• 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

  • 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

  • Call to Action: STOP FUNDING VIOLENCE NOW!

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

    May 27 – 29, 2020

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

    Why do we need to take action?

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ec-president-vdl@ec.europa.eu

    Migration and Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson (commissioner):

    cab-johansson-contact@ec.europa.eu

    Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi (commissioner):

    cab-varhelyi-contact@ec.europa.eu

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

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

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

    Transbalkan Solidarity

    _

    Why do we organize this protest campaign?

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

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

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

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

  • Info Park
    Weekly
    13 – 19 May 2020

    Serbia
    ➢ On 14 May, Health Minister Zlatibor Loncar annulled the previous order that extended the lockdown for Reception and Asylum Centers in Serbia. (Official Gazette, no. 74/2020) As a result, all refugees and other migrants regained the right to freedom of movement in the country. Asylum office of the Serbian Interior Ministry will resume its operations on 1 June.
    ➢ In a stark contrast to above decision to relax the lockdown measures in all the camps, on 16 May Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic ordered Serbian Army deployment in municipality Sid with 3 centers: Adasevci, Principovac and Sid city. Apparently, the decision is made following requests from the local municipality to prevent any incidents that occurred before corona epidemics, including petty crime, burglaries and illegal entry into abandoned buildings including farms or weekend houses in the area. The units belonging to the elite 72 Brigade for Special Operations of Serbian army are deployed on the same day, guarding 3 centers and patrolling in the town.
    According to the SCRM, the migrants are allowed to leave all of these camps, however their stay outside after the 10PM curfew is not tolerated, and they are forced
    to return to the camp. Various representatives of civil society criticized this decision heavily, claiming it is connected with the campaign for general elections in Serbia set for 21 June - especially given that no incidents are reported since lifting lockdown of Sid area camps.
    Last week was marked by the swift return to “normality” regarding migrations in Serbia. Nearly 1,500 migrants managed to leave the camps since the end the state of
    emergency, despite strong SCRM efforts to slow down the outflow with the partial restriction of freedom of movement with a system of quotas (for instance, in Krnjaca AC only 5 migrants per barrack were allowed to exit the premises). According to Serbian Commissar for refugees and migrations Vladimir Cucic, Serbian ACs and
    RCs currently host 7,700 beneficiaries, with an estimation of at least 150 people on the move outside. At the peak of the state of emergency, the camps had over 9.100 accommodated people.
    ➢ Inflow of refugees and other migrants in the parks of Belgrade Savamala district is notable, with numbers rising from 120 on Wednesday to 270 on Sunday. Consequently, significant number of smugglers are also present in the area, seeking clients and brokering deals about irregular travel to the EU. As a result, there is a significant increase in attempts to cross the borders of Hungary and Romania. Push backs from Hungarian border peaked at 188 over the weekend. At the same time an apparent movement of Kurdish families is noticed towards or over the border with Romania. Read more on how the new border regime could influence people on the
    move in this Weekly’s appendix “Protection of borders in times of crisis”.
    ➢ Around 50 right-wingers, mostly members of the extremist neo-nazi Levijatan movement, gathered outside the Obrenovac RTC on 13 May to protest in support to a
    member of the organization who had forcibly driven into the camp the week before and was ordered 30-day detention.

    Croatia
    ➢ Following the reports condemning the photos of physically marked refuges in Croatia last week, the Guardian published an article about this humiliating practice. However, the Croatian Ministry of Interior denied the accusations published in the UK paper dubbing that these accusations absurd and dangerous since they are
    coming during the holy month of Ramadan.

    Greece
    ➢ The program of relocation of unaccompanied children from Greek islands to other EU countries is scheduled to continue. Portugal is set to welcome 500 boys and girls
    and dozens are ready for the relocation to Belgium. However, authorities have extended the lockdown of Greek refugee camps due to the corona virus pandemic.
    ➢ According to Alarm Phone, push-backs on the Aegean sea reportedly continued. Since early March 2020, Alarm Phone has received 28 emergency calls from the
    Aegean and in most of these cases the distress resulted from attacks on boats carried out in Greek waters by various vigilante groups.

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Serbie #Déconfinement #Couvre-feu #Grèce #Refoulement #Relocalisation #Enfants #Croatie #Violencespolicières #

  • RACISME – Croatie : la police accusée de violences contre les migrants

    Selon plusieurs sources, des migrants ont été marqués à l’aide de bombes de peinture par les forces de l’ordre croates, entre le 6 et le 8 mai, alors qu’ils tentaient de pénétrer illégalement dans le pays, avant d’être refoulés en Bosnie. Ce geste est perçu par les migrants comme une humiliation.

    À la frontière entre la Bosnie et la Croatie, ces dernières semaines, des migrants ayant tenté la traversée vers la Croatie ont été contraints de revenir sur leurs pas, le crâne peint d’une croix orange. Ces marques ont, selon eux, été tracées à l’aide de bombes de peinture par les forces de l’ordre croates, dans ce qu’ils estiment être une tactique d’humiliation et une manière d’empêcher leur entrée illégale dans le pays. La police croate, qui a affirmé son besoin de protéger ses frontières, ne s’est pas exprimée sur ces allégations.

    Des photos obtenues par InfoMigrants et par le journal britannique The Guardian montrent ainsi les chevelures de migrants barrées de plusieurs traits de peinture épais. “On a été confrontés à trois groupes de migrants qui présentaient des croix peintes sur le crâne et des blessures”, explique à InfoMigrants Peter Van Der Auweraert, responsable de l’Organisation internationale des migrations (OIM) en Bosnie. Au total, 18 hommes seuls se sont présentés dans différents centres pour migrants affublés de ces marques de peinture après avoir tenté, en vain, de pénétrer en Croatie, selon le représentant de cette organisation.

    Selon les migrants, ces croix sont une tactique d’humiliation de la part des forces de l’ordre croates. Crédit : DRSelon les migrants, ces croix sont une tactique d’humiliation de la part des forces de l’ordre croates. Crédit : DR
    “Il y a d’abord eu un groupe de neuf personnes, la tête peinte, qui sont venues au camp de Miral, dans la ville de Vledika Kladusa (nord de la Bosnie, NDLR) le 7 mai. Un second groupe de sept personnes présentant des caractéristiques similaires est ensuite arrivé le même jour au camp Lipa à Bihac (nord-ouest de la Bosnie, NDLR). Puis, le 8 mai, deux personnes supplémentaires sont également arrivées dans le même état à Bihac”, poursuit Peter Van Der Auweraert, qui précise que les personnes blessées ont depuis été soignées.

    Selon des sources citées par le journal The Guardian, un autre groupe de migrants – avec lequel était en contact l’ONG No Name Kitchen, active en Bosnie – avait déjà été repéré le 6 mai après avoir été refoulé à la frontière, dépouillé de leur téléphone ainsi que de leur argent, et aspergé de peinture orange.

    “Les migrants pensent qu’il s’agit de croix chrétiennes”
    La signification probable de ces actes apparaît sujette à interprétation. “Les migrants à qui cela est arrivé et que nous avons rencontrés pensent qu’il s’agit de croix chrétiennes. Ces migrants sont majoritairement musulmans et, selon eux, ces croix ont été peintes sur leur crâne pour les humilier”, explique Peter Van Der Auweraert, en ajoutant qu’il incombe désormais aux autorités croates de “mener des investigations pour vérifier ces allégations et saisir la justice si besoin”.

    Jack Sapoch, membre de l’ONG No Name Kitchen, cité dans les colonnes du Guardian, évoque quant à lui la possibilité que ces marquages servent à “repérer ceux qui ont tenté de traverser la frontière”. Une manière discutable, donc, de gérer le flux de personnes alors qu’environ 6 000 migrants sont actuellement bloqués en Bosnie dans l’espoir de réussir à passer en Croatie, et ainsi dans l’Union européenne.

    Longue série d’accusations contre la police croate
    Ces nouvelles allégations s’ajoutent en tout cas à une longue série d’accusations pesant déjà contre les forces de l’ordre croates alors que les migrants dénoncent régulièrement des violences systématiques à leur encontre. Depuis 2016, plusieurs ONG alertent sur des cas d’abus de la part des policiers, certains ayant engendré des fractures, aux frontières de la Croatie. La police croate renvoie par ailleurs ces candidats à l’exil sans même leur permettre de demander l’asile en Europe.

    “Nous recevons depuis assez longtemps des informations concernant des renvois illégaux, des problèmes de prises en compte de demandes d’asile, une utilisation excessive de la force, etc (…) nous sommes très inquiets”, affirme pour sa part Zoran Stevanovic, représentant du Haut-commissariat pour les réfugiés (HCR) pour l’Europe centrale. Il ajoute avoir eu vent de ces cas de migrants marqués à la bombe de peinture. “Une gestion effective des frontières n’est pas incompatible avec le respect des droits des demandeurs d’asile. Nous avons demandé au gouvernement croate d’enquêter sur toutes ces accusations de violences et d’abus.”

    https://diasporaenligne.net/racisme-croatie-la-police-accusee-de-violences-contre-les-migrants

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Croatie #Frontière #Violencespolicières

  • Info Park
    Weekly 6 – 12 May 2020

    Serbia
    ➢ Following the global trend of relaxing COVID-19 prevention measures, Serbian Parliament annulled the 53-days long state of emergency on May 6. The “New normal” came into force for citizens on May 7 following the publishing in the Official Gazette, however it does not applied for the refugee and migrant population in Serbia. They remained locked in 20 camps as, on the same day, Minister of Health Zlatibor Lončar passed the “Order on restriction of movement at access to open spaces, reception centers for migrants and asylum centers”. The order states that “the beneficiaries of reception and asylum centers for migrants shall be prohibited to leave
    the centers. Exceptionally and in justified cases (visit to doctor, etc.), the migrants shall be allowed to leave the ACs and RCs with special and time-limited approval of the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration”. Because of the measures, Serbian army corps (that kept the camps sealed during the state of emergency) withdrew, but
    the police forces including gendarmerie came in instead, keeping the centers locked.
    ➢ The above decision was universally and widely criticized by numerous NGOs & INGOs, both publicly and unofficially, accusing Serbian authorities of expanding the scope of migrants’ discrimination already severely present during the emergency
    state. Initiative A11 and Belgrade Center for Human Rights both submitted appeals to the Constitutional Court calling for the annulation of the decree and momentary unlock of the refugee and migrant population.
    ➢ For many observers, the extension of migrants’ centers lockdown came as the State’s attempt to prevent thousands who are expected to leave the centers in a bid to reach Belgrade or North-West borders as soon as possible, but also to prevent incidents with radicalized anti-migrant groups now openly and freely calling for violence.
    However, the situation in many camps was described as “peaceful but tense”. As of May 9, SCRM staff in some of the government-run shelters started letting those accommodated in them leave the premises with a special permission, however some first runaways are also noted, both individual and in smaller groups. Apart from
    that, Serbia’s RCs and ACs did not see much change following the relaxation of measures. Most of them remain overcrowded accommodating around 9,000 asylum seekers and other migrants, including 1,179 children (617 unaccompanied boys)
    under inadequate guardianship. During last week, Subotica RC was restored under the SCRM management and currently serves 209 single men, including those who are pushed back from the borders. The number of pushbacks from Hungary jumped to 48 for one-week time, ranging from 3 to 12 per day compared to previous weeks
    when there were no recorded attempts to cross the Hungarian border
    ➢ The culmination of migrant-scapegoating in Serbia occurred last week with an incident in Obrenovac RC when a local man broke into the camp with his car. During the outburst of ethnic hate and islamophobia, the perpetrator filmed himself live on You Tube in a manner of New Zealand mosque mass killer Brenton Tarrant. He was
    detained for 48 hours and released with a mild charge. An employee of the city Info Park Weekly 06-12 May 2020 3
    council, he is close to the ruling party, currently a member of an extremist movement “Levijatan”. He stated he was inspired by fake news coming from Facebook group called “Stop the settling of migrants” mostly posting fake or outdated news.
    Moreover, over the weekend, another extremist groups lead by “People’s patrols”
    protested in Belgrade downtown against migrant “invasion”, vaccination, and 5G
    network under the slogan “We won’t give away Serbia” (Ne damo Srbiju). Last but not least, other right wing groups lead by “Levijatan” are scheduled to hold an antimigrant rally at the gates of Obrenovac RC on Wednesday May 13. Numerous, nonrestricted extremists’ events in Serbia can only be understood as an acceleration of
    right-wing campaign for general elections set for June 21

    Croatia
    ➢ Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Croatian border police continued with illegal expulsion of asylum seekers from the Croatian territory. This well-coordinated practice reached new, unprecedented proportions last week. Namely, according to the latest testimonies and photos, the police have been humiliating people by physically marking them with an orange cross sprayed all over their heads.

    Greece
    ➢ Border Violence Monitoring Network, BVMN, has released firsthand testimony and photographic evidence indicating the existence of violent collective expulsions of migrants including robbery, beatings with the use of batons and tasers, and stripping of clothes. Within six weeks the network has collected reports of 194 people removed
    and pushed back into Turkey from the camp in Diavata and the Drama Paranesti preremoval detention center.
    ➢ The Greek government continued denying the claims coming from the German paper Der Spiegel according to which a Pakistani national had been shot dead, possibly by Greek soldiers, while attempting to cross from Turkey into Greece two months ago.

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Serbie #Croatie #Grèce #Déconfinement #Xénophobie #Refoulement #Violence #Expulsions

  • Peripheral borders, soft and hard re-bordering in Europe

    Joan Vicente Rufí, Yann Richard, Jaume Feliu et Matteo Berzi
    Editorial: Peripheral borders, soft and hard re-bordering in Europe [Texte intégral]

    Marta Zorko et Nikola Novak
    Deconstructing the discourse of divisions: mental boundaries in the divided city of #Vukovar

    Mykola Dobysh et Boris Yatsenko
    Borders, Constituency Politics, and “Our Man” Voting in Electoral Geography of Ukraine

    Martin Barthel
    Capricious pathways – a comparative analysis of local identity building in border regions. A case study of Polands Western and Eastern border

    Imre Nagy
    Cross-border cooperation on the external borders of the EU and the impact of the received EU CBC funds on AP #Vojvodina/Serbia

    Vladimir Kolosov
    Phantom borders: the role in territorial identity and the impact on society

    Christian Vandermotten
    Compte rendu : Trois ouvrages récents en langue française sur la thématique des frontières

    https://journals.openedition.org/belgeo/35120

    #frontières #frontières_extérieures #revue #Europe #EU #UE #frontières_européennes #frontières_mentales #frontières_urbaines #séparation #villes #urban_matter #géographie_urbaine #géographie_politique #Croatie #Ukraine #géographie_électorale #identité #Pologne #identité_territoriale #frontières_fantômes #Belgeo #coopération_transfrontalière

    ping @mobileborders @reka

  • La #Serbie envoie l’#armée à #Šid

    L’armée serbe est intervenue samedi soir à Šid, près de la frontière croate, pour contrôler à titre préventif trois centres d’accueil, #Adaševci, #Principovac et #Šid-Stanica, où se trouvent un peu moins 2000 réfugiés. Au cours de la nuit, 18 personnes ont été arrêtées et renvoyées vers les centres, a déclaré à la RTS le maire de Šid, Zoran Semenović. Le Président Aleksandar Vučić a ordonné le recours à une partie des forces armées afin d’aider le ministère de l’Intérieur à sécuriser les centres d’asile et d’accueil.

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Les-dernieres-infos-Refugies-Balkans-Bosnie-Herzegovine-un-nouvea
    #Sid #militarisation_des_frontières #route_des_balkans #Balkans #réfugiés #frontières #migrations #Croatie #sécurisation (sic) #sécurité #centres_d'accueil #Adasevci #Sid-Stanica #camps #camps_de_réfugiés

  • AYS Daily Digest 01/05/2020

    GREECE
    On 2 March 2020, the Greek government adopted an emergency legislative decree stripping persons arriving undocumented in the country of the right to seek asylum during that month. Recently, the NGO Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) has produced a report on the situation for refugees in Greece and what they experienced in March 2020. As a result of the Decree, individuals who entered Greece with the aim of seeking international protection in March 2020 were automatically and indiscriminately detained for the purpose of return and were denied access to the asylum procedure and a series of rights provided by national, European and international legislation. According to UNHCR statistics, 2,927 persons entered Greece via land and sea in the course of that month. These persons were automatically and arbitrarily placed in detention under abhorrent conditions and continue to remain in closed facilities without effective judicial protection, despite ultimately being allowed to express the intention to lodge an asylum application with the Asylum Service. In Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) Legal Report examines the administrative treatment and policy of detention applied to persons falling within the scope of the Decree, the conditions in which they have been detained and the response adopted thus far from the different fora approached by individuals in search of judicial redress at domestic and European level. Read More Here.
    On Friday, at least 50 asylum seekers were moved by the police from Diavata refugee camp in Thessaloniki on April 27. Their tents were destroyed. Some of them had already been in Greece for 10 months. All the asylum seekers are afraid of secret pushbacks to Turkey.

    A total of 60 new containers have been sent to Greece from Austria. They are bound mainly to the eastern Aegean Islands, especially Samos, were fires destroyed tents and containers earlier in the week. The containers are meant for housing and sanitary purposes. Another 120 are supposed to arrive within the next week.
    According to Refugee Support Aegean new sanitary containers arrived in Malakasa camp, but according to the residents they are still locked and cannot be used yet.

    A video has been published by Mare Liberum in which two women speak about their experiences and the dangers they are exposed to every day in Moria camp.

    CROATIA

    Croatian Police once again attacked people on the move on Friday in the BiH border town Velika Kladusa. This is the testimony of one of those attacked:
    “The police intercepted our group. After being seized from our phones and personal belongings, a member of the group, who was taller than the others, was ordered to sit down. They thought he was the leader of the group. One officer called another, who soon brought the police. The police dog was given the command to attack the sitting man. A friend was roaring with pain and fear. We stood motionless. One cop was recording the video and laughing loudly like the others. After that we had to take all our clothes off. We went barefoot without our clothes back to Bosnia and there was a car in Bosnia that read SOS Bihac and they gave us clothes.
    I will always ask myself, why are they doing this to us? “

    https://medium.com/are-you-syrious/ays-daily-digest-01-05-2020-maltas-government-has-been-involved-in-the-push-

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Grèce #Croatie #Diavata #Thessalonique #Détention #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Frontière #Velikakladusa #Violence

  • Pandemic as an excuse for violating refugees’ rights

    Inhumane practices towards refugees are also evident in neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina. Last week, refugees wrote an open letter (https://www.facebook.com/transbalkanskasolidarnost/photos/a.121803256103331/130375228579467/?type=3&theater) problematising conditions at the Miral refugee camp and the work of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The refugees’ letter states: “They do not give us enough food and if we want to buy food with our own money, they do not allow us to enter the camp with food, if they catch us, they take the food we have bought and put it in the water. People go to bed hungry every night."

    Criticism of the IOM’s work was also addressed by the Transbalkan Solidarity collective, launching the action “#Soaps_for_IOM” (https://transbalkanskasolidarnost.home.blog/sapuni-za-iom), which lasted from April 29th - 30th. This action consisted of sending a photo of the soap to the IOM to emphasise violence at refugees camps, inadequate food supply, worrying hygiene conditions and almost minimal health care. Transbalkan solidarity warned that the current pandemic has turned refugee camps into prisons, thereby completely restricting people’s freedom of movement.

    In Croatia, the Ombudsman (https://www.ombudsman.hr/hr/potrebno-zastititi-i-osobe-pod-medunarodnom-zastitom-trazitelje-zastite-i-) also spoke about the lack of political will to recognise the refugees’ vulnerability during the current pandemic, emphasising the importance of ensuring an adequate health care, conditions for self-isolation and means of respecting all measures to prevent the spread of the epidemic at the Reception centres where refugees are housed. She also noted that a large number of refugees who have been granted international protection face existential problems, given that they have lost their jobs and are unable to pay their rent.

    Reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa Dobrodosli, mail du 04.05.2020

    #route_des_balkans #IOM #OIM #Bosnie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #covid-19 #coronavirus #violence #camps_de_réfugiés #faim #alimentation #hygiène #liberté_de_mouvement #liberté_de_circulation #Croatie #travail #chômage #vulnérabilité

    ping @luciebacon @isskein

  • Migranti lungo la Rotta, quarantena permanente versione testuale

    A partire da marzo, mano a mano che il coronavirus dilagava per l’Europa, alcuni stati disposti lungo la dorsale balcanica hanno messo in atto provvedimenti che hanno interessato non solamente la popolazione locale, ma anche e soprattutto la popolazione migrante che vive all’interno dei centri di transito e per richiedenti asilo, allestiti e istituiti lungo la cosiddetta Rotta balcanica a partire dal 2016.
    Dopo il 2015, anno della “crisi dei rifugiati”, che ha visto arrivare in Unione europea quasi un milione di persone (di cui oltre 850 mila transitate dalla Grecia), a partire da marzo 2016 la Rotta balcanica è stata dichiarata ufficialmente chiusa, in base al controverso accordo turco-europeo, che prevede fondamentalmente che la Turchia – in cambio di 6 miliardi di euro versati dall’Ue e di un’accelerazione nelle trattative legate all’ingresso in Europa – gestisca i quasi 4 milioni di richiedenti asilo che si trovano nel suo territorio.
    Di fatto, però, quell’accordo (in realtà una dichiarazione congiunta tra le parti coinvolte) non ha fermato il flusso di persone on the move, ma lo ha solamente rallentato e reso più pericoloso; si calcola, in effetti, che tra il 2016 e il 2019 siano comunque passate circa 160 mila persone lungo questo corridoio migratorio.

    Confini incandescenti
    I paesi maggiormente interessati dalla presenza dei migranti in transito sono Grecia, Serbia e – a partire dal 2018 – Bosnia Erzegovina, diventata nella zona nord-occidentale il collo di bottiglia prima di entrare in Croazia e da lì nei Paesi Shengen, la meta cui maggiormente aspirano le persone, che provengono principalmente da Afghanistan, Pakistan, Siria, Iran e Iraq.
    Poco prima che la pandemia prendesse piede a livello globale, a partire da fine febbraio, la Rotta balcanica era tornata sui principali giornali e siti di notizie, perchè il presidente turco Recep Tayyp Erdo?an aveva annunciato di aver aperto i confini del paese ai migranti intenzionati a raggiungere l’Europa. Quella che sino a poco tempo prima sembrava solo una minaccia si è fatta realtà; nel giro di pochi giorni almeno 10 mila persone hanno raggiunto il confine terrestre tra Turchia e Grecia e hanno provato a sfondare i cordoni di sicurezza greci, trovando una risposta violenta, anche con il sostegno delle polizie e dei militari di altri governi europei.
    La situazione incandescente sul confine, che faceva immaginare uno scenario simile a quello del 2015, con migliaia di persone in transito lungo la rotta, si è però interrotta bruscamente con l’arrivo del virus e le misure di chiusura, limitazione di movimento e autoisolamento messe in atto in pratica da quasi tutti gli stati del mondo.
    Gli stati posti lungo la Rotta balcanica hanno non solo imposto misure restrittive alla popolazione locale, ma hanno chiuso la popolazione migrante all’interno dei campi, dispiegando forze speciali a controllarne i perimetri: nessuna nuova persona entra e nessuno esce, in una quarantena permanente.

    Prendono la strada dei boschi
    In Grecia si calcola una presenza di oltre 118 mila tra rifugiati e richiedenti asilo; circa 20 mila abitano nei 30 campi dislocati sul continente, molti vivono in appartamenti o shelter e oltre 38 mila sono bloccati nei campi ufficiali e informali sulle isole di Lesvos, Chios, Samos e Kos.
    In Serbia sono oltre 8.500 i richiedenti asilo e i migranti distribuiti nei 17 centri in gestione governativa all’interno del paese. Durante il mese di marzo polizia ed esercito locali hanno portato le persone che vivevano negli squat delle periferie di Belgrado e di Šid all’interno dei campi, che sono ora sovraffollati.
    Infine si calcola che in Bosnia Erzegovina ci siano circa 5.500 persone alloggiate in 9 campi per l’accoglienza, ma che almeno 2 mila vivano dormendo in edifici e fabbriche abbandonati o in tende e accampamenti di fortuna nei boschi lungo i confini con la Croazia. L’ampia presenza di persone che vivono fuori dai campi ufficiali ha fatto sì che il 17 aprile il consiglio dei ministri della Bosnia Erzegovina decidesse che ogni straniero che non ha un documento di identità valido e un indirizzo di residenza registrato presso l’ufficio stranieri del comune di competenza, verrà obbligatoriamente portato nei centri di ricezione, dove dovrà risiedere senza possibilità di uscire.
    Per questo motivo già dalle settimane precedenti, in località Lipa, cantone di Una Sana, territorio di Bihac, sono stati avviati di gran lena i lavori per mettere in piedi un nuovo centro temporaneo di transito. Il campo, costituito da ampi tendoni in cerata con letti a castello, container sanitari e toilette chimiche, è stato fortumente voluto dalla municipalità di Bihac per spostare dalle strade e da edifici diroccati le migliaia di persone che vagano tra le rovine senza cibo, acqua corrente, elettricità e vestiti. A partire dalla mattina del 21 aprile sono iniziati in maniera pacifica i trasporti dei migranti, scortati dalla polizia locale, al nuove centro in gestione all’Organizzazione mondiale dei migranti e al Danish Refugee Council. Al tempo stesso, decine di persone che non vogliono vivere nei centri e rimanere bloccate in quarantena a tempo indeterminato, hanno deciso di prendere la strada dei boschi e tentare di andare verso la Croazia o rimanere tra le foreste, in attesa che si allentino nei paesi europei le misure anti-Covid.
    Le preoccupazioni nutrite dalle diverse organizzazioni non governative e associazioni in tutti i contesti citati sono le medesime: i campi sono sovraffolati e non permettono di prevenire la diffusione del contagio, in molti centri i servizi igienici e i presidi sanitari sono insufficienti, in alcune realtà l’acqua non è potabile e fondamentalmente è impossibile mantenere le distanze. Le persone passano le giornate chiuse dentro strutture nella maggior parte dei casi fatiscenti, costrette a lunghe file per ricevere i pasti e sotto il controllo o della polizia e dell’esercito (come in Serbia e Grecia), che impediscono i tentativi di fuga dai campi, o delle imprese di sorveglianza private nei campi in Bosnia (campi gestiti da Iom, a differenza di Serbia e Grecia, dove sono in gestione governativa).
    Naturalmente, se già per la popolazione locale è difficile trovare mascherine usa e getta e guanti, per i migranti nei campi è pressochè impossibile, al punto che sia in Grecia che in Serbia, in alcuni dei centri i migranti hanno cominciato a cucire mascherine in stoffa, per la popolazione dei campi ma anche per la popolazione locale, supportati da alcune organizzazioni.
    In tutti i campi le organizzazioni che non si occupano di servizi primari, ma per esempio di interventi psico-sociali come Caritas, hanno dovuto sospendere o modificare le loro attività e instaurare una modalità di lavoro degli staff a rotazione, per preservare i propri operatori.

    Distanziamento impossibile
    Nonostante in Serbia e in Bosnia Erzegovina non siano stati ufficialmente accertati casi di persone positive al Covid19 tra i migranti nei centri, la stessa cosa non si può dire della Grecia, dove sono scoppiati almeno tre focolai, il primo a Ritsona, una ex base militare a 70 chilometri da Atene, che ospita oltre 3 mila persone, il secondo nel campo di Malakasa, dove è stato trovato un caso positivo tra gli oltre 1.600 residenti, il terzo nel sud della Grecia, a Kranidi, dove 150 su 497 persone di un ostello che ospita famiglie monogenitoriali sono risultate positive al test. In tutti i casi i campi sono stati posti in totale isolamento e quarantena per 14 giorni, e le persone non sono autorizzate a uscire dai loro container, stanze o tende. Per evitare che il fenomeno esploda soprattutto nei contesti come le isole, dove i campi sono sovraffolati e le condizioni di vita più miserevoli, il governo greco ha previsto lo spostamento di almeno 2.300 persone considerate più vulnerabili al virus sulla terraferma, in appartamenti, hotel e altri campi.
    In generale le reazioni dei migranti alle misure che sono state messe in atto sono state simili in tutti i luoghi. In primis vi è la sincera preoccupazione di ammalarsi nei campi; le persone sono consapevoli che igiene e misure di distanziamento sociale sono impossibili da tenere. Per fare un esempio, il Bira, un campo in Bosnia Erzegovina per uomini single e minori non accompagnati, che ha una capacità ufficiale di 1.500 persone, ne ospita più di 1.800 e nei container abitativi vivono non 6 persone, ma almeno il doppio. In luoghi così è impossibile fisicamente mettere in atto tutte le procedure necessarie a evitare il contagio.
    Altro punto che risulta particolarmente frustrante, soprattutto nei campi in Serbia e in Bosnia Erzegovina, è l’impossibilità di uscire fisicamente dai centri. Questo significa non poter esercitare nessuna libertà di movimento, non poter andare a comprare beni e cibo, magari non necessari per la sopravvivenza, ma di aiuto per resistere psicologicamente. Significa non poter andare a ritirare i soldi che i parenti mandano tramite Western Union e Money gram e ovviamente significa non poter tentare il game, il “gioco” di recarsi a piedi, da soli o guidati dai trafficanti, verso i confini, per cercare di valicarli.

    Gli interventi Caritas e Ipsia
    La frustrazione di rimanere bloccati a tempo indeterminato è molto alta; in molti dei campi sono scoppiate risse a volte anche molto violente, tra gli stessi migranti ma anche con le forze di polizia e di sicurezza preposte al controllo dei centri. Questi episodi, in Bosnia Erzegovina, sono avvenuti tra i minori non accompagnati del campo Bira, al Miral di Velika Kladuša, a Blažuj vicino a Sarajevo. Stesse dinamiche, con conseguente intervento pesante della security, a Krnja?a, Preševo e Adaševci in Serbia.
    Le organizzazioni impegnate nei centri per migranti potrebbero avere un importante ruolo di stress-relief (supporto in situazione di pressione psicologica) in un contesto di frustrazioni e violenze così diffuse, ma le organizzazioni che gestiscono i campi e i governi locali preferiscono una dimesione di chiusura quasi totale, senza capire che sarebbe importante prevenire la crescita di ulteriori tensioni.
    Caritas e Ipsia Acli, partner dei progetti lungo la rotta dei Balcani dal 2016, continuano – nella misura del possibile – le loro attività in Grecia, Serbia e Bosnia. Gli operatori locali sono portavoce e testimoni dei bisogni delle persone; anche se, a seguito dell’emergenza sanitaria, i ragazzi e le ragazze in Servizio civile all’estero hanno dovuto tornare in patria per non rimanere bloccati, e ciò ha tolto forze ed energie ai team locali, gli operatori sul terreno continuano il supporto alla popolazione migrante lungo la Rotta. Un piccolo apporto, in un mare di bisogni, ma il segno di un’attenzione e una prossimità che non devono essere cancellate dal virus.

    https://www.caritas.it/home_page/attivita_/00008790_Migranti_lungo_la_Rotta__quarantena_permanente.html

    #route_des_balkans #Balkans #Grèce #Croatie #campement #hébergement #camps #forêt #masques #distanciation_sociale #Grèce #Serbie #Bosnie #fermeture_des_frontières #frontières #coronavirus #covid-19 #Lipa #Bihac #OIM #IOM #Danish_Refugee_Council #Ritsona #Athènes #Malakasa #Kranidi #Bira #confinement #liberté_de_mouvement #Miral #Velika_Kladuša #Velika_Kladusa #Blažuj #Blazuj #Preševo #Adaševci #Krnja #Presevo #Adasevci

    ping @luciebacon

    • [Traduit par Chiara Lauvergnac, via Migreurop] 

      Migrants along the Route, permanent quarantine
      April 27, 2020
      Starting in March, as the coronavirus spread to Europe, some states located along the rear Balkan have implemented agreements that have affected not only the local population, but also and above all the migrant population living inside the transit and asylum seeker centers, set up and set up along the so-called Balkan route from 2016.
      After 2015, the year of the “refugee crisis”, which saw almost one million people arrive in the European Union (of which more than 850 thousand passed through Greece), starting from March 2016 the Balkan route was officially declared closed, on the basis of the controversial Turkish-European agreement, which basically provides that Turkey - in exchange for € 6 billion paid by the EU and an acceleration in negotiations related to entry into Europe - handles almost 4 million asylum seekers who we are in its territory.

      In fact, however, that agreement (actually a joint declaration between the parties involved) did not stop the flow of people on the move, but really slowed it down and made it more dangerous; it is estimated, in fact, that between 2016 and 2019 around 160 thousand people have passed through this migratory corridor.

      Red-hot borders

      The countries mainly affected by the presence of migrants in transit are Greece, Serbia and - starting from 2018 - Bosnia and Herzegovina, that became the bottleneck in the north-western area before entering Croatia and from there the Shengen countries, the destination which people aspire to, who are mainly from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iran and Iraq.

      Shortly before the pandemic took off globally, starting from the end of February, the Balkan Route had returned to the main newspapers and news sites, because Turkish President Recep Tayyp Erdogan announced he had opened the borders to migrants willing to reach Europe. What seemed only a threat became reality; within a few days at least 10,000 people reached the land border between Turkey and Greece and tried to push through the security cordons, finding a violent response, also with the support of the police and military personnel from other EU countries.
      The incandescent situation on the border, which showed a scenario similar to that of 2015, with thousands of people in transit along the route, however, was abruptly interrupted with the arrival of the virus and the measures of closure of movement and the self-isolation put into practice by almost all states of the world.
      The states located along the Balkan route have not only imposed restrictive measures on the local population, but have closed the migrant population inside the camps, deploying special forces to control their perimeters: no new person enters and no one excludes, in a permanent quarantine.
      They take the road in the woods

      In Greece there are an estimated 118,000 refugees and asylum seekers; about 20 thousand inhabitants in the 30 camps located on the continent, many residents in apartments or shelters and over 38 thousand are blocked in the official and informal camps on the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos and Kos.
      In Serbia there are over 8,500 asylum seekers and migrants distributed in the 17 government-run centers within the country. During the month of March the police and army brought the people who lived in the squat on the outskirts of Belgrade and Šid into the camps, which are now overcrowded.
      Finally, it is estimated that in Bosnia and Herzegovina there are about 5,500 people housed in 9 camps for reception, but that at least 2,000 live sleeping in abandoned buildings and factories or in makeshift tents and camps in the woods along the borders with Croatia. On April 17, the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina decided that every foreigner who does not have a valid identity document and a residence address registered at the foreign office of the municipality of competence, will be obligatorily taken to the reception centers, where he must reside without possibility to go out. For this reason, work has already started in the past weeks, in Lipa, in the canton of Una Sana, in the Bihac area, to set up a new temporary transit centre. The camp, consisting of large tents with bunk beds, sanitary containers and chemical toilets, was fortuitously desired by the municipality of Bihac to move the thousands of people who wander through streets and ruined buildings without food, running water, electricity and clothes. Transportation of migrants, escorted by local police, to the new centre managed by the the World Organization for Migrants and the Danish Refugee Council began peacefully from the morning of April 21. At the same time, dozens of people who do not want to live in the centres and remain stuck in quarantine indefinitely, have decided to take the road through the woods and try to go to Croatia or stay in the forests, waiting for anti-Covid measures to loosen in the various countries.
      The concerns raised by the various non-governmental organizations and associations in all the contexts mentioned are the same: thecamps are overcrowded and do not allow to prevent the spread of the infection, in many centers the toilets and health facilities are insufficient, in some situations the water is not drinkable and basically it is impossible to keep your distance. People spend their days locked in structures in most cases dilapidated, forced to wait in long lines to receive meals and under the control of the police and the army (as in Serbia and Greece), which prevent attempts to flee the camps, or private surveillance companies in the camps in Bosnia ( managed by IOM, unlike Serbia and Greece, where they are under government management).
      Of course, if it is already difficult for the local population to find disposable masks and gloves, for migrants in the camps it is almost impossible, to the point that both in Greece and Serbia, in some of the centers the migrants have begun to sew masks in cloth , for the population of the campss but also for the local population, supported by some organizations.
      In all camps, organizations that do not deal with primary services, but for example with psycho-social interventions such as IPSIA/Caritas, have had to suspend or modify their activities and establish a rotating staff working mode, to preserve their operators.
      Impossible distancing

      Although cases of positive Covid19 people among migrants in the centers have not been officially recognized in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the same cannot be said of Greece, where at least three outbreaks have erupted, the first in Ritsona, a former military base 70 kilometers from Athens, which houses over 3,000 people, the second in the Malakasa camp, where a positive case was found among the more than 1,600 residents, the third in southern Greece, in Kranidi, where 150 out of 497 people from a hostel hosting single parent families tested positive. In all cases the camps were placed in total isolation and quarantined for 14 days, and people are not allowed to leave their containers, rooms or tents. To prevent the phenomenon from exploding especially in contexts such as the islands, where the camps are overcrowded and the living conditions most miserable, the Greek government has disposed the movement of at least 2,300 people considered most vulnerable to the virus on the mainland, in apartments, hotels and other camps.
      In general, the reactions of migrants to the measures that have been put in place have been similar in all places. First of all, there is the sincere concern of getting sick in the camps; people are aware that hygiene and social distancing measures are impossible to maintain. For example, the Bira, a camp in Bosnia and Herzegovina for single men and unaccompanied minors, which has an official capacity of 1,500 people, is home to more than 1,800 and not just 6 people live in one container, but at least twice as many. In places like this it is physically impossible to put in place all the necessary procedures to avoid contagion.
      Another point that is particularly frustrating, especially in the camps in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, is the impossibility of physically leaving the centers. This means not being able to exercise any freedom of movement, not being able to go and buy goods and food, perhaps not necessary for survival, but of help to resist psychologically. It means not being able to go and collect the money that relatives send via Western Union and Money gram and obviously means not being able to try the game, the “game” to go on foot, alone or guided by traffickers, to the borders, to try to cross them.
      .
      The Caritas and Ipsia interventions

      The frustration of getting stuck indefinitely is very high; in many of the camps brawls sometimes even very violent broke out, among the migrants themselves but also with the police and security forces in charge of the control of the centers. These incidents in Bosnia and Herzegovina occurred among unaccompanied minors from the Bira camp, in Velika Kladuša’s Miral, in Blažuj near Sarajevo. Same dynamics, with consequent heavy security intervention, in Krnja? A, Preševo ​​and Adaševci in Serbia.
      Organizations engaged in migrant centers may have an important stress-relief role (support in situations of psychological pressure) in a context of such widespread frustrations and violence, but the organizations that manage the camps and local governments prefer an almost closed closure total, without understanding that it would be important to prevent the growth of further tensions.
      Caritas and Ipsia Acli, partners of projects along the Balkan route since 2016, continue - as far as possible - their activities in Greece, Serbia and Bosnia. Local operators are spokespersons and witnesses to people’s needs; even though, following the health emergency, the young men and women in the Civil Service abroad had to return to their homeland in order not to get stuck, and this took away local forces and energies. The operators on the ground continue to support the migrant population along the Route. A small contribution, in a sea of ​​needs, but the sign of attention and proximity that must not be erased by the virus.

      Silvia Maraone

      Caritas Italiana - Migranti lungo la Rotta, quarantena permanente

  • AYS Daily Digest 17/04/20

    GREECE
    An article has been published in the German newspaper DER SPIEGEL that gives insight into the Greek government’s plans to handle an outbreak of COVID-19 in the camps on the mainland and the islands. The plan is called Agnodike and comprises three levels:
    1. Preventive measures: Lockdown and partial curfew, controlled by police. A special area will be assigned in which new arrivals can be tested and cases of infection can be isolated.
    2. First cases inside the camp: complete curfew. NGOs are only allowed in with special permission. Health stations will be erected with space for 30 people.
    3. The virus spreads, evacuation: complete separation of healthy and infected people. The smaller of the two groups will be evacuated and accommodated in hotels, ships or gyms.

    A total of 2,300 most vulnerable people will be transferred from the islands to the mainland. These people are above 60 years of age or have chronic diseases. They will be transferred together with their families. The transfers are supposed to take place after the Orthodox Easter celebrations on April 19th. The people will be housed in camps, apartments, and hotels.

    The Moria Corona Awarness Team and the Moria White Helmets, two volunteer refugee groups, wrote a dramatic appeal to the European Union.
    “While Corona spread in Greece and here in Lesvos, we expected the worst, because this virus in the camp would be like a death sentence for old, sick and other vulnerable individuals”

    Three groups of people are still camping rough on the northern coast of Lesvos, without any substantial aid or support. They have been there for some 25 days now. The people told Mare Liberum: “different people tell us different things, and that changes day by day”. Apparently it is clear now that they will stay on the island and will eventually be able to apply for asylum. The local authorities are apparently fighting about who should take care of them. According to a new law, the communes in which the people are should take care of them, but they seem to be lacking the political will.

    IOM is proud to present a video of the distribution of food baskets and hygiene kits in the Malakasa camp in central Greece. The camp is run by IOM and hosts 1,600 people, including 620 children. The camp has been under quarantine since April 5th. If people have been without hygiene kits since that time, there is nothing to be proud of. “Immediate response” to a contagious disease for people who are not allowed to leave a facility and take care for themselves should not take almost two weeks.

    The journalist Mortaza Behboudi, who is an indispensable source on the ground who covers the living conditions in Moria for the French /German TV channel ARTE, has been attacked and exposed to threats of physical violence on Twitter by the Greek right wing politician Thanos Tzimeros. Reporters without borders is concerned about Mortaza’s security and calls on the politician to refrain from smearing journalists.

    Movement on the Ground donated 8,000 pieces of essential soap to the Vathy camp management on Samos. About 6,900 people live in and around the camp. The soap was distributed to all of them during the week.

    Recognized refugees in Greece face big challenges after their asylum process is completed. The UNHCR ESTIA program (Emergency Support to Integration and Accomodation) is not designed for recognized refugees. Since it is very difficult for them to find a job or receive state benefits, many of them become homeless. This is especially problematic for families, as homeless shelters do not accept them at all.

    The US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt announced that US will support Greece with 500,000 $ to support COVID-19 response efforts for migrants and refugees.
    This February 2020 Factsheet from UNHR gives a good overview on what UNHCR is doing in Greece.

    About 50 minors who are being transferred to Germany from the Greek islands will arrive in Germany today, on April 18th. We falsely reported that they had already arrived yesterday.

    CROATIA
    Violent push-backs from Croatia to Bosnia continue in the time of the pandemic, as No Name Kitchen reports:
    “Over the last several weeks, we have continued to receive reports and news updates of the violent push-back of people-on-the-move by Croatian authorities to the borderlands surrounding Velika Kladusa, Bosnia (the men in the pictures above experienced this brutality within the last week). These testimonies of violence include stories of individuals being beaten with batons, thrown into cold rivers, and having their clothing stolen.”

    BH
    The Red Cross in Bihac and the Civil Protection Headquarters of Bosnia’s Federation have set up a new camp, consisting of 50 tents with 200 beds in total. The camp is supposed to accommodate the people on the move who are currently in the northwestern Una-Sana Canton.
    About 7,000 people are currently stranded in the Bihac region. About 3,300 are accommodated in closed camps, the rest live in abandoned buildings and shelters. During the corona pandemic resentment against the people is rising; at the same time their life is getting even harder, as they are not allowed to use public transport, cannot be seen in groups, some shops won’t let them in to buy groceries and the police gets more violent towards them every day.

    #Covid-19 #Migration #Migrant #Balkans #Grèce #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Croatie #Confinement #Isolation #Couvrefeu #Transfert #Grècecontinentale #Hotel #Bateau #Gymnase #Lesbos #Malakasa #Quarantaine #Allemagne #mineursnonaccompagnés #Enfants #Bihac #Unasanacanton

    https://medium.com/are-you-syrious/ays-daily-digest-17-04-20-at-least-some-of-the-people-who-have-been-rescued-