesar/status/1271044353629335553?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E12

      Une mission sur place quand la situation sanitaire le permettra

      L’exécutif européen a également indiqué être « en contact étroit » avec les autorités croates qui « se sont engagées à enquêter » sur ces accusations de mauvais traitements à leur frontière avec la Bosnie (https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/18721/plusieurs-migrants-retrouves-blesses-a-la-frontiere-entre-la-bosnie-et). « Nous attendons que ces accusations fassent l’objet d’une enquête approfondie et que toutes les actions nécessaires soient prises », a poursuivi le porte-parole.

      La Commission prévoit aussi d’envoyer, quand la situation sanitaire le permettra, une mission sur place, dans le cadre d’un mécanisme de surveillance du respect des droits fondamentaux par les autorités aux frontières lié à l’allocation de fonds européens.

      Le ministère croate de l’Intérieur a, de son côté, immédiatement démenti ces accusations, en ajoutant cependant qu’une enquête serait ouverte.

      Des milliers de migrants empruntent chaque année la « route des Balkans » pour essayer de rejoindre l’Europe occidentale. La plupart passent par la Croatie, pays membre de l’UE, le plus souvent en provenance de la Bosnie.


      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/25354/policiers-croates-accuses-de-violences-contre-des-migrants-l-ue-reclam

    • Croatia: Fresh evidence of police abuse and torture of migrants and asylum-seekers

      In a horrifying escalation of police human rights violations at the Croatian border with Bosnia, a group of migrants and asylum seekers was recently bound, brutally beaten and tortured by officers who mocked their injuries and smeared food on their bleeding heads to humiliate them, Amnesty International has revealed today.

      Amnesty International spoke to six men among a group of 16 Pakistani and Afghan asylum-seekers who were apprehended by the Croatian police on the night between 26 and 27 May near Lake Plitvice, as they tried to cross the country to reach Western Europe.

      Between eight and ten people wearing black uniforms and balaclavas identical to those used by Croatia’s Special Police, fired their weapons in the air, kicked and repeatedly hit the restrained men with metal sticks, batons and pistol grips. They then rubbed ketchup, mayonnaise and sugar that they found in one of the backpacks on migrants’ bleeding heads and hair and their trousers. Amnesty International also spoke to doctors who treated the men and NGOs who witnessed their injuries.

      “The European Union can no longer remain silent and wilfully ignore the violence and abuses by Croatian police on its external borders. Their silence is allowing, and even encouraging, the perpetrators of this abuse to continue without consequences. The European Commission must investigate the latest reports of horrifying police violence against migrants and asylum-seekers.” said Massimo Moratti, Deputy Director of the Europe Office, following the latest incident on the Croatian border.

      Physical and psychological abuse

      Amir from Pakistan told Amnesty: “We were pleading with them to stop and show mercy. We were already tied, unable to move and humiliated; there was no reason to keep hitting us and torturing us.” He said the armed men showed no sympathy. “They were taking photos of us with their phones, and were singing and laughing.” Amir had a broken arm and nose, stiches on the back of his head, and visible bruising all over his face and arms.

      Ten men suffered serious injuries that night. Thirty-year-old Tariq now has both of his arms and a leg in a cast, visible cuts and bruises on his head and face and is suffering from severe chest pain.

      “They did not give us a chance to say anything at all when they caught us. They just started hitting us. While I was lying on the ground, they hit my head with the back of a gun and I started bleeding. I tried to protect my head from the blows, but they started kicking me and hitting my arms with metal sticks. I was passing in and out of consciousness the rest of the night.” Tariq is now forced to use a wheelchair to move around and it will take months before he is able to move on his own again.

      The men told Amnesty International how they felt humiliated as militia rubbed mayonnaise and ketchup on to their bloody heads and faces. One masked man squirted mayonnaise on an asylum-seeker’s trousers between his legs, while others laughed and sang “Happy Birthday” around them.

      After almost five hours of continuous abuse, the migrants were handed over to the Croatian Border Police who transported them close to the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina in two vans before ordering them to walk. “They were taken aback by our condition. We were drenched in blood and very shook up. We could barely stand, much less walk for hours to Bosnia. But they told us to go. They told us to carry the guys who couldn’t walk and just go.” Faisal told Amnesty.

      Some of the men eventually reached Miral, a reception centre run by the International Organization for Migration in Velika Kladusa in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but five, who were too weak to walk, stayed behind and were eventually picked up by an NGO operating in the camp.

      An emergency doctor at the medical clinic in Velika Kladusa who treated the men told Amnesty International that they all had injuries on the back of their heads which were consistent with a blow by a blunt object and required stiches. Most had multiple fractures, joint injuries, collapsed lungs, cuts and bruises and several were traumatized. Their recovery could take months.

      Routine violent pushbacks and torture by the Croatian police remain unpunished

      While only the latest in the series, the incident points to a new level of brutality and abuse by the Croatian police. In early May, the Guardian reported about a group of men who were forced across the Croatian border after being beaten and having orange crosses spray-painted on their heads. The Croatian Ministry of Interior dismissed the allegations, but the testimonies of violence and intimidation fit the trend of unlawful pushbacks taking place not only on the Croatian, but also on other external borders of the European Union.

      Numerous reports over the past three years have revealed how the Croatian border police routinely assault men, women and teenagers trying to enter the country, destroy their belongings and smash their phones before pushing them back to Bosnia. People are sometimes stripped of their clothes and shoes, and forced to walk for hours through snow and freezing cold rivers.

      A physician in the Velika Kladusa clinic told Amnesty International that approximately 60 per cent of migrants and asylum-seekers who required medical treatment reported that their injuries were inflicted by the Croatian police, while they were trying to cross the border. “Many injuries involve fractures of long bones and joints. These bones take longer to heal and their fractures render the patient incapacitated for extended periods of time. This appears to be a deliberate strategy – to cause injuries and trauma that take time to heal and would make people more reluctant to try to cross the border again or any time soon,” the physician told Amnesty International.

      The Croatian Ministry of Interior has so far dismissed these allegations, refusing to carry out independent and effective investigations into reported abuses or hold its officers to account. In a climate of pervasive impunity, unlawful returns and violence at the border have only escalated. Amnesty International has shared the details of this incident with the Ministry of Interior, but has not received an official response.

      The EU’s failure to hold Croatia to account

      The European Commission has remained silent in the face of multiple, credible reports of gross human rights abuses at the Croatian border and repeated calls by the European Parliament to investigate the allegations. Furthermore, Croatia remains a beneficiary of nearly EURO 7 million of EU assistance for border security, the vast majority of which is spent on infrastructure, equipping border police and even paying police salaries. Even the small proportion (EURO 300,000) that the Commission had earmarked for a mechanism to monitor that the border measures comply with fundamental rights and EU asylum laws, has been no more than a fig leaf. Last year, the Commission recommended Croatia’s full accession to the Schengen Area despite human rights abuses already being commonplace there.

      “The European Commission cannot continue to turn a blind eye to blatant breaches of EU law as people are being branded with crosses on their heads or brutally tortured and humiliated by Croatian police. We expect nothing less than the condemnation of these acts and an independent investigation into reported abuses, as well as the establishment of an effective mechanism to ensure that EU funds are not used to commit torture and unlawful returns. Failing urgent action, Croatia’s inhumane migration practices will turn the EU into an accomplice in major human rights violations taking place at its doorstep,” said Massimo Moratti.

      Violent pushbacks from Croatian border have been a regular occurrence since late 2017. The Danish Refugee Council recorded close to 7,000 cases of forcible deportations and unlawful returns to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2019, most of which were accompanied by reported violence and intimidation by Croatian police. Despite the brief respite during the lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, pushbacks continue with 1600 cases reported only in April. The figures are increasing daily, as the restrictions across the region are being lifted and the weather is turning milder.

      Amnesty International has interviewed over 160 people who have been pushed back or returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina since July 2018. Nearly one third reported being beaten, having their documents and telephones stolen, and verbally abused in what appears to be a deliberate policy designed to deter future attempts to enter the country.

      https://www.amnesty.eu/news/croatia-fresh-evidence-of-police-abuse-and-torture-of-migrants-and-asylum-se
      #rapport #Amnesty_international

    • Croatia, police abuse is systemic

      While the world is outraged and protests after George Floyd’s death to denounce institutionalised violence, migrants have been beaten and tortured on the Balkan route for years. A brutal practice often covered up, even by the EU itself.

      George Floyd’s death on May 25th sparked protests around the world against police violence and institutional racism. In the Balkans as elsewhere, sit-ins have been held in support of #BlackLivesMatter , followed by calls to report abuses committed locally by the police. And in the region there is no lack of such abuses. In fact, police violence is routine on the “Balkan route”, the flow of migrants and refugees that has crossed the peninsula since 2015 in the hope of reaching the European Union. The events of the past few weeks have unfortunately confirmed once again the link between police brutality and immigration, bringing us back to the Croatian-Bosnian border. It is a story of systemic abuse, both proven and covered up, which involves a member state of the EU, candidate for accession to the Schengen area and, according to the latest revelations of The Guardian, the European Commission itself.
      Torture in Croatia

      When it comes to police abuse on the Croatian-Bosnian border, one does not really know where to start. The accidents recorded in recent years are so many that we can no longer even speak of “accidents”, or unexpected events. On the contrary, violence is rather a common practice, the only news being the increase in brutality by the agents, who have gone from illegal pushbacks to outright torture.

      “We rarely use the word ’torture’ in Europe, but in this case we had to”, explains Massimo Moratti, deputy director of the Europe office of Amnesty International (AI). Last week, AI published yet another report of the mistreatment of migrants by the Croatian police along the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mistreatment is an understatement. The testimonies collected no longer speak of broken mobile phones, or – as has happened more recently – destroyed with a screwdriver to prevent recharging, but instead contain “actual sadism”, as Moratti puts it.

      The case in question is that of 16 Pakistani and Afghan asylum seekers arrested by the Croatian police near the Plitvice lakes between May 26th and 27th. Their testimony is chilling. “We asked them to stop and show mercy. We were already tied up, there was no reason to continue hitting and torturing us", Amir told Amnesty International. Singing and filming on mobile phones, the agents continued to beat the 16 unfortunate men hard, finally smearing their wounds with ketchup and mayonnaise found in the backpack of one of the migrants. Eventually, the group was brought back to the border and forced to walk to Bosnia. Those who were unable to walk, because they are now in a wheelchair, had to be transported by others.

      “It is a pattern, a trend. These are the same practices that we have already seen in Hungary in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Dogs, sticks, broken bones... The goal is to intimidate and frighten so that no one tries to cross the border anymore", resumes Massimo Moratti, who adds: “the fractures we saw in the latter case will take months to heal”. The Amnesty International report and the attached photos tell the rest.
      Four years of violence

      How did we get to this? It is useful to make a brief summary of recent years to understand the evolution of violence. First, the “Balkan route” became a media phenomenon in the summer of 2015, when hundreds of thousands of Syrians, Iraqis, and Afghans began to travel up the Balkan peninsula to reach the European Union. At the beginning, the destination of the route was Hungary, then, with the closure of the Hungarian wall, it became Croatia, which leads to Slovenia and then to the Schengen area. In 2015, Croatian policemen showed themselves to be tolerant and benevolent, as reminded by this cover of Jutarnji List .

      In the spring of 2016, the agreement between the EU and Turkey led to the closure of the Balkan route and a change of pace. “The first case of pushback is registered in 2016 on the Serbo-Croatian border. In 2017, we have the first cases of violence", says Antonia Pindulić, legal advisor to the Centre for Peace Studies (CMS) in Zagreb. At the end of 2017, Madina Hussiny, 6, died hit by a train while returning from Croatia to Serbia following the tracks. Together with her family, she had been illegally pushed back by the Croatian policemen.

      In the summer of 2018, the Croatian police fired on a van that carried 29 migrants and refused to stop. Nine people were injured and two minors ended up in hospital in serious conditions. Since then, it has been a crescendo of accidents, especially on the Croatian-Bosnian border, where what remains of the Balkan route passes. Here, the testimonies collected by NGOs speak of beatings, theft, destruction of mobile phones and, as always, illegal pushbacks. Then, the situation has deteriorated up to the torture of the last few weeks. All in the silence of the authorities.
      The silence of the institutions

      How could the Zagreb government not complete an investigation in four years, address the police abuse, punish the guilty? It just didn’t. In fact, Andrej Plenković’s government has just “denied everything” for four years, while “no investigation has produced results”, as Antonia Pindulić of CMS summarises. And this despite the fact that there have been complaints from NGOs and also the actions of the institutions themselves in Croatia.

      “In 2019, a group of policement wrote an anonymous letter to the Croatian Ombudswoman asking to be protected from having to carry out illegal orders”, recalls Pindulić. The agents then revealed the pushback technique: GPS off, communications only on Whatsapp or Viber, no official report. Also in 2019, then President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović had let slip , during an interview on Swiss television, that “of course, a little strength is needed when making pushbacks”. Later, she said she had been misunderstood.

      After dozens of complaints have fallen on deaf ears and after in 2018 the Ombudswoman, in her investigations, had been denied access to video surveillance videos with the excuse that they were lost, the CMS decided a couple of weeks ago to file a complaint “against unknown police officers” guilty of “degrading treatment and torture against 33 people” and “violent and illegal expulsion [of these people, ed.] from the territory of the Republic of Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina”. “We hope that the prosecutor will open an investigation and that people who have violated the law are identified. But since the institutions themselves have violated the law for four years, I don’t know what we can expect”, says Antonia Pindulić.

      The complaint filed brings together four cases, all of which occurred at the beginning of May 2020. “We suspect that the cases are linked to each other, as all the migrants and refugees involved have reported beatings, theft of their belongings, being stripped and, above all, having a cross drawn on their head with orange spray”, says Antonia Pindulić. This very detail had brought the story on the Guardian and sparked controversy in Croatia.
      Towards a turning point?

      In their brutality, the cases seem to repeat themselves without any change in sight. But the Croatian government may soon be forced to answer for what appears to be institutionalised violence. Not only the legal action taken by the CMS “could likely end in Strasbourg”, as Massimo Moratti of Amnesty International speculates, but a lawsuit filed by three Syrian refugees against Croatia reached the European Court of Human Rights at the end of the May . And last week, after the publication of the AI ​​report, the European Commission announced that an observation mission will be sent to Croatia.

      And there is more. This week, the Guardian also revealed that communications between officials of the European Commission show how the European body “covered up Croatia’s failure to protect migrants from brutality on the border”. In question are the European funding received from Zagreb for border security: 7 million Euros, of which 300,000 for the implementation of an independent control mechanism that should have supervised the work of the police. Not only has the mechanism never been implemented, but there have been contradictory communications in this regard, with the Commission declaring that UNHCR was part of the mechanism and the latter publicly denying at the end of 2019 .

      In short, although Brussels allocated a (small) budget for the control of the brutality of Croatian agents, the mechanism that was to be activated with those funds was never created. And the Commission is aware of this. How long, then, will the Plenković government manage to hide its system of violence on the Bosnian border?

      https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/eng/Areas/Croatia/Croatia-police-abuse-is-systemic-202952

      #violence_systémique

    • Croatia: Police brutality in migrant pushback operations must be investigated and sanctioned – UN Special Rapporteurs

      Croatia must immediately investigate reports of excessive use of force by law enforcement personnel against migrants, including acts amounting to torture and ill-treatment, and sanction those responsible, UN human rights experts said today.

      “We are deeply concerned about the repeated and ongoing disproportionate use of force by Croatian police against migrants in pushback operations. Victims, including children, suffered physical abuse and humiliation simply because of their migration status,” Felipe González Morales, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, and Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, said in a joint statement.

      They said physical violence and degrading treatment against migrants have been reported in more than 60 percent of all recorded pushback cases from Croatia between January and May 2020, and recent reports indicate the number of forced returns is rising.

      Abusive treatment of migrants has included physical beatings, the use of electric shocks, forced river crossings and stripping of clothes despite adverse weather conditions, forced stress positions, gender insensitive body searches and spray-painting the heads of migrants with crosses.

      “The violent pushback of migrants without going through any official procedure, individual assessment or other due process safeguards constitutes a violation of the prohibition of collective expulsions and the principle of non-refoulement,” González Morales said.

      “Such treatment appears specifically designed to subject migrants to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment as prohibited under international law. Croatia must investigate all reported cases of violence against migrants, hold the perpetrators and their superiors accountable and provide compensation for victims,” Melzer added.

      The UN Special Rapporteurs are also concerned that in several cases, Croatian police officers reportedly ignored requests from migrants to seek asylum or other protection under international human rights and refugee law.

      “Croatia must ensure that all border management measures, including those aimed at addressing irregular migration, are in line with international human rights law and standards, particularly, non-discrimination, the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment, the principle of non-refoulement and the prohibition of arbitrary or collective expulsions,” they said.

      During his official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina in September 2019, González Morales received information on violent pushback of migrants by Croatian police to Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has exchanged views with relevant Croatian authorities on this issue on several occasions. Already during his official visit to Serbia and Kosovo* in 2017, Melzer had received similar information from migrants reporting violent ill-treatment during pushback operations by the Croatian police.

      * All references to Kosovo should be understood to be in compliance with Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).

      https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=25976&LangID=E

      #OHCHR

    • Dva policajca u pritvoru u Karlovcu zbog ozljeđivanja migranta - protiv njih pokrenut i disciplinski postupak

      Zbog sumnje u počinjenje kaznenih djela obojica su, uz kaznenu prijavu, dovedeni pritvorskom nadzorniku Policijske uprave karlovačke. Također, obojica su udaljeni iz službe, odgovoreno je na upit KAportala

      Dva policajca PU karlovačke nalaze se u pritvoru i to zbog sumnje u ozljeđivanje ilegalnog migranta, stranog državljanina.

      Na naš upit iz policije su nam rekli da je u četvrtak, 11. lipnja, u večernjim satima, tijekom utvrđivanja okolnosti nezakonitog ulaska u Republiku Hrvatsku, u policijsku postaju Slunj doveden strani državljanin na kojem su policijski službenici uočili da je ozlijeđen.

      https://kaportal.net.hr/aktualno/vijesti/crna-kronika/3836334/dva-policajca-u-karlovackom-pritvoru-zbog-ozljedjivanja-migranta-protiv

      Commentaire reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa Dobrodosli, mail du 23.06.2020

      two police officers were arrested this week for injuring migrants. This is a big step for the Ministry of the Interior, but small for all cases that have not yet been investigated. However, it is important to emphasize that the violence we are witnessing is not the result of isolated incidents, but of systemic violence for which those who issue and those who carry out these illegal orders should be prosecuted.

  • Info Park
    Weekly 3 – 9 June 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Migrants ’illegitimately sent away from EU’?

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

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

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


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

    ping @isskein

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

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

      Contradictory approaches in Italy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Written by: Iza Thaler and Miha Turk from InfoKolpa

      Find daily updates and special reports on our Medium page.

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

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

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

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

    • Even from Trieste, Italy.

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

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

      Reçu via la mailing-list de Migreurop, le 15.06.2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Background

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

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

      Unregulated readmissions

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

      Irrelevance of the application for international protection

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

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

      Risk of “chain” refoulements

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

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

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

      Conclusion

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

      Due to this very serious situation

      ASGI asks the Italian government

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

      ASGI asks UNHCR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Threats and deportations

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

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

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

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

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

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

      https://vimeo.com/453221076

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

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

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

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

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

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

      https://vimeo.com/453221292

      Violation of asylum laws

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      The Interior Ministry denies these allegations.

      Not standard police procedure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ping @isskein

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

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

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

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

  • La Croatie coupe ses forêts pour « protéger » ses frontières

    24 mai - 14h : Pour lutter contre l’entrée de migrants et de réfugiés sur son territoire, la Croatie procède à des #coupes claires dans ses forêts, afin de « #dégager_le_terrain » le long de sa frontière avec la Bosnie-Herzégovine. Ces derniers temps, des #bois ont été abattus sur les versants de la #montagne #Plješivica et aux abords de l’ancien aérodrome militaire de #Željava. Des pratiques similaires avaient été signalées aux alentours de #Hravtska_Kostajnica, en janvier 2019.

    La ministre des Affaires étrangères de Bosnie-Herzégovine, Bisera Turković, a demandé des explications aux autorités croates, déclarant que si elle comprenait le besoin de surveiller les frontières, elle attendait de ces dernières qu’elles informent leurs voisins avant de prendre de telles initiatives.

    De leur coté, les ONG dénoncent une infraction aux droits de l’homme et à la protection de l’environnement, et l’association écologiste #Zelena:Akcija a signalé ces coupes à l’Inspection nationale, afin de vérifier qu’elles étaient conformes aux directives prévues dans cette zone par l’Office des eaux et forêts.

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Les-dernieres-infos-Refugies-Balkans-Bosnie-Herzegovine-un-nouvea
    #forêt #frontières #weaponization #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Croatie #Zeljava

  • Info Park
    Weekly
    20 – 26 May 2020

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

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

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

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