• Επαναπροωθούν πρόσφυγες στα νησιά με ειδικές θαλάσσιες σκηνές

    Η « Εφ.Συν. » φέρνει στη δημοσιότητα βέβαιες, καταγεγραμμένες περιπτώσεις παράνομων επαναπροωθήσεων προσφύγων από θαλάσσης προς την Τουρκία από το Λιμενικό, με ειδική μάλιστα διαδικασία : αφού εντοπίζονται στη στεριά, τοποθετούνται σε σχεδίες που μοιάζουν με πλωτές σκηνές και αφήνονται μεσοπέλαγα στα τουρκικά ύδατα για να τους « ξεβράσει » το κύμα προς την ακτή.

    Πυκνώνουν τα περιστατικά παράνομων επαναπροωθήσεων προσφύγων και μεταναστών από τα νησιά στην Τουρκία, την ώρα που καταγράφεται μια διαστροφική ποιοτική αναβάθμιση των μεθόδων που χρησιμοποιούνται και οι οποίες εκθέτουν σε κίνδυνο για τη ζωή τους δεκάδες ανθρώπους.

    Η « Εφ.Συν. » κατάφερε να ταυτοποιήσει συγκεκριμένα πρόσωπα προσφύγων και φέρνει σήμερα για πρώτη φορά στη δημοσιότητα αποκαλυπτικά ντοκουμέντα, που όχι μόνο αποδεικνύουν τις επαναπροωθήσεις, αλλά δείχνουν ότι αυτές υλοποιούνται πλέον με ειδικές ναυαγοσωστικές σχεδίες, οι οποίες μοιάζουν με σκηνές πάνω στη θάλασσα.

    Οπως διαπιστώνεται, οι αρχές και κυρίως το Λιμενικό, αφού εντοπίσουν τους πρόσφυγες είτε στη στεριά σε κάποια απόκρημνη ακτή είτε μεσοπέλαγα, τους επιβιβάζουν σε αυτές τις ναυαγοσωστικές σχεδίες, τα επονομαζόμενα liferafts, και στη συνέχεια τους αφήνουν εντός τουρκικών χωρικών υδάτων, ώστε να παρασυρθούν από τα κύματα μέχρι να εντοπιστούν από σκάφη της τουρκικής ακτοφυλακής.

    Από τη Σάμο, πίσω

    Στη Σάμο, την 1η Απριλίου αυτόπτες μάρτυρες στις οχτώ το πρωί διαπίστωσαν την αποβίβαση μιας βάρκας με αρκετά άτομα στην παραλία Μουρτιά στην ανατολική πλευρά του νησιού. Το περιστατικό κάλυψε ο διαχειριστής της τοπικής ιστοσελίδας aegaio.blogspot.com Ιωάννης Νέγρης, ενώ ένας ακόμη κάτοικος της περιοχής ήταν παρών. Οι μετανάστες βγήκαν στην ακτή, έσκισαν τη βάρκα τους, έβγαλαν μερικές φωτογραφίες « και άρχισαν να κινούνται προς την πόλη, αφού καμία αρχή δεν ήταν στο συμβάν », σημειώνει ο κ. Νέγρης, που διαθέτει και το ανάλογο φωτογραφικό υλικό.

    Οπως περιγράφει, ο ίδιος επικοινώνησε με το λιμεναρχείο και έμαθε ότι ήδη είχε ξεκινήσει ένα πλωτό για να τους παραλάβει.

    « Από εδώ και πέρα ξεκινούν τα περίεργα », σημειώνει και περιγράφει το πώς στη συνέχεια οι άνθρωποι αυτοί « εξαφανίστηκαν » ! « Γύρω στις 12 το μεσημέρι, δέχομαι τηλέφωνο από αστυνομικό που μου λέει « μάθαμε ότι βγήκαν μετανάστες, μας ενημέρωσε η Υπατη Αρμοστεία, αλλά δεν τους βρίσκουμε.

    Μήπως επειδή είναι Ψευταπριλιά μάς κάνουν πλάκα ; ». Του απαντώ αρνητικά και κλείνει το τηλέφωνο », υποστηρίζει ο κ. Νέγρης. Στη συνέχεια γύρω στις 2.10 το μεσημέρι της ίδιας ημέρας, έμαθε τελικά ότι οι πρόσφυγες, τον αριθμό των οποίων υπολογίζει σε περίπου 25, παρελήφθησαν από ένα φουσκωτό που έφυγε προς άγνωστη κατεύθυνση.

    Σύμφωνα με αυτόπτη μάρτυρα που εντόπισε ο κ. Νέγρης, το φουσκωτό κατευθύνθηκε πίσω από ένα βουνό στην άκρη του κόλπου και μετά χάθηκε. Στη συνέχεια, ο ίδιος επικοινώνησε με το νοσοκομείο και συγκεκριμένα με τον διοικητή του, ο οποίος δήλωσε ενήμερος για το περιστατικό. Ωστόσο από το λιμεναρχείο τον διαβεβαίωσαν ότι αυτοί οι μετανάστες δεν υπάρχουν και ότι κανένα τέτοιο περιστατικό δεν έχει καταγραφεί !

    Το φωτογραφικό υλικό όμως που έδωσε στη δημοσιότητα ο κ. Νέγρης, όπως και ακόμα μία κάτοικος, πιστοποιεί όχι μόνο την άφιξη αλλά και την ταυτοπροσωπία ορισμένων εξ αυτών, που διακρίνονται σε ανάλογο υλικό το οποίο δημοσιοποίησε την επόμενη ημέρα η ακτοφυλακή της Τουρκίας. Φωτογραφίες τόσο από την περισυλλογή των προσφύγων μέσα από τη θάλασσα, επιβαινόντων πλέον σε liferaft, όσο και μέσα από την ακταιωρό που μετέφερε τους ναυαγούς !

    Συγκεκριμένα παρατηρούμε και στις δύο φωτογραφίες πρόσφυγες να κρατούν τα ίδια αντικείμενα (χαρακτηριστική η κόκκινη βαλίτσα της φωτογραφίας), να φορούν τα ίδια ρούχα, όπως η κόκκινη φόρμα παντελόνι που φοράει ο ένας, το τζιν μήκους ⅔ που διακρίνεται να φορά μια κοπέλα αφρικανικής καταγωγής και πολλά ακόμη στοιχεία, όπως παπούτσια κ.ά.! Στοιχεία που οδηγούν στο ασφαλές συμπέρασμα ότι οι ίδιοι άνθρωποι, που αποβιβάστηκαν το πρωί της 1ης Απριλίου στη Μουρτιά της Σάμου, φωτογραφήθηκαν σε σκάφος του λιμενικού της Τουρκίας την επόμενη ημέρα. Οπως αποδεικνύεται, η περίπτωση της Σάμου δεν είναι και η μοναδική, ούτε κάτι που συνέβη ευκαιριακά με πρωτοβουλία κάποιου χαμηλόβαθμου αξιωματικού που ενδεχομένως εκμεταλλεύτηκε τη συγκυρία.
    Μαρτυρίες και για Χίο

    Ενδεικτική είναι η μαρτυρία για ένα ύποπτο περιστατικό που σημειώθηκε στη Χίο στις 23 Μαρτίου. Εκεί αρχικά έγινε γνωστό ότι στην περιοχή των Καρδαμύλων κατέφτασε βάρκα με 40 πρόσφυγες, γεγονός που κατέγραψε ο τοπικός Τύπος και επιβεβαίωσε το λιμεναρχείο. Στη συνέχεια όμως από το λιμεναρχείο υποστήριζαν ότι οι συγκεκριμένοι είχαν φύγει από τη ΒΙΑΛ και πήγαν στα Καρδάμυλα, σκηνοθετώντας -υποτίθεται- την αποβίβασή τους με σκοπό να ξεγελάσουν τις αρχές και να ενταχθούν στους νεοεισερχόμενους μετά την 1η Μαρτίου, ώστε να καταφέρουν να αποχωρήσουν αμέσως για κάποια κλειστή δομή στην ηπειρωτική χώρα.

    Σύμφωνα όμως με μαρτυρία ενός πρόσφυγα που διαμένει στη ΒΙΑΛ, ανάμεσα σε αυτούς στα Καρδάμυλα ήταν και ο αδελφός του, ο οποίος ενημέρωσε για την άφιξή του στέλνοντας φωτογραφίες. Ο τελευταίος αμέσως ειδοποίησε τουλάχιστον δύο αλληλέγγυους, στους οποίους προώθησε και τη φωτογραφία με την παραλία. Η μία εκ των αλληλέγγυων στη συνέχεια μαζί με τον πρόσφυγα από τη ΒΙΑΛ έφτασε στα Καρδάμυλα, εκεί όπου η αστυνομία τούς απαγόρευσε την προσέγγιση στην παραλία.

    « Στη συνέχεια δεν υπήρξε καμία επικοινωνία και την επόμενη ημέρα ο νεοεισερχόμενος έστειλε από κινητό τρίτου ατόμου μήνυμα ότι είχε μεταφερθεί στο Τσεσμέ και από τότε αγνοούνται τα ίχνη του », δήλωσε στην « Εφ.Συν. » μέλος της ομάδας αλληλεγγύης. Οπως έγινε γνωστό, ο πρόσφυγας κατέληξε σε φυλακή της Τουρκίας, ενώ το κινητό του έχει κατασχεθεί από το Λιμεναρχείο Χίου. Ανάλογο περιστατικό σημειώθηκε και στα Γρίδια κοντά στον οικισμό των Νενήτων στη Χίο, όπου ομάδα προσφύγων κατέφτασε στην ακτή και ντόπιοι φωτογράφισαν την άφιξή της.

    Πάλι όμως το λιμεναρχείο ισχυρίστηκε ότι επρόκειτο για προσπάθεια σκηνοθετημένης άφιξης. Ωστόσο η ακτοφυλακή της Τουρκίας την επομένη, 26/3, έδωσε στη δημοσιότητα φωτογραφίες από τη διάσωση 21 ανθρώπων έξω από το Τσεσμέ, πάλι σε liferaft, μεταξύ τους 12 παιδιά και πέντε γυναίκες. Οπως μάλιστα έγινε γνωστό, στο liferaft όπου είχαν στριμωχτεί, υπήρχε δεμένο και ένα μικρό φουσκωτό σκάφος όπου είχαν στοιβάξει τις αποσκευές τους.
    Εν κρυπτώ

    Αξίζει να αναφερθεί ότι το Λιμεναρχείο Χίου ουδέποτε έδωσε στη δημοσιότητα κάποια σύλληψη για την υποτιθέμενη μεταφορά των προσφύγων από τη ΒΙΑΛ στα Καρδάμυλα (απόσταση 40 και πλέον χιλιομέτρων), ενώ και στο δεύτερο περιστατικό που συνέβη την πρώτη μέρα περιορισμού της κυκλοφορίας, θεωρείται απίθανο να μην τους αντιλήφθηκε κάποιος κατά τη διαφυγή τους από τη ΒΙΑΛ και την πορεία τους περίπου 10 χιλιόμετρα μέχρι την ακτή, όπου εντοπίστηκαν από ντόπιους. Να σημειωθεί ότι υπάρχουν και άλλες παραλίες σαφώς πιο κοντά στη ΒΙΑΛ που θα μπορούσαν να επιλέξουν οι πρόσφυγες, αν όντως ήθελαν να σκηνοθετήσουν την άφιξή τους.

    Συνολικά εννέα περιπτώσεις διάσωσης προσφύγων σε liferaft έχει δώσει στη δημοσιότητα το λιμενικό της γειτονικής χώρας, με πρόσφυγες που βρέθηκαν να πλέουν χωρίς καμία δυνατότητα ελέγχου της πορείας τους, μια και αυτές οι φουσκωτές σχεδίες στερούνται μηχανή ή όποιο άλλο προωθητικό μέσο ή και πηδάλιο.

    Πρόκειται για περιπτώσεις όπου σκάφη της ακτοφυλακής της Τουρκίας μαζεύουν ναυαγούς από liferaft σε ακτογραμμή μήκους 170 ν.μ. Και συγκεκριμένα από το Δικελί ανατολικά της Λέσβου έως και την πόλη Ντάτσα (Datça) βόρεια της Σύμης, εκεί όπου τα περιστατικά διάσωσης προσφύγων σε liferaft είναι πυκνά. Το πρώτο καταγράφηκε στις 23 Μαρτίου, όταν η τουρκική ακτοφυλακή στις 5.25 μ.μ. μάζεψε από liferaft συνολικά 31 άτομα, που δήλωσαν ότι το πρωί της ίδιας ημέρας είχαν αποβιβαστεί στη Σύμη. Το δεύτερο στη Σύμη και τρίτο χρονικά σημειώθηκε στις 27/3, σχεδόν μία ώρα μετά τα μεσάνυχτα, με τον ίδιο τρόπο, με 10 διασωθέντες.

    Επαναλήφθηκε τέταρτη φορά στις 29/3 και ώρα 23.40 πάλι στην Datça με 18 άτομα. Το πέμπτο καταγεγραμμένο περιστατικό σημειώθηκε στην πόλη Didim της δυτικής Τουρκίας απέναντι από το Φαρμακονήσι, με την τουρκική ακτοφυλακή να διασώζει από liferaft εννέα πρόσφυγες.

    Το έκτο και το έβδομο περιστατικό σημειώθηκαν έξω από το Δικελί, απέναντι από τη Λέσβο, στις 31 Μαρτίου όπου μέσα σε λίγα λεπτά στις 01.21 και 01.38 περισυνελέγησαν συνολικά 39 άνθρωποι. Το όγδοο ήταν αυτό της Σάμου την 1η Απριλίου, όπου οι πρόσφυγες μεταφέρθηκαν στο Αϊδίνι της Τουρκίας, ενώ το ένατο και πιο πρόσφατο σημειώθηκε στις 4 Απριλίου με τον εντοπισμό ενός liferaft με 15 άτομα έξω από το Αϊβαλί. Τα στοιχεία για τους αριθμούς των διασωθέντων, για την τοποθεσία και την ώρα προέρχονται από τη ΜΚΟ Aegean Boat Report, ενώ οι φωτογραφίες από το τουρκικό λιμενικό.

    https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/koinonia/238226_epanaproothoyn-prosfyges-sta-nisia-me-eidikes-thalassies-skines

    –------

    –-> Commentaire de Vicky Skoumbi, reçu via mail, le 08.04.2020 :

    Absolument terrifiant : une nouvelle méthode de refoulement maritime extrêmement dangereuse est pratiquée au moins depuis le 23 mars par les garde-côtes grecs

    Plusieurs cas de refoulement maritime de réfugiés par une méthode extrêmement dangereuse : ils sont renvoyés vers la Turquie sur des canots de sauvetage gonflables dits #liferaft.

    Le Journal de Rédacteurs révèle des refoulements maritimes illégaux de réfugiés vers la Turquie par les garde-côtes, avec une procédure spéciale : une fois repérés à l’endroit où ils ont débarqués, les réfugiés sont placés sur des radeaux de survie qui ressemblent à des tentes flottantes et sont laissés à la dérive dans les eaux turques afin de le courant les emporte vers la côte turque.

    Cette méthode employée déjà pour repousser des dizaines de personnes est non seulement illégal mais extrêmement dangereuse : dans la mesure où ces radeaux de sauvetage n’ont ni machine ni gouvernail ils dérivent hors contrôle et mettent en danger la vie de ceux qui s’y trouvent.

    Le reportage photographique de Efimerida tôn Syntaktôn permet identifier des visages spécifiques des réfugiés en train de débarquer ; les mêmes visages se retrouvent sur les radeaux de sauvetage spéciaux, qui ressemblent à des tentes, ces liferafts à la dérive.

    Il s’avère que les autorités, et en particulier les garde-côtes, après avoir localisé les réfugiés sur terre, soit sur une ligne côtière escarpée soit au milieu de la mer, les obligent de monter à bord de ces radeaux de sauvetage, ces soi-disant radeaux de sauvetage, puis les laissent dans les eaux territoriales turques, afin qu’ils soient emportés par les vagues jusqu’à ce que les navires des garde-côtes turcs les repèrent.

    Les mêmes personnes, avec des vêtements et des objets caractéristiques, apparaissent sur des photos prises le 1er avril à Samos et le lendemain sur un bateau de la garde côte turque.

    Au total, neuf cas de sauvetage de réfugiés sur des liferafts ont été rendus publics par les garde-côtes turques, les réfugiés naviguant sans aucune possibilité de contrôler leur trajectoire, car ces radeaux gonflables ne sont dotés ni de machine, ni d’autre moyen de propulsion, ni de gouvernail.

    Les données sur le nombre de personnes secourues, l’emplacement et l’heure proviennent de l’ONG Aegean Boat Report, tandis que les photos de garde-côtes turcs. Pour voir le reportage photo Efimerida tôn Syntaktôn (https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/koinonia/238226_epanaproothoyn-prosfyges-sta-nisia-me-eidikes-thalassies-skines)

    Voir aussi la page FB de Aegean Boat Report :
    https://www.facebook.com/AegeanBoatReport/posts/805700453286394?__tn__=-R

    #migrations #asile #réfugiés #refoulement #push-back #refoulements #push-backs #Mer_Egée #Grèce #Turquie #frontières #life_raft #liferafts #life_rafts #orange

    ping @luciebacon @isskein @karine4

  • Privatized Pushbacks: How Merchant Ships Guard Europe

    To hinder migrants crossing the Mediterranean, European navies stopped rescuing them. Now commercial ships are tasked with saving lives — and returning migrants to war-torn Libya.

    The #Panther, a German-owned merchant ship, is not in the business of sea rescues. But one day a few months ago the Libyan Coast Guard ordered it to divert course, rescue 68 migrants in distress in the Mediterranean and return them to Libya, which is embroiled in civil war.

    The request, which the Panther was required to honor, was at least the third time that day, Jan. 11, that the Libyans had called on a merchant ship to assist migrants.

    The Libyans could easily have alerted a nearby rescue ship run by a Spanish charity. The reason they did not goes to the core of how the European authorities have found a new way to thwart desperate African migrants trying to reach their shores from across the Mediterranean.

    And some maritime lawyers think the new tactic is unlawful.

    Commercial ships like the Panther must follow instructions from official forces, like the Libyan Coast Guard, which works in close cooperation with its Italian counterpart.

    Humanitarian rescue ships, on the other hand, take the migrants to Europe, citing international refugee law, which forbids returning refugees to danger.

    After the Panther arrived in Tripoli, Libyan soldiers boarded, forced the migrants ashore at gunpoint, and drove them to a detention camp in the besieged Libyan capital.

    “We call them privatized pushbacks,” said Charles Heller, the director of Forensic Oceanography, a research group that investigates migrant rights abuses in the Mediterranean. “They occur when merchant ships are used to rescue and bring back migrants to a country in which their lives are at risk — such as Libya.”

    The coronavirus crisis has made arguments about Mediterranean migration policy seem peripheral to the European moment, as governments focus on restricting not just external migration, but also the internal movement of their own citizens.

    But long before the pandemic hit, European leaders were mainly consumed by preventing Mediterranean migration, hoping to avoid a repeat of the 2015 migration crisis. And that approach remains topical, with hundreds of migrants crossing the Mediterranean already this week, either oblivious to or unconcerned by the coronavirus outbreak.

    Since the 2015 crisis, European governments have frequently stopped the nongovernmental rescue organizations that patrol the southern Mediterranean — like the Spanish ship, Open Arms — from taking rescued migrants to European ports.

    European navies and coast guards have also largely withdrawn from the area, placing the Libyan Coast Guard in charge of search-and-rescue.

    Now Europe has a new proxy: privately-owned commercial ships. And their deployment is contested by migrant rights watchdogs.

    Although a 1979 international convention on search and rescue requires merchant ships to obey orders from a country’s Coast Guard forces, the agreement also does not permit those forces to pick and choose who helps during emergencies, as Libya’s did.

    “That’s a blatantly illegal policy,” said Dr. Itamar Mann, an expert on maritime law at the University of Haifa in Israel.

    But commercial shipowners say that after saving migrants from drowning, their legal duty is to do as they are told by the Libyan Coast Guard, as decreed by a separate convention on search-and-rescue signed in 1979.

    “This is in accordance with international law,” said John Stawpert, a representative for the International Chamber of Shipping, a global shipowners’ association.

    Between 2011 and 2018, only one commercial ship returned migrants to Libya, according to research by Forensic Oceanography.

    Since 2018 there have been about 30 such returns, involving roughly 1,800 migrants, in which merchant ships have either returned migrants to Libyan ports or transferred them to Libyan Coast Guard vessels, according to data collated by The New York Times and Forensic Oceanography.

    The real number is likely to be higher.

    During the height of the crisis, ships like the Panther would have transferred rescued migrants to the Italian Coast Guard or humanitarian organizations.

    But in 2017, Italy gradually relinquished responsibility for search-and-rescue coordination in the southern Mediterranean to the Libyan Coast Guard, neatly absolving Italy of the legal obligation to rescue and admit every migrant entering international waters north of Libya.

    The next year, merchant ship crews began to return migrants to the Libyan authorities, which had been persuaded to take on the role by the promise of more equipment and international legitimacy.

    The Panther ordinarily supplies a cluster of oil rigs roughly 50 miles north of Libya. On Jan. 11, the Libyan Coast Guard engaged the Panther instead of the Open Arms because only the Panther’s owner had agreed to abide by a restrictive set of regulations drawn up by the Libyan Coast Guard.

    “All the ships who work in search-and-rescue have to follow this code of conduct,” Commodore Masoud Abdal Samad, the Libyan Coast Guard commander, said by telephone.

    Consequently, only the Panther was considered an “acceptable” rescue vessel on Jan. 11, he added.

    The pattern of using commercial ships has increased in recent months, said Anabel Montes Mier, the head of mission aboard the Open Arms that day.

    “These commercial ships follow the orders,” Ms. Montes Mier said. “We refuse to return people to places that are unsafe.”

    Rights groups fear Libya’s refusal to work with humanitarian rescuers has put more migrant lives in danger at sea.

    The number of people reaching Italy has dropped by more than 90 percent since 2017, while the death-toll in the southern Mediterranean has roughly halved in the same period.

    But the number of people drowning, as a proportion of those trying to cross, has sharply risen — from roughly 1 in 50 in 2017, to 1 in 20 in 2019, according to data compiled by the International Organization for Migration.

    The forcible return of the migrants, a practice known as refoulement, has also put many of them in lethal danger on land, because of Libya’s civil war.

    In February, an airstrike hit the dock used by the Panther to disembark migrants in Tripoli. Once ashore, migrants are imprisoned in detention camps run by an assortment of militias. Often, these lie in areas under attack. Last July, one camp was bombed, killing 53 prisoners.

    In a lawless land that provides few rights to foreign laborers, migrants are often tortured, raped, held for ransom, or treated as modern-day slaves.

    Steven, a 20-year-old from South Sudan, described being shot and beaten by Libyan officials after he was returned to Libya by a commercial ship in November 2018.

    “Why did they rescue us and take us back to Libya?” said Steven, who asked to be identified only by his first name for fear of legal repercussions. “It was better to die in the ship.”

    The question of culpability is complex.

    Since 1951, international refugee law has stipulated that migrants should not be returned without due process to the countries they fled. But in cases involving merchant ships, migrants are often rescued in international waters, before reaching Europe’s maritime borders.

    The authorities in Italy and European Union say they should therefore be returned to Libya, since Libya coordinates search-and-rescue operations in these international waters.

    Critics argue that Italy and its European allies still bear responsibility. In the view of humanitarian monitoring groups, the Europeans never relinquished their role in orchestrating search-and-rescue missions — undermining the rationale for surrendering control to Libya.

    During at least part of 2019, Italian navy officers aboard an Italian vessel docked in Tripoli’s harbor oversaw rescues on behalf of the Libyans, according to documents published during a court case in Sicily last March.

    “They coordinated the rescue activities,” Matteo Salvini, Italy’s interior minister at the time, said in an interview with the Times.

    In one instance in November 2018, logbooks show how Italian Coast Guard officers contacted a cargo ship, the Nivin, “on behalf of” their Libyan counterparts. But the logs also reveal that the Nivin’s captain could only reach the Libyan authorities by contacting the Italian Coast Guard.

    And though European navies have withdrawn from the area, their planes still direct the Libyan Coast Guard to migrant vessels, recordings published by The Guardian show.

    In March last year, one such military plane ordered a merchant vessel to return a boatload of rescued migrants to Tripoli, without any intervention from the Libyan Coast Guard, according to recordings reported in The Atavist, a digital magazine.

    In one of several recent phone interviews, Commodore Abdal Samad of the Libyan Coast Guard said an Italian ship docked in Tripoli, once used as a search-and-rescue control center, no longer directs Libyan Coast Guard activity.

    But Libyan Coast Guard crews still sometimes use the Italian ship’s equipment to communicate with merchant vessels, Commodore Abdal Samad conceded, particularly when their radios break down.

    One of the most recent instances, he said, was the weekend in January when the Panther rescued 68 migrants from the southern Mediterranean.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/world/europe/mediterranean-libya-migrants-europe.html

    #push-backs #refoulement #refoulements #bateaux_marchands #privatisation #externalisation #Méditerranée #Libye #Mer_Méditerranée #refoulements_privatisés #sauvetage #privatized_pushbacks #gardes-côtes_libyens

    ping @reka

  • Hidden infrastructures of the European border regime : the #Poros detention facility in Evros, Greece

    This blog post and the research it draws on date before the onset of the current border spectacle in Evros of February/March 2020. Obviously, the situation in Evros region has changed dramatically. Our research however underlines that the Greek state has always resorted to extra-legal methods of border and migration control in the Evros region. Particularly the violent and illegal pushback practices which have persisted for decades in Evros region have now been elevated to official government policy.

    The region of Evros at the Greek-Turkish border was the scene of many changes in the European and Greek border regimes since 2010. The most well-known was the deployment of the Frontex RABIT force in October of that year; while it concluded in 2011, Frontex has had a permanent presence in Evros ever since. In 2011, the then government introduced the ‘Integrated Program for Border Management and Combating Illegal Immigration’ (European Migration Network, 2012), which reflected EU and domestic processes of the Europeanisation of border controls (European Migration Network, 2012; Ilias et al., 2019). The program stipulated a number of measures which impacted the border regime in Evros: the construction of a 12.5km fence along the section of the Greek Turkish border which did not coincide with the Evros river (after which the region takes its name); the expansion of border surveillance technologies and capacities in the area; and the establishment of reception centres where screening procedures would be undertaken (European Migration Network, 2012; Ilias et al., 2019). In this context, one of the measures taken was the establishment of a screening centre in South Evros, near the village of Poros, 46km away from the city of Alexandroupoli – the main urban centre in the area.

    The operation of the Centre for the First Management of Illegal Immigration is documented in Greek (Ministry for Public Order and Citizen Protection, 2013a) and EU official documents (European Parliament, 2012; European Migration Network, 2013), reports by the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (2011), NGOs (Pro Asyl, 2012) and activists (CloseTheCamps, 2012), media articles (To Vima, 2012) and research (Düvell, 2012; Schaub, 2013) between 2011 and 2015.

    Yet, during our fieldwork in the area in 2018, none of our respondents mentioned it. Nor could we find any recent research, reports or official documents after 2015 referring to it. It was only a tip from someone we collaborate with that reminded us of the existence of the Poros facility. We found its ‘disappearance’ from public view intriguing. Through fieldwork, document analysis and queries to the Greek authorities, we constructed a genealogy of the Poros centre, from its inception in 2011 to its ambivalent present. Our findings not only highlight the shifting nature of local assemblages of the European border regime, but also raise questions on such ‘hidden’ infrastructures, and the implications of their use for the rights of the people who cross the border.

    A genealogy of Poros

    The Poros centre was originally a military facility, used for border surveillance. In 2012, it was transferred to the Hellenic Police, the civilian authority responsible for migration control and border management, and was formally designated a Centre for the First Management of Illegal Immigration, similar to the more well-known First Reception Centre in Fylakio, in North Evros. The refurbishment and expansion of the old facilities and purchase of necessary equipment were financed through the External borders fund of the European Union (Alexandroupoli Police Directorate, 2011). Visits by the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström (To Vima, 2012), the then executive director of Frontex, Ilkka Laitinen (Ministry for Public Order and Citizen Protection, 2013b), and a delegation of the LIBE committee of the European Parliament (2012) illustrated the embeddedness of the centre in the European border regime. The Commission’s report on the implementation of the Greek National Action Plan on Migration Management and Asylum Reform specifically refers the Poros centre as a facility that could be used for screening procedures and vulnerability assessments (European Commission, 2012).

    The Poros facility was indeed used as a screening and identification centre, activities that fell under both border management and the Greek framework for reception procedures introduced in 2011. While official documents of the Greek Government suggest that the centre started operating in 2012 (Council of Europe, 2012), a media article (Alexandroupoli Online, 2011) and a report by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (2011) provide evidence that it was already operational the year before, as an informal reception centre. When the centre became the main screening facility for South Evros in 2012 (European Parliament, 2012), screening, identification and debriefing procedures at the time were carried out both by Hellenic Police personnel and Frontex officers deployed in the area (Council of Europe, 2012).

    One of the very few research sources referring to Poros, a PhD thesis by Laurence Pillant (2017) provides a detailed description of the space and the activities carried out in the old wooden building and the white containers (image 3), visible in the stills from the video we took in December 2020 (image 4). A mission of Medecins sans frontiers, indicated in Pillant’s diagram, provided health screening in 2012 (European Migration Network, 2013).

    The organisation and function of the centre at the time is also documented in a number of mundane administrative acts which we located through diavgeia.gov.gr, a website storing Greek public administration decisions. Containers were bought to create space for the screening and identification procedures (Regional Police Directorate of Macedonia and Thrace, 2012). A local company was awarded contracts for the cleaning of the facilities (Regional Police Directorate of Macedonia and Thrace, 2013). The last administrative documents we were able to locate concerned the establishment of a committee of local police officers to procure services for emptying the cesspit of the centre (Regional Police Directorate of Macedonia and Thrace, 2015) – not all buildings in the area are linked to the local sewage system. This is the point when the administrative trail for Poros goes cold. No documents were found in diavgeia.gov.gr after January 2015.

    So what happened to the Poros Centre?

    After 2015, we found a mere five online references to the centre, despite extensive searches of sources such as official documents, research or reports by human rights bodies and NGOs. A 2016 newspaper article mentioned that arrested migrants were led there for screening (Ta Nea, 2016). A 2018 article in a local online news outlet mentioned a case of malaria in the village of Poros (Evros News, 2018a), while in another article (Evros News, 2018b), the president of the village council blamed a case of malaria in the village on the lack of health screening in the centre. An account of activities of the municipal council of Alexandroupoli referred to fixing an electrical fault in the centre in May 2019 (Municipality of Alexandroupoli, 2019). Τhe Global Detention Project (2019) also refers to Poros as a likely detention place.

    These sources suggested that the centre might be operational in some capacity, yet they raised more questions than they answered. If the centre has been in operation since 2015, why is there such an absence of official sources referring to it? Equally surprising was the absence of administrative acts related to the Poros centre in diavgeia.gov.gr, in contrast to all other facilities in the area where migrants are detained, such as the Fylakio Reception and Identification Centre and the pre-removal centres and police stations. It was conceivable, of course, that the centre fell into disuse. Since the deployment of Frontex and the border control measures taken under the Integrated Plan, entries through the Greek-Turkish land border decreased significantly – from 54,974 in 2011 to 3,784 in 2016 (Hellenic Police, 2020), and screening procedures were transferred to Fylakio, fully operational since 2013 (Reception and Identification Service, 2020).

    Trying to find answers to our questions, we contacted the Hellenic Police. An email we sent in January 2020 was never answered. In early February, following a series of phone calls, we obtained some answers to our questions. The police officer who answered the phone call did not seem to have heard of the centre and wanted to ask other departments for more information, as well as the First Reception and Identification Service, now responsible for screening procedures. The next day, he said it is occasionally used as a detention facility, when there is a high number of apprehended people that cannot be detained in police cells. According to the police officer, they are detained there for one or two days, until they can be transferred to the Reception and Identification Centre of Fylakio for reception procedures, or detention in the pre-removal detention centre adjacent to it. At the same time, he stated that he was told that Poros has been closed for a long time.

    This contradictory information could be down to the distance between the central police directorate in Athens and the area of Evros – it is not unlikely that local arrangements are not known in the central offices. Yet, it was also at odds both with the description of the use of the centre that our informant himself gave us – using the present tense in Greek –, with what the local media articles suggest, and with what we saw on site. Stills from the video taken during fieldwork in December 2020 suggest that the Poros centre is not disused, although no activity could be observed on the day. The cars and vans parked outside did not seem abandoned or rusting. The main building and the containers appeared to be in a good condition. A bright red cloth, maybe a canvas bag, was hanging outside one of them. The rubbish bins were full, but the black bags and other objects in them did not seem as they have been left in the open for a long time (image 4).

    The police officer also asked, however, how we had heard of Poros – a question that alerted us to both the obscure nature of the facility and the sensitivity of our query.
    A hidden infrastructure of pushbacks?

    The Poros centre, at one level, illustrates how the function of such border facilities can change over time, as the local border regime adapts and responds to migratory movements. Fylakio has become the main reception and detention centre in Evros, and between 2015 and 2017, the Aegean islands became the main point of entry into Greece and the European Union. Yet, our findings raised a lot of significant questions regarding the new function of Poros, given the increase in migratory movements in the area since 2018.

    While we obtained official confirmation that the Poros centre is now used for temporary detention and not screening, it remains the case that there are no official documents – including any administrative acts on diavgeia.gov.gr – that confirm its use as a temporary closed detention centre. Equally, we did not manage to obtain any information about how the facility is funded from the Hellenic Police. Our respondent did not know, and another departments we called did not want to share any information about the centre. It also became evident in the course of our research that most of our contacts in Greece – NGOS and journalists – had never heard of the facility or had no recent information about it. We found no evidence to suggest that Greek and European human rights bodies or NGOs which monitor detention facilities have visited the Poros centre after 2015. A mission of the Council of Europe (2019), for example, visited several detention facilities in Evros in April 2018 but the Poros centre was not listed among them. Similarly, the Fundamental Rights Officer of Frontex, in a partly joined mission with the Fundamental Rights Agency, visited detention facilities in South Evros in 2019, the operational area where the Poros centre is located. However, the centre is not mentioned in the report on that visit (Frontex, 2019).

    The dearth of information and absence of monitoring of the facility means that it is unclear whether the facility provides adequate conditions for detention. While our Hellenic police informant stated that detention there lasts for one or two days, there is no outside gate at the Poros centre, just a rather flimsy looking wire fence. Does this mean that detainees are kept inside the main building or containers the whole time they are detained there? We also do not know if detainees have access to phones, legal assistance or healthcare, which the articles in the local press suggest that is absent from the Poros centre. Equally, in the absence of inspections by human rights bodies, we are unaware of the standards of hygiene inside the facilities, or if there is sufficient food available. Administrative acts archived in diavgeia.gov.gr normally offer some answers to such questions but, as we mentioned above, we could find none. In short, it appears that Poros is used as an informal detention centre, hidden from public view.

    The obscurity surrounding the facility, in the context of the local border regime, is extremely worrying. Many NGOs and journalists have documented widespread pushback practices (Arsis et al., 2018; Greek Council for Refugees, 2018; Koçulu, 2019), evidenced through migrant testimonies (Mobile Info Team 2019) and, more recently, videos (Forensic Architecture, 2019a; 2019b). Despite denials by the Hellenic Police and the Greek government, European and international international human rights bodies (Council of Europe, 2019; Committee Against torture 2019) have accepted these testimonies as credible. We have no firm evidence that the Poros facility may be one of the many ‘informal’ detention places migrant testimonies implicated in pushbacks. Yet, the centre is located no further than two kilometres from the Greek-Turkish border, and the layout of the area is similar to the location of a pushback captured on camera and analysed by Forensic Architecture (2019a): near a dirt road with direct access to the Evros River. Black cars and white vans (images 5 and 6), without police insignia and some without number plates, such as those in the Poros centre, have been mentioned in testimonies of pushbacks (Arsis et al., 2018). Objects looking like inflatable boats are visible in our video stills. While there might be other explanations for their presence (used for patrolling the river or confiscated from migrants crossing the river) they are also used during pushbacks operations, and their presence in a detention centre seems odd.

    These uncertainties, and the tendency of security bodies to avoid revealing information on spaces of detention, are not unusual. However, the obscurity surrounding the Poros centre, located in an area of the European border where detention have long attracted criticism and there is considerable evidence of illegal and violent border control practices, should be a concern for all.

    https://www.respondmigration.com/blog-1/border-regime-poros-detention-facility-evros-greece
    #Evros #détention #rétention #détention_administrative #Grèce #refoulement #push-back #push-backs #invisibilité #invisibilisation #Centre_for_the_First_Management_of_Illegal_Immigration #Fylakio #Frontex

    Ce centre, selon ce que le chercheur·es écrivent, est ouvert depuis 2012... or... pas entendu parler de lui avec @albertocampiphoto quand on a été sur place... alors qu’on a vraiment sillonnée la (relativement petite) région pendant 1 mois !

    Donc pas mention de ce centre dans la #carte qu’on a publiée notamment sur @visionscarto :


    https://visionscarto.net/evros-mur-inutile

    ping @reka @karine4

    • En fait, en regardant mieux « notre » carte je me rends compte que peut-être le centre que nous avons identifié comme « #Feres » est en réalité le centre que les auteur·es appellent Poros... les deux localités sont à moins de 5 km l’une de l’autre.
      J’ai écrit aux auteur·es...

      Réponse de Bernd Kasparek, 12.03.2020 :

      Since we have been in front of Poros detention centre, we are certain that it is a distinct entity from the Feres police station, which, as you rightly observe, is also often implicated in reports about push-backs.

      Réponse de Lena Karamanidou le 13.03.2020 :

      Feres is located here: https://goo.gl/maps/gQn15Hdfwo4f3cno6​ , and it’s a much more modern facility (see photo, complete with ubiquitous military van!). However, ​I’m not entirely certain when the new Feres station was built - I think there was an older police station, but then both police and border guard functions were transfered to the new building. Something for me to check in obscure news items and databases!

    • ‘We Are Like Animals’ : Inside Greece’s Secret Site for Migrants

      The extrajudicial center is one of several tactics Greece is using to prevent a repeat of the 2015 migration crisis.


      The Greek government is detaining migrants incommunicado at a secret extrajudicial location before expelling them to Turkey without due process, one of several hard-line measures taken to seal the borders to Europe that experts say violate international law.

      Several migrants said in interviews that they had been captured, stripped of their belongings, beaten and expelled from Greece without being given a chance to claim asylum or speak to a lawyer, in an illegal process known as refoulement. Meanwhile, Turkish officials said that at least three migrants had been shot and killed while trying to enter Greece in the past two weeks.

      The Greek approach is the starkest example of European efforts to prevent a reprise of the 2015 migration crisis in which more than 850,000 undocumented people passed relatively easily through Greece to other parts of Europe, roiling the Continent’s politics and fueling the rise of the far right.

      If thousands more refugees reach Greece, Greek officials fear being left to care for them for years, with little support from other members in the European Union, exacerbating social tensions and further fraying a strained economy. Tens of thousands of migrants already live in squalor on several Greek islands, and many Greeks feel they have been left to shoulder a burden created by wider European indifference.

      The Greek government has defended its actions as a legitimate response to recent provocations by the Turkish authorities, who have transported thousands of migrants to the Greek-Turkish border since late February and have encouraged some to charge and dismantle a border fence.

      The Greek authorities have denied reports of deaths along the border. A spokesman for the Greek government, Stelios Petsas, did not comment on the existence of the site, but said that Greece detained and expelled migrants in accordance with local law. An act passed March 3, by presidential decree, suspended asylum applications for a month and allowed immediate deportations.

      But through a combination of on-the-ground reporting and forensic analysis of satellite imagery, The Times has confirmed the existence of the secret center in northeastern Greece.

      Presented with diagrams of the site and a description of its operations, François Crépeau, a former U.N. Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, said it was the equivalent of a domestic “black site,” since detainees are kept in secret and without access to legal recourse.

      Using footage supplied to several media outlets, The Times has also established that the Greek Coast Guard, nominally a lifesaving institution, fired shots in the direction of migrants onboard a dinghy that was trying to reach Greek shores early this month, beat them with sticks and sought to repel them by driving past them at high speed, risking tipping them into water.

      Forensic analysis of videos provided by witnesses also confirmed the death of at least one person — a Syrian factory worker — after he was shot on the Greek-Turkish border.
      A Secret Site

      When Turkish officials began to bus migrants to the Greek border on Feb. 28, a Syrian Kurd named Somar al-Hussein had a seat on one of the first coaches.

      Turkey already hosts more refugees than any other country — over four million, mostly Syrians — and fears that it may be forced to admit another million because of a recent surge in fighting in northern Syria. To alleviate this pressure, and to force Europe to do more to help, it has weaponized refugees like Mr. al-Hussein by shunting them toward the Continent.

      Mr. al-Hussein, a trainee software engineer, spent that night in the rain on the bank of the Evros River, which divides western Turkey from eastern Greece. Early the next morning, he reached the Greek side in a rubber dinghy packed with other migrants.

      But his journey ended an hour later, he said in a recent interview. Captured by Greek border guards, he said, he and his group were taken to a detention site. Following the group’s journey on his mobile phone, he determined that the site was a few hundred yards east of the border village of Poros.

      The site consisted principally of three red-roofed warehouses set back from a farm road and arranged in a U-shape. Hundreds of other captured migrants waited outside. Mr. al-Hussein was taken indoors and crammed into a room with dozens of others.

      His phone was confiscated to prevent him from making calls, he said, and his requests to claim asylum and contact United Nations officials were ignored.

      “To them, we are like animals,” Mr. al-Hussein said of the Greek guards.

      After a night without food or drink, on March 1 Mr. al-Hussein and dozens of others were driven back to the Evros River, where Greek police officers ferried them back to the Turkish side in a small speedboat.

      Mr. al-Hussein was one of several migrants to provide similar accounts of extrajudicial detentions and expulsions, but his testimony was the most detailed.

      By cross-referencing drawings, descriptions and satellite coordinates that he provided, The Times was able to locate the detention center — in farmland between Poros and the river.

      A former Greek official familiar with police operations confirmed the existence of the site, which is not classified as a detention facility but is used informally during times of high migration flows.

      On Friday, three Times journalists were stopped at a roadblock near the site by uniformed police officers and masked special forces officers.

      The site’s existence was also later confirmed by Respond, a Sweden-based research group.

      Mr. Crépeau, now a professor of international law at McGill University, said the center represented a violation of the right to seek asylum and “the prohibition of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and of European Union law.”
      Violence at Sea

      Hundreds of miles to the south, in the straits of the Aegean Sea between the Turkish mainland and an archipelago of Greek islands, the Greek Coast Guard is also using force.

      On March 2, a Coast Guard ship violently repelled an inflatable dinghy packed with migrants, in an incident that Turkish officials captured on video, which they then distributed to the press.

      The footage shows the Coast Guard vessel and an unmarked speedboat circling the dinghy. A gunman on one boat shot at least twice into waters by the dinghy, with what appeared to be a rifle, before men from both vessels shoved and struck the dinghy with long black batons.

      It is not clear from the footage whether the man was firing live or non-lethal rounds.

      Mr. Petsas, the government spokesman, did not deny the incident, but said the Coast Guard did not fire live rounds.

      The larger Greek boat also sought to tip the migrants into the water by driving past them at high speed.
      Forensic analysis by The Times shows that the incident took place near the island of Kos after the migrants had clearly entered Greek waters.

      “The action of Greek Coast Guard ships trying to destabilize the refugees’ fragile dinghies, thus putting at risk the life and security of their passengers, is also a violation,” said Mr. Crépeau, the former United Nations official.
      A Killing on Land

      The most contested incident concerns the lethal shooting of Mohammed Yaarub, a 22-year-old Syrian from Aleppo who tried to cross Greece’s northern land border with Turkey last week.

      The Greek government has dismissed his death as “fake news” and denied that anyone has died at the border during the past week.

      An analysis of videos, coupled with interviews with witnesses, confirmed that Mr. Yaarub was killed on the morning of March 2 on the western bank of the Evros River.

      Mr. Yaarub had lived in Turkey for five years, working at a shoe factory, according to Ali Kamal, a friend who was traveling with him. The two friends crossed the Evros on the night of March 1 and camped with a large group of migrants on the western bank of the river.

      By a cartographical quirk, they were still in Turkey: Although the river mostly serves as the border between the two countries, this small patch of land is one of the few parts of the western bank that belongs to Turkey rather than Greece.

      Mr. Kamal last saw his friend alive around 7:30 a.m. the next morning, when the group began walking to the border. The two men were separated, and soon Greek security forces blocked them, according to another Syrian man who filmed the aftermath of the incident and was later interviewed by The Times. He asked to remain anonymous because he feared retribution.

      During the confrontation, Mr. Yaarub began speaking to the men who were blocking their path and held up a white shirt, saying that he came in peace, the Syrian man said.

      Shortly afterward, Mr. Yaarub was shot.

      There is no known video of the moment of impact, but several videos captured his motionless body being carried away from the Greek border and toward the river.

      Several migrants who were with Mr. Yaarub at the time of his death said a Greek security officer had shot him.

      Using video metadata and analyzing the position of the sun, The Times confirmed that he was shot around 8:30 a.m., matching a conclusion reached by Forensic Architecture, an investigative research group.

      Video shows that it took other migrants about five minutes to ferry Mr. Yaarub’s body back across the river and to a car. He was then taken to an ambulance and later a Turkish hospital.

      An analysis of other footage shot elsewhere on the border showed that Greek security forces used lethal and non-lethal ammunition in other incidents that day, likely fired from a mix of semiautomatic and assault rifles.
      E.U. Support for Greece

      Mr. Petsas, the government spokesman, defended Greece’s tough actions as a reasonable response to “an asymmetrical and hybrid attack coming from a foreign country.”

      Besides ferrying migrants to the border, the Turkish police also fired tear-gas canisters in the direction of Greek security forces and stood by as migrants dismantled part of a border fence, footage filmed by a Times journalist showed.

      Before this evidence of violence and secrecy had surfaced, Greece won praise from leaders of the European Union, who visited the border on March 3.

      “We want to express our support for all you did with your security services for the last days,” said Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, the bloc’s top decision-making body.

      The European Commission, the bloc’s administrative branch, said that it was “not in a position to confirm or deny” The Times’s findings, and called on the Greek justice system to investigate.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/10/world/europe/greece-migrants-secret-site.html

      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/10/world/europe/greece-migrants-secret-site.html

      #Mohammed_Yaarub #décès #mourir_aux_frontières

    • Grécia nega existência de centro de detenção “secreto” onde os migrantes são tratados “como animais”

      New York Times citou vários migrantes que dizem ter sido roubados e agredidos pelos guardas fronteiriços, antes de deportados para a Turquia. Erdogan compara gregos aos nazis.

      Primeiro recusou comentar, mas pouco mais de 24 horas depois o Governo da Grécia refutou totalmente a notícia do New York Times. Foi esta a sequência espaçada da reacção de Atenas ao artigo do jornal norte-americano, publicado na terça-feira, que deu conta da existência de um centro de detenção “secreto”, perto da localidade fronteiriça de Poros, onde muitos dos milhares de migrantes que vieram da Turquia, nos últimos dias, dizem ter sido roubados, despidos e agredidos, impedidos de requerer asilo ou de contactar um advogado, e deportados, logo de seguida, pelos guardas fronteiriços gregos.
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      “Para eles somos como animais”, acusou Somar al-Hussein, sírio, um dos migrantes entrevistados pelo diário nova-iorquino, que entrou na Grécia através do rio Evros e que diz ter sido alvo de tratamento abusivo no centro de detenção “secreto”.

      “Não há nenhum centro de detenção secreto na Grécia”, garantiu, no entanto, esta quarta-feira, Stelios Petsas, porta-voz do executivo grego. “Todas as questões relacionadas com a protecção e a segurança das fronteiras são transparentes. A Constituição está a ser aplicada e não há nada de secreto”, insistiu.

      Com jornalistas no terreno, impedidos de entrar no local por soldados gregos, o New York Times entrevistou diversos migrantes que dizem ter sido ali alvo de tratamento desumano, analisou imagens de satélite, informou-se junto de um centro de estudos sueco sobre migrações que opera na zona e falou com um antigo funcionário grego familiarizado com as operações policiais fronteiriças. Informação que diz ter-lhe permitido confirmar a existência do centro.

      https://www.publico.pt/2020/03/11/mundo/noticia/grecia-nega-existencia-centro-detencao-secreto-onde-migrantes-sao-tratados-a

      #paywall

  • Une coalition contre les violences aux frontières

    Nous déposerons plainte contre la Grèce et l’UE pour les violations des droits des personnes migrantes et réfugiées fuyant la Turquie

    Ces derniers jours, les #violations des droits des migrant·e·s et réfugié·e·s qui cherchent à accéder au territoire européen via la Grèce ont pris une tournure dramatique. Si les #violences contre les exilé·e·s atteignent aujourd’hui un niveau inouï, les conditions de cette #escalade ont été posées par les dirigeants européens depuis plusieurs années. En 2015, l’Union européenne (UE) a introduit son « #approche_hotspot », obligeant l’Italie et la Grèce à trier les migrant·e·s et réfugié·e·s arrivant sur leurs côtes. En mars 2016, l’UE a signé un arrangement avec la Turquie qui, pour un temps, a permis de contenir de nouvelles arrivées. Sans surprise, ces dispositifs ont transformé les îles grecques en prisons à ciel ouvert et exacerbé la catastrophe humanitaire aux frontières grecques. La coopération avec la Turquie – largement dénoncée par la société civile –, s’effondre aujourd’hui, alors que les autorités turques, cherchant à faire pression sur l’UE, poussent les personnes migrantes et réfugiées en sa direction.

    Pour empêcher l’arrivée d’un plus grand nombre d’exilé·e·s – principalement Syrien⋅ne·s – fuyant la guerre et maintenant les menaces turques, les agents grecs ont déployé un niveau de #violence inédit, rejoints par une partie de la population. En mer, les garde-côtes coupent la route aux bateaux des migrant·e·s et réfugié·e·s, tirant en l’air et blessant certain·e·s passager·e·s. [1] Un enfant s’est noyé durant la traversée [2] Sur terre, les refoulements à la rivière #Evros ont continué. Une vidéo - qualifiée de « fake news » par les autorités grecques [3] mais vérifiée par #Forensic_Architecture - montre un réfugié syrien tué par balle alors qu’il tentait de traverser la rivière. [4] Par ailleurs, les militant⋅e·s, agissant en solidarité avec les personnes migrantes et réfugiées sont criminalisé⋅e·s et attaqué⋅e·s par des groupes d’extrême droite. [5] Des violations graves sont en cours et les principes de base du droit d’asile sont foulés au pied.

    Cette violence vise à envoyer un message simple aux migrant·e·s et réfugié·e·s potentiel·le·s, celui que le ministère des Affaires Étrangères a exprimé via Twitter : « Personne ne peut traverser les frontières grecques ». [6] Cette politique grecque de fermeture des frontières [7] est soutenue par l’UE. Charles Michel, président du Conseil européen, a ainsi encensé les efforts des Grecs pour « protéger les frontières de l’Europe » [8]. Ursula von der Leyen, présidente de la Commission européenne, a qualifié la Grèce de « bouclier européen » - suggérant ainsi que les personnes migrantes et réfugiées constituent une menace physique pour l’Europe. [9] Enfin, l’agence européenne Frontex va déployer une intervention rapide dans la zone. [10] La Grèce et l’UE sont ainsi prêtes à recourir à tous les moyens pour tenter de dissuader les migrant·e·s et réfugié·e·s et empêcher la répétition des arrivées en grand nombre de 2015 – et la crise politique qu’elles ont générée à travers l’Europe.

    Nous condamnons fermement l’instrumentalisation des migrant·e·s et réfugié·e·s par la Turquie et par l’UE. Aucun objectif politique ne peut justifier de telles exactions. Il est révoltant que des personnes fuyant la violence se trouvent exposées à de nouvelles violences commises par les États européens dont le cynisme et l’hypocrisie culminent. Nos organisations s’engagent à joindre leurs efforts pour forcer les États à rendre compte de leurs crimes. Nous documenterons ainsi les violations des droits des migrant·e·s et réfugié·e·s et déposerons plainte contre ceux qui en sont responsables. Nous soutenons également celles et ceux qui sont de plus en plus criminalisé·e·s pour leur solidarité.

    Nos efforts visent à utiliser tous les outils d’#investigation et du #droit pour faire cesser la #violence_d’État, en finir avec la multiplication et la #banalisation des pratiques de #refoulement en Grèce, et ailleurs aux frontières de l’Europe. Les migrant·e·s et réfugié·e·s ne sont pas une menace face à laquelle l’Europe doit ériger un bouclier, mais sont eux même menacés par la violence des États tout au long de leurs trajectoires précaires. Nous utiliserons les outils du droit pour tenter de les protéger contre cette #brutalité.


    https://www.gisti.org/spip.php?article6320
    #plainte #justice #frontières #migrations #asile #réfugiés #Grèce #Turquie #mourir_aux_frontières #morts #décès #îles #mer_Egée #push-back #push-backs #refoulements

  • Hongrie : des #tirs de sommation pour dissuader des dizaines de migrants à la frontière avec la #Serbie

    Plusieurs dizaines de migrants ont tenté, mardi, de forcer la frontière grillagée serbo-hongroise afin de gagner l’Europe de l’Ouest. La police hongroise a répondu par des tirs de sommation pour les dissuader. Fait “rarissime” qui traduit un nouvel afflux sur la route migratoire des Balkans qui n’était quasi plus empruntée depuis 2015, explique un spécialiste.

    “De jeunes hommes organisés et agressifs”. C’est ainsi que les autorités hongroises ont décrit le groupe de 60 à 70 migrants qui a tenté de franchir la frontière entre la Serbie et la Hongrie, au petit matin du mardi 28 janvier. “C’est la première fois qu’un groupe de cette envergure est interpellé après avoir découpé les grillages” de cette frontière, indique Peter Van der Auweraert, le représentant de l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM), contacté par InfoMigrants. L’incident s’est produit précisément au niveau du poste-frontière d’#Horgos 2 près de la ville hongroise de #Röszke.

    Les forces de l’ordre sur place ont procédé à des #tirs_de_sommation afin de dissuader les migrants d’entrer en Hongrie. “C’est aussi une première à notre connaissance”, souligne l’OIM. Joint également par InfoMigrants, Philippe Bertinchamps, rédacteur en chef adjoint du Courrier des Balkans et spécialiste de la zone, confirme la rareté du geste. “Je ne suis toutefois pas surpris”, nuance-t-il. “La #police hongroise s’est déjà fait connaître par le passé pour des faits de violences envers les migrants, il y a des témoignages de personnes battues ou des téléphones volontairement cassés, par exemple.”

    D’après l’OIM, une quarantaine de migrants a été immédiatement renvoyée de l’autre côté de la frontière, en Serbie. Quatre hommes ont également été interpellés sur le territoire hongrois et placés en garde à vue. D"autres" sont parvenus à entrer en Hongrie, a indiqué à l’AFP un porte parole de la police locale, sans donner de précision sur le chiffre. Côté serbe, la police frontalière a intercepté “37 migrants qui tentaient de franchir illégalement la frontière pour pénétrer en Hongrie aux alentours de 5h du matin”, a sobrement déclaré le ministère de l’Intérieur.

    Explosion du nombre de tentatives de passages à la frontière serbo-hongroise

    Située sur la route migratoire dite des Balkans ainsi que sur l’une des frontières extérieures de l’espace Schengen, la Hongrie a érigé dès 2015 des clôtures partiellement électrifiées rendant le franchissement de ses frontières beaucoup plus périlleux pour les migrants espérant rejoindre l’Europe de l’Ouest. “Cette route s’était nettement tarie, mais de plus en plus de migrants actuellement bloqués en Bosnie sont brutalement refoulés par la police croate. Les conditions de vie étant infernales en Bosnie et le passage impossible vers la Croatie, les migrants se mettent naturellement à retenter l’ancienne route des Balkans via la Hongrie”, analyse Philippe Bertinchamps.

    Les chiffres parlent d’eux mêmes : quelque 3 400 tentatives de passages clandestins ont eu lieu depuis le début de l’année, a affirmé lors d’une conférence de presse mardi, Gyorgy Bakondi, le conseiller du Premier ministre souverainiste Viktor Orban. Il s’agit d’une très forte hausse comparativement à 2019 dont la moyenne mensuelle des tentatives de passages était d’environ un millier.

    Dirigé par une majorité politique hostile à l’accueil de réfugiés, le gouvernement hongrois n’a eu de cesse de marteler ces dernières années que les candidats à l’exil se devaient de déposer leur demande d’asile dans le premier pays européen par lequel ils sont passés, en vertu du Règlement Dublin qu’une partie des pays membres de l’Union européenne veut réformer pour plus plus d’équité. Mais la Hongrie s’y oppose fermement et refoule systématiquement vers la Serbie les candidats arrivant par voie terrestre. Elle refuse également d’accueillir sur son sol les rescapés de la Méditerranée qui font désormais l’objet d’un mécanisme de répartition européen entre certains des États membres.

    https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/22420/hongrie-des-tirs-de-sommation-pour-dissuader-des-dizaines-de-migrants-
    #Hongrie #frontières #migrations #asile #réfugiés #Route_des_Balkans #dissuasion #push-backs #push-back #refoulement
    #armes #armes_à_feu #arme_à_feu

  • Privatised Push-Back of the #Nivin

    In November 2018, five months after Matteo Salvini was made Italy’s Interior Minister, and began to close the country’s ports to rescued migrants, a group of 93 migrants was forcefully returned to Libya after they were ‘rescued’ by the Nivin, a merchant ship flying the Panamanian flag, in violation of their rights, and in breach of international refugee law.

    The migrants’ boat was first sighted in the Libyan Search and Rescue (SAR) Zone by a Spanish surveillance aircraft, part of Operation EUNAVFOR MED – Sophia, the EU’s anti-smuggling mission. The EUNAVFOR MED – Sophia Command passed information to the Italian and Libyan Coast Guards to facilitate the interception and ‘pull-back’ of the vessel to Libya. However, as the Libyan Coast Guard (LYCG) patrol vessels were unable to perform this task, the Italian Coast Guard (ICG) directly contacted the nearby Nivin ‘on behalf of the Libyan Coast Guard’, and tasked it with rescue.

    LYCG later assumed coordination of the operation, communicating from an Italian Navy ship moored in Tripoli, and, after the Nivin performed the rescue, directed it towards Libya.

    While the passengers were initially told they would be brought to Italy, when they realised they were being returned to Libya, they locked themselves in the hold of the ship.

    A standoff ensured in the port of Misrata which lasted ten days, until the captured passengers were violently removed from the vessel by Libyan security forces, detained, and subjected to multiple forms of ill-treatment, including torture.

    This case exemplifies a recurrent practice that we refer to as ‘privatised push-back’. This new strategy has been implemented by Italy, in collaboration with the LYCG, since mid-2018, as a new modality of delegated rescue, intended to enforce border control and contain the movement of migrants from the Global South seeking to reach Europe.

    This report is an investigation into this case and new pattern of practice.

    Using georeferencing and AIS tracking data, Forensic Oceanography reconstructed the trajectories of the migrants’ vessel and the Nivin.

    Tracking data was cross-referenced with the testimonies of passengers, the reports by rescue NGO WatchTheMed‘s ‘Alarm Phone’, a civilian hotline for migrants in need of emergency rescue; a report by the owner of the Nivin, which he shared with a civilian rescue organisation, the testimonies of MSF-France staff in Libya, an interview with a high-ranking LYCG official, official responses, and leaked reports from EUNAVFOR MED.

    Together, these pieces of evidence corroborate one other, and together form and clarify an overall picture: a system of strategic delegation of rescue, operated by a complex of European actors for the purpose of border enforcement.

    When the first–and preferred–modality of this strategic delegation, which operates through LYCG interception and pull-back of the migrants, did not succeed, those actors, including the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Rome, opted for a second modality: privatised push-back, implemented through the LYCG and the merchant ship.

    Despite the impression of coordination between European actors and the LYCG, control and coordination of such operations remains constantly within the firm hands of European—and, in particular, Italian—actors.

    In this case, as well as in others documented in this report, the outcome of the strategy was to deny migrants fleeing Libya the right to leave and request protection in Italy, returning them to a country in which they have faced grave violations. Through this action, Italy has breached its obligation of non-refoulement, one of the cornerstones of international refugee law.

    This report is the basis for a legal submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee by Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) on behalf of an individual who was shot and forcefully removed from the Nivin.

    https://forensic-architecture.org/investigation/nivin
    #Méditerranée #rapport #Charles_Heller #asile #frontières #migrations #réfugiés #mer_Méditerranée #push-back #push-backs #refoulement #refoulements #privatisation #Italie #Libye #operation_sophia #EUNAVFOR_Med #gardes-côtes_libyens #sauvetage #Misrata #torture #privatised_push-back #push-back_privatisé #architecture_forensique #externalisation #navires_marchands #Salvini #Matteo_Salvini

    Pour télécharger le rapport :
    https://content.forensic-architecture.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/2019-12-18-FO-Nivin-Report.pdf

    –-----

    Sur le cas du Nivin, voir aussi, sur seenthis, ce fil de discussion :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/735627

    • Migrants refoulés en Libye : l’Italie accusée d’embrigader la marine marchande

      En marge du Forum mondial sur les réfugiés, plusieurs ONG ont annoncé mercredi saisir un comité de l’ONU dans l’espoir de faire cesser les refoulements de migrants vers la Libye .

      De son identité il n’a été révélé que ses initiales. SDG a fui la guerre au Soudan du Sud. En novembre 2018, avec une centaine d’autres migrants embarqués sur un canot pour traverser la Méditerranée, il est secouru par un cargo battant pavillon panaméen, le Nivin. Mais l’équipage, suivant ainsi les instructions des autorités italiennes, ramène les naufragés vers la Libye et le port de Misrata. Les migrants refusent de débarquer, affirmant qu’ils préfèrent mourir sur le navire plutôt que de retourner dans les centres de détention libyens.

      Il s’ensuit un bras de fer d’une dizaine de jours. Finalement, les Libyens donnent l’assaut et les migrants sont débarqués de force. SDG est blessé, puis emprisonné et maltraité. Il restera avec une balle en plastique dans la jambe pendant six mois. Le jeune homme est aujourd’hui à Malte, où il a pu déposer une demande d’asile. Il a finalement réussi la traversée, à sa huitième tentative.

      C’est en son nom que plusieurs ONG ont déposé une plainte contre l’Italie mercredi auprès du Comité des droits de l’homme de l’ONU. Cet organe, composé de 18 experts, n’émet que des avis consultatifs. « Cela ira plus vite que devant la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme (CEDH). Nous visons l’Italie, car le comité de l’ONU ne se prononce que sur les violations commises par des Etats, nous ne pourrions attaquer l’Union européenne », justifie Violeta Moreno-Lax, de l’ONG Global Legal Action. L’Italie, en première ligne face à l’arrivée de boat people, avait déjà été condamnée par la CEDH en 2012 pour le refoulement de migrants en Libye. « Depuis, Rome fait tout pour contourner cet arrêt », dénonce la juriste.

      « Le choix impossible des équipages »

      L’une des tactiques, ont exposé les ONG lors d’une conférence de presse, est d’embrigader la marine marchande pour qu’elle ramène les naufragés en Libye. « La décision de l’ancien ministre de l’Intérieur Matteo Salvini de fermer les ports italiens aux navires de sauvetage en juin 2018 a créé une onde de choc en Méditerranée, décrit le chercheur suisse Charles Heller, qui documente la disparition de migrants en mer. Les autres pays européens ont retiré leurs bateaux, parce qu’ils risquaient d’être bloqués faute de ports où débarquer les migrants. Ce sont donc les navires marchands qui sont appelés à remplir le vide. Ces équipages sont face à un choix impossible. Soit ils se conforment aux instructions des autorités maritimes italiennes et violent le droit de la mer, qui oblige les marins à débarquer les naufragés vers un port sûr. Soit ils résistent et s’exposent à des poursuites judiciaires. Dans les faits, beaucoup de navires évitent de porter secours aux embarcations en détresse. »

      Ces derniers mois, Charles Heller a recensé 13 navires marchands qui ont refoulé des migrants en Libye. Parmi ces cas, deux tentatives n’ont pas réussi, les naufragés se rebellant contre un retour en Libye. « Il faut comprendre qu’une fois débarqués en Libye, les migrants sont détenus de façon totalement arbitraire. Les centres sont inadaptés, la nourriture est insuffisante, les maladies comme la tuberculose y font des ravages et les disparitions ne sont pas rares, en particulier les femmes », détaille Julien Raickman, le chef de mission de Médecins sans frontières en Libye.


      https://www.letemps.ch/monde/migrants-refoules-libye-litalie-accusee-dembrigader-marine-marchande

    • Migranti, un report accusa l’Italia: «Respingimento illegale dei 93 salvati dal mercantile Nivin e riportati in Libia con la forza»

      Le prove in un documento della Forensic Oceanography presso la Goldsmith University of London. Nell’ultimo anno, chiamando navi commerciali a soccorrere barche in difficoltà, sarebbero stati 13 i casi analoghi.

      «Qui MRCC Roma. A nome della Guardia costiera libica per la salvezza delle vite in mare vi preghiamo di procedere alla massima velocità per dare assistenza ad una barca in difficoltà con circa 70 persone a bordo. Vi preghiamo di contattare urgentemente la Guardia costiera libica attraverso questo centro di ricerca e soccorso ai seguenti numeri di telefono». Ai quali rispondono sempre gli italiani.

      Un dispaccio del centro di ricerca e soccorso di Roma delle 19.39 del 7 novembre del 2018 dimostra che a coordinare l’operazione di salvataggio di un gruppo di migranti poi riportati in Libia dal mercantile Nivin battente bandiera panamense fu l’Italia. In 93, segnalati prima da un aereo di Eunavformed, poi dal centralino Alarmphone, furono presi a bordo dal Nivin e, con l’inganno, sbarcati con la forza a Misurata dall’esercito libico dopo essere rimasti per dieci giorni asserragliati sul ponte del mercantile. Picchiati, feriti, rinchiusi di nuovo nei centri di detenzione in un paese in guerra.

      Un respingimento di massa illegittimo, contrario al diritto internazionale, che sarebbe stato dunque coordinato dall’Italia secondo una strategia di salvataggio delegato ai privati per applicare il controllo delle frontiere. Un «modello di pratica» che - secondo un rapporto redatto da Charles Heller di Forensic Oceanography, ramo della Forensic Architecture Agency basata alla Goldsmiths University of London - l’Italia e l’Europa avrebbero applicato ben 13 volte nell’ultimo anno, in coincidenza con la politica italiana dei porti chiusi.

      Caso finora unico, alcune delle persone riportate in Libia sono state rintracciate nei centri di detenzione da Msf che ne ha raccolto le testimonianze che - incrociate con i documenti e le risposte alle richieste di informazione date da Eunavformed e dalla stessa Guardia costiera libica - hanno consentito di ricostruire quello che viene definito nello studio «una pratica ricorrente di respingimenti, una nuova modalità di soccorso delegato ai privati» che verrebbe attuato quando le motovedette della guardia costiera libica, come avvenne nel caso del 7 novembre 2018, sono impegnate in altri interventi. «Impegnandosi in questa pratica - è l’accusa del report - l’Italia usa violenza extraterritoriale per contenere i movimenti dei migranti e viola l’obbligo di non respingimento». Per questo il Glan, l’organizzazione di avvocati, accademici e giornalisti investigativi Global Legal Action Network ha presentato una denuncia contro l’Italia al Comitato per i diritti umani delle Nazioni Unite per conto di uno dei migranti riportati indietro. E’ la prima volta che accade.

      La partenza
      Nella notte tra il 6 e 7 novembre 2018 dalla costa di Zlitan parte un gommone con 93 persone a bordo di sette nazionalità diverse. C’è anche una donna con un bimbo di quattro mesi. Alle 15.25 del 7 novembre la barca viene avvistata in zona Sar libica da un aereo spagnolo dell’operazione Sophia che - secondo quanto riferito da Eunavformed - «dichiara che non c’erano assetti navali nelle vicinanze». Tramite il quartier generale della missione che, in quel momento, era sulla nave San Marco della marina italiana, l’informazione con le coordinate navali della posizione della barca viene passata al centro di ricerca e soccorso di Roma che le trasmette a quello libico. Il commodoro libico Masoud Abdalsamd riferisce che le motovedette libiche sono impegnate in altre attività e il gommone continua la sua navigazione.

      La richiesta di soccorso
      Due ore dopo, alle 17.18, dal gommone un primo contatto con il centralino Alarm Phone che comunica le coordinate al centro di soccorso di Roma e monitora la zona: non ci sono navi vicine e l’unica Ong presente, la Mare Jonio, è a Lampedusa. Roma ( che era già informata) chiama Tripoli, la guardia costiera libica identifica la Nivin, un mercantile già in rotta verso Misurata ma le manca l’attrezzatura per comunicare e dirigere la Nivin e chiede a Roma di farlo «a suo nome». Da quel momento è MRCC a prendere in mano il coordinamento, dà istruzioni al comandante della Nivin e dirige il soccorso.

      L’arrivo dei libici
      Alle 21.34, un dispaccio del centro di ricerca e soccorso dei libici annuncia la presa del coordinamento delloperazione ma la comunicazione parte dallo stesso numero nella disponibilità della Marina italiana sulla nave di stanza a Tripoli. Alle 3.30 la Nivin soccorre i migranti. Saliti a bordo i marinai li tranquillizzano dicendo loro che saranno portati in Italia. Ma quando vedono arrivare una motovedetta libica i migranti capiscono di essere stati ingannati, rifiutano il trasbordo e si barricano sulla tolda della nave. I libici dopo un poò rinunciano e la Nivin prosegue verso Misurata dicendo ai migranti di essere in rotta verso Malta. Un’altra bugia.

      Lo sbarco a Misurata
      I migranti rimangono asserragliati anche quando la nave entra nel porto libico. Ci resteranno dieci giorni chiedendo disperatamente aiuto ai media internazionali con i telefoni cellulari. Il 20 novembre l’intervento di forza dei militari libici armati pone fine alla loro odissea. Alcuni migranti vengono picchiati, feriti, ricondotti nei centri di detenzione dove alcuni di loro vengono intercettati dall’equipe di Medici senza frontiere che raccoglie le loro testimonianze che si incrociano perfettamente con i documenti recuperati.

      Il ruolo dell’Italia
      Ne viene fuori un quadro che combacia perfettamente con quanto già evidenziato da un’inchiesta in via di conclusione della Procura di Agrigento coordinata dal procuratore aggiunto Salvatore Vella. Un quadro in cui l’Italia, nonostante gli accordi con la Libia, prevedono un ruolo di semplice assistenza e supporto tecnico alla Guardia costiera libica, di fatto svolge - tramite la nave della Marina militare di stanza a Tripoli - svolge una funzione di centro di comunicazione e coordinamento «dando un contributo decisivo - si legge nel report - alla capacità di controllo e coordinamento che ha saldamente in mano».
      «Quando i libici non sono in grado di intervenire - è l’accusa di Forensic Oceanography - Roma opta per una seconda modalità, quella del respingimento privato attraverso le mavi mercantili che - secondo un recente report semestrale di Eunavformed - ha prodotto 13 casi nell’ultimo anno con un aumento del 15-20 per cento».

      https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2019/12/18/news/migranti_l_italia_dietro_il_respingimento_dei_93_salvati_dal_mercantile_n

  • UNHCR Serbia Update, November 2019

    • 1,035 asylum seekers reported collective expulsion from neighbouring countries (439 from Romania, 357 from Hungary, 133 from Croatia and 96 from BiH). 51% of them alleged to have been denied access to asylum and 19% maltreatment by authorities of these countries. Amongst them were asylum seekers, who were expelled to Serbia outside lawful procedures from Hungary (three) or BiH (two), though they had never been in Serbia before. The terrible danger of irregular movements was again illustrated in the early morning of 11 November, when a dinghy with ten migrants heading from the port of #Apatin towards Croatia overturned in the Danube, leading to four missing passengers, feared to have drowned.

    https://reliefweb.int/report/serbia/unhcr-serbia-update-november-2019
    #Serbie #push-back #refoulement #refoulements #push-backs #refoulements_collectifs #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Roumanie #Hongrie #Croatie #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #par_ricochet

    Il y a aussi, dans ce rapport, la nouvelle de #décès #morts :

    The terrible danger of irregular movements was again illustrated in the early morning of 11 November, when a dinghy with ten migrants heading from the port of #Apatin towards Croatia overturned in the Danube, leading to four missing passengers, feared to have drowned

    Sur les #refoulements_en_chaîne...

    Comme ce qui se passait en 2013, et que j’avais signalé dans un texte écrit pour la revue Vivre Ensemble (@vivre) paru en septembre 2014 :
    Serbie | L’antichambre de l’Europe

    Une fois récolté l’argent nécessaire, ils et elles reprennent leur route vers l’Europe, souvent via la Hongrie. L’UE ayant renforcé les contrôles à la frontière hongro-serbe, les migrants restent fréquemment bloqués en Serbie. Quant à ceux qui parviennent à la franchir, ils risquent de se retrouver… en Grèce ! Les conditions d’accueil en Hongrie conduisent en effet nombre de migrants à refuser de donner leurs empreintes digitales pour ne pas s’y trouver coincés par le jeu du système Dublin. Ils sont alors acheminés vers la frontière serbe, selon les témoignages que nous avons recueillis. Et lorsqu’ils sont interceptés en Serbie, ils sont condamnables à une peine de prison (10 à 15 jours) ou à une amende et reçoivent un ordre d’expulsion. Parfois, ils sont directement retransférés en Macédoine. La Macédoine ayant notamment signé un accord de réadmission avec Athènes, les migrants peuvent, au final, se retrouver en Grèce. Un pays structurellement défaillant en matière de protection, au point que les renvois Dublin y sont illégaux depuis 2011. La Hongrie continue ainsi d’y renvoyer indirectement les migrants, par le jeu de refoulements en chaîne.

    https://asile.ch/chronique/serbie-lantichambre-de-leurope

    ping @isskein

  • Balkan Region - Report July 2019

    The Border Violence Monitoring Network has just published it’s August report summarizing the current situation regarding pushbacks and police violence in the Western Balkans, primarily in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Se​rbian borders with Croatia and Hungary, but also including Italy, Slovenia, North Macedonia and Greece.

    This report analyzes, among other things:

    – Torture: Recurrence of extreme violence and abuse
    – Pushback from Italy
    – Beyond police: Actors within the pushback framework
    – Further dispersion of pushback sites in NW Bosnia
    – Trends in pushback sites to and from Greece

    More broadly, monitoring work continues to note the trans-national and bilateral cooperation between EU member states in the north of the Balkan route. Instances of chain pushbacks from Italy to Bosnia and Herzegovina, though relatively rare, offer insight into the web of actors engaged in the refoulement of groups across multiple borders, and liminality of due process in these cases. The intersection of unlawful acts also raises key concerns about aiding and abetting of pushbacks by Brussels. Specifically, analysis from this month elaborates on the involvement of Frontex in facilitating pushbacks.

    https://www.borderviolence.eu/wp-content/uploads/August-Report.pdf
    #rapport #migrations #réfugiés #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #asile #frontières #violence #push-back #push-backs #refoulement #refoulements

    –------

    v. aussi la liste des push-back avec armes à feu (août 2017-octobre 2019) :
    Push-back reports from Croatia with gun violence
    https://seenthis.net/messages/814569

    • Je mets ici les passages qui m’intéressent particulièrement... et notamment sur la #frontière_sud-alpine

      Push-back from Italy

      Chain push-backs from Italy are comparatively rare. Yet notably one report (see 1.1: https://www.borderviolence.eu/violence-reports/august-5-2019-0700-fernetti-italy conducted last month provided evidence of this sequential phenomena of expulsion from Italy back to BiH, via Slovenia and Croatia; drawing into question why such uncommon and illegal procedure was conducted by Italian police officers. The transit group was initially apprehended by Italian police officers in a small village on theoutskirts of Trieste from where they described being brought to a government building. Both in Italy and later in Slovenia, the transit group in question was detained, made to give their fingerprints, had their pictures taken and were asked to sign paperswritten in languages that they did not understand.

      “We asked the woman, what was on the paper because it was in Italian. She didn’t translate and we didn’t understand what we signed.” “I told the translator that they have to find a solution. They can’t just bring us back to Slovenia, knowing that we were in Italy. And they said, we are just migrants, we are not tourists.”Once they arrived in Croatia, the transit group was detained in a police station and interviewed one at a time before being brought to the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina where the group had their phones individually broken with a hammer by a Croatian police officer. They were then told to walk through a forest into Bosnia-Herzegovina. The chronology of events above alludes also to the complicit nature of preliminary actors within the wider pushbacks. Arguably initiators such as Slovenia and Italy -who often afford groups with translators and legal documents -have an intimate relationship to the violence and terror that accompanies subsequent push-backs from Croatia to BiH. The feigning of due process by these countries, despite prior knowledge of violent chain refoulement, forms a central part of their conceit. Italy and Slovenia mask their actions in a malaise of procedures (regularly untranslated or explained), in order to hide the institutionalisation of illegal chain pushbacks. The nature of chain pushbacks are defined by these bit-part processes, which simultaneously imitate regular procedures, while providing ample space for state authorities to deviate from legal obligations.

      (pp.6-7)
      #Italie #push-back #Slovénie #refoulement

    • And on the

      Construction of further fencing along Slovenian-Croatian border

      This August the Slovenian government authorized the construction (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-slovenia/slovenia-erects-more-border-fence-to-curb-migrant-inflow-idUSKCN1VC19Q) of a fence 40 kms long on the banks of the river Kolpa, on the border with Croatia. The security device, installed by Serbian firm LEGI SGS, will add up to an already existing fence, making the barrier a total of 219km long. The exact location of the construction was not made public, and a spokeswoman for the interior ministry said itwill be a temporary measure to prevent people crossing the border. She did however directly cite migration as a threat to the security of citizens’ in her statement, arguably reinforcing the ideological bordering that accompanies this further fencing. Theconstruction is part of an escalating approach to border security which includes the deployment of military (https://www.aljazeera.com/amp/news/2019/07/slovenia-deploy-soldiers-boost-border-patrols-migrants-190721191235190.ht), stationed on the border since 2016, and bolstered this year alongside regular police forces.

      The opposition party NSi demanded tighter control (https://balkaninsight.com/2019/07/05/slovenia-opposition-demands-tighter-border-controls-with-croatia) sat the border with Croatia in July, and there seems little, or no will to challenge the mainstream rhetoric on migration. These demands, as BVMN reported last month (http://www.nonamekitchen.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Final-Report-July-2019.pdf), coincided with concerns of Italy building a wall on the border with Slovenia, were the ongoing joint border not to stem movement from Slovenia into Italy. Thus it seems somewhat ironic to observe the construction of a barrier on Slovenia’s Southern border, preempting the machinations of Italian interior minister, Matteo Salvini.

      Unfortunately, the domino effect being played out between these states only feeds into Croatia’s intensifying security measures. While interior minister David Bozinovic was plethoric, stating that “what Slovenians are doing, is their own decision” (https://www.total-croatia-news.com/politics/38042-migrants), his assertion that a joint European solution would be more welcome rings fairly hollow when viewed in tandem with the heightened repression around pushbacks this month and the already complicit role of Frontex. To this end, there seems to be no escape from the vicious circle of reborderization and loss of human rights in Europe, shown most recentlyby Slovenia’s harder borders.

      Allegations of smuggling made against asylum centerstaff in Ljubljana

      A statement (https://push-forward.org/novica/izjava-iniciative-prosilcev-za-azil-la-lutte-de-la-liberte-6-8-2019-az) by the asylum seekers initiative La lutte de la Liberté, and released at the beginning of August highlights what may be a serious case of abuse by security personnel in the asylum seekers camp Vič, Slovenia. According to the group, a resident in the camp called Ibrahim witnessed a number of security guards smuggling migrants out of the camp with cars in exchange for money. After the incident, which took place at the beginning of July, Ibrahim told the director of the camp who flatly denied the allegations, yet simultaneously removed two guards from their posts, causing great suspicion. In retaliation, other guards started to mob Ibrahim resulting in a series of episodes of violence culminating in a fight, for which Ibrahim was taken to a detention centre in #Postojna.

      Ibrahim has now been released and three security guards in the camp are under investigation, a source from InfoKolpa shared. Even though the actual occurrence of smuggling remains a supposition, the event highlights an important grey zone in which camp staff are operating, and the potential for systemic abuse of the asylum system. It can be argued that such cases can only emerge in the void left by inaccessible procedures and it is well known that extremely long waiting times are built into the asylum system in Slovenia. The behaviorof the security guards, in a position of absolute power over the migrants, can be explained by the fact that they are virtually invisible to the outside world, unless the migrants can organizethemselves as in this case. There has already been proof of violent behaviorby the guards in Vic, as shown in this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4GP0qLTsg0

      ) taken some six months ago.

      People on the move, for their part, are in a position of structural and individual disadvantage, susceptible to many types of violence. As the statement correctly underlines, regardless of some staff being amenable, one person abusing a position of power is enough to ruin the life of someone held captive in a protracted asylum system. Infact, evidence would go further to suggest that in this case it seems like the guards were more of an organizedmob, rather than rogue individuals.

      The waiting period for asylum which reaches nine months maximum in theory (with only 18 euros a month granted to applicants by the state), makes the tenure of asylum seekers even more precarious, adding to the poor or nonexistent measures taken to integrate them into society: asylum seekers have no access to welfare, assistance in access to work or social housing and their placement in the detention center in Postojna is decided arbitrarily bythe police. The entire Slovenian asylum system goes thus into inquiry, if viewed through thelensof this case, which both expounds its flaws and the potential corruption within.

      (pp.18-20)

      #murs #barrières_frontalières #militarisation_des_frontières

  • The Swiss Federal Administrative suspended the return of asylum seeker to Croatia according to Dublin due to police violence taking place at the Croatian-Bosnian border. The asylum- seeker experienced violent pushbacks from the Croatian border 18 times, which left him with physical and psychological consequences. This ruling confirmed all the testimonies of refugees and numerous reports from both international and local organizations, institutions and the media that warned about this continuing practice of the Croatian police.

    Reçu via la newsletter de Inicijativa Dobrodosli, le 26.08.2019

    #suspension #Dublin #asile #renvois_Dublin #Suisse #migrations #réfugiés #expulsion #Croatie #violences_policières #frontières #violent_border #violence #Bosnie #push-back #push-backs #refoulement #police

    –------

    Source:
    Švicarski sud suspendirao vraćanje izbjeglice zbog prijetnje ponavljanja pushback-a

    Švicarski Federalni upravni sud suspendirao vraćanje po Dublinu zbog policijskog nasilja nad izbjeglicama.

    Švicarski Federalni upravni sud suspendirao je vraćanje tražitelja azila prema Dublinu u Hrvatsku zbog policijskog nasilja koje se događa na hrvatsko-bosanskoj granici. Tražitelj je 18 puta iskusio nasilne pushbackove s hrvatske granice što je na njemu ostavilo fizičke i psihičke posljedice. Ovom presudom potvrđena su sva svjedočanstva izbjeglica i mnogobrojni izvještaji kako međunarodnih tako lokalnih organizacija, institucija i medija koje već godinama upozoravaju na kontinuiranu praksu hrvatske policije.

    https://www.cms.hr/hr/azil-i-integracijske-politike/svicarski-sud-suspendirao-vracanje-izbjeglice-zbog-prijetnje-ponavljanja-pushbac

    ping @i_s_ @isskein

  • #Push-back_map

    Cette carte documente et dénonce des #push-backs systématiques. Ils sont une réalité quotidienne aux nombreuses #frontières de l’Europe et du monde. Renvoyer les gens à travers les frontières contre leur volonté est une pratique de l´État qui est violente, et qui doit cesser maintenant !

    Veuillez noter que si un témoignage ou un rapport ne dispose pas d’une localisation GPS exacte, l’emplacement du marqueur ne sera qu’une approximation.


    https://pushbackmap.org/fr/carte-des-refoulements

    #push-back #cartographie #contre-cartographie #cartographie_critique #cartographie_radicale #asile #migrations #réfugiés #cartographie_participative #violent_borders #monde
    ping @reka @fil

  • El Gobierno desempolva un convenio de hace 26 años para expulsar a 116 migrantes

    La operación, de carácter extraordinario, se basa en un pacto que España y Marruecos firmaron en 1992.

    La Policía Nacional ha devuelto a Marruecos a los 116 subsaharianos que este miércoles saltaron la valla de Ceuta. Únicamente permanecen en España los dos menores que participaron en la entrada. El Gobierno ha recurrido para repatriarlos a un convenido firmado en 1992 por los entonces ministros del Interior de ambos países, José Luis Corcuera y Driss Basri, que contemplaba la expulsión en menos de 10 días de los ciudadanos de terceros países que entraran ilegalmente en España desde Marruecos. En sus 26 años, el acuerdo solo se había aplicado de manera excepcional.

    Firmado tras un repunte de la llegada de pateras a las costas andaluzas a comienzo de los noventa, en sus primeros 13 años en vigor el convenio sirvió para expulsar únicamente a 114 migrantes. En 2006, el Gobierno de José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero intentó reactivarlo, pero sin éxito. Tampoco lo logró Jorge Fernández Díaz, ministro del Interior del PP, quien en 2014 llegó a plantear a Marruecos su aplicación solo a aquellos que lograran saltar la valla de “forma violenta”. Desde entonces, se había utilizado en contadas ocasiones y, siempre, con un número de extranjeros muy inferior al de este jueves.

    Fuentes policiales destacan que las reticencias de Rabat a admitir ciudadanos de terceros países por esta vía había convertido su aplicación en excepcional. En los últimos años se aplicaba únicamente a los no marroquíes que arribaban en patera a las Islas Chafarinas, un archipiélago de soberanía española situado a 27 millas náuticas de Melilla y a 1,9 de la costa de Marruecos, en las que solo hay un destacamento militar español.

    La decisión de reactivar el acuerdo de Corcuera más allá de estas pateras la tomó el Ejecutivo de Pedro Sánchez el pasado 26 de julio, después de que más de 600 inmigrantes lograran saltar la valla de Ceuta. Los ministros del Interior y Asuntos Exteriores, Fernando Grande-Marlaska y Josep Borrell, respectivamente, solicitaron entonces a Marruecos que permitiera la entrega de, al menos, una parte de este numeroso grupo, pero Rabat rechazó la propuesta, según detallan fuentes de Interior conocedoras de aquellos contactos. Marruecos sí se comprometió a aplicar el convenio si se volvía a producir un salto masivo, como el que finalmente se produjo este miércoles otra vez en Ceuta. España inició entonces los contactos, pero las autoridades del país magrebí volvieron a mostrar reticencias. Grande-Marlaska entró en contacto esa misma tarde con sus interlocutores magrebíes para desatascar la situación.

    Los responsables de la Comisaría General de Extranjería y Fronteras desplegaron entonces un amplio dispositivo para cumplimentar los trámites en pocas horas. Los migrantes fueron trasladados de 10 en 10 desde el Centro de Estancia Temporal de Inmigrantes (CETI) de Ceuta a dependencias policiales para tramitar el expediente de devolución de forma exprés. Tras tomarles la filiación, se les entregaba la orden de expulsión en presencia de un abogado. De allí, pasaban a los calabozos para su posterior traslado en vehículos a la frontera. Interior ha marcado distancias con las polémicas devoluciones en caliente, en las que no se produce ninguna de estas circunstancias y que ya han costado una condena del Tribunal Europeo de Derechos Humanos de Estrasburgo. Portavoces del ministerio recalcaban que “ninguno” de los 116 inmigrantes ahora devueltos a Marruecos solicitó asilo durante este trámite.
    España pagará los gastos

    Fuentes del equipo de Grande-Marlaska reconocen que el procedimiento habitual es que la devolución se haga directamente con el país de origen. Sin embargo, el acuerdo ahora esgrimido contempla la posibilidad de que regresen al país desde el que han cruzado la frontera, pese a que no sean oriundos de allí. “La clave es que han entrado por Marruecos”, recalcan estas fuentes. El convenio recoge que España se hace cargo tanto de los gastos de transporte a Marruecos como, posteriormente, desde allí a sus países de origen.

    Interior recalca que la entrada de los ahora devueltos se produjo de forma “ilegal y violenta” tras arrojar cal viva, ácido y excrementos a los guardias civiles que custodiaban la frontera. Siete agentes y cinco migrantes resultados heridos. “Legalmente, su situación es muy distinta de los que se les rescata en el mar”, recuerdan desde el ministerio. En el caso del auxilio de las pateras, la normativa internacional establece la obligación de los servicios de salvamento de llevar a los rescatados al puerto seguro más cercano.

    https://elpais.com/politica/2018/08/23/actualidad/1535027599_502354.html

    Je mets ici un autre message pour alimenter le tag #walls_don't_work #efficacité #murs #barrières_frontalières #frontières #les_murs_ne_marchent_pas

    ... même si, une fois passé le mur, les autorités marocaines ont procédé au #renvois #expulsions #push-backs des exilé·es qui avaient réussi à passer le barrage...

    #Ceuta #Melilla #Espagne #Maroc

  • Bosnian police block 100 migrants from reaching Croatia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Refugees stranded in Bosnia allege Croatian police brutality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      They did not have a torch or mobile phone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

      Une « violence systématique » selon les associations

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

      v. aussi :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Already, life is difficult.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Frontex said that approximately 118,900 irregular border crossings were recorded in the first 10 months of 2018, roughly 31% lower than the same period in 2017.
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      Despite this steady decline in numbers, many states remain embroiled in political disputes that fuel anti-migrant sentiment across Europe.

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

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

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

      “In the last months our team in Bosnia and Herzegovina has regularly treated patients – sometimes even women and small children – with wounds allegedly inflicted by state authorities when attempting to cross into Croatia and Slovenia, where, according to their testimonies, their claims for asylum and protection are regularly ignored,” says Julian Koeberer, humanitarian affairs officer in the northern Balkans for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
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      Since the turn of the year, the Bosnian authorities have registered the entry of about 21,000 people, coming from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran or Syria. Of these, an estimated 5,000 remain in the country.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Sachets à emporter

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

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

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

      Ecrans brisés

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Croatia: Migrants Pushed Back to Bosnia and Herzegovina

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Denied Access to Asylum Procedure, Summarily Returned

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Accounts of Violence and Abuse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      *Names have been changed to protect identities.

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

      #Velika_Kladusa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

      VIDEO MATERIAL PROVES ILLEGAL PUSH-BACKS FROM CROATIA

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

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

      The group’s report accompanying the material reads:

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

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

      PROOF OF MULTIPLE CRIMINAL OFFENCES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    • Human rights group files complaint against Croatian police

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

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

      Video and witness statements

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

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

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

      Collective forced push-backs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Kroatische Polizei bei illegaler Abschiebung gefilmt

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

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

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

      Knüppelhiebe und zerstörte Handys

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Kein Einzelfall in Europa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Pravobraniteljica: ‘Zaštita policajaca koji časno rade svoj posao’

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Gradonačelnik Bihaća koji je naletio na hrvatske policajce s migrantima

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

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

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

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

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

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

      –------------------

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

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

      Et en plus:

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

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

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

    • Asyl-Türsteher für die Schweiz

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

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

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

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

      «Push backs» auf Befehl

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

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

      8500 Asylsuchende allein in Bosnien

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

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

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

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

    • Reçu via la newsletter Inicijativa Dobrodosli, le 12.08.2019:

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

    • This week Croatia received from the European Commission the green light to enter the Schengen area (https://www.vecernji.hr/vijesti/europska-komisija-upravo-donijela-odluku-hrvatska-je-ispunila-uvjete-za-sch. The confirmation of the fulfillment of the requirements comes some months after the end of the European independent experts’ inspection who assessed that Croatia meets Schengen standards. Both the above-mentioned inspection and the Commission paid particular attention to the sphere of management and protection of the external borders, and especially to the control of the one with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The European Commission’s report states how Croatia needs to invest in the procurement of new technical equipment and training of special dogs that would support the border protection. The day after the European Commission’s positive decision, Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European Commissioner for Migration, Internal Affairs, and Citizenship, visited Zagreb and emphasized how “Croatia has to maintain a high level of control of its external borders and especially with Bosnia and Herzegovina” (https://www.slobodnaevropa.org/a/30232391.html.

      While EU officials, together with Croatian Government representatives, celebrate the European Commission’s approval for the admission to the Schengen area, civil society organisations at national and international level warn that Croatia cannot become a member of the Schengen area as long as it violates both human rights and the Schengen acquis (https://www.ecre.org/editorial-croatias-schengen-accession-reinforcing-legal-red-lines-not-borders). The European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) warned that the continuous practice of push-backs conducted by Croatian police officers at the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina represents a violation of Article 4 of the Schengen Borders Code. Welcome Initiative, together with the Border Violence Monitoring Network, the Centre for Peace Studies, Are you Syrious?, Rigardu, Mobile Info Team, Re:ports Sarajevo, the Asylum Protection Centre, and Refugee Aid Serbia, published a statement regarding the approval of the European Commission for Croatian entrance to the Schengen area. The statement highlights that “Croatia’s membership to the Schengen area should have been put on hold until the Government of the Croatian Republic does not stop the violent #push-backs” (https://www.cms.hr/hr/azil-i-integracijske-politike/hrvatska-ne-smije-uci-u-schengen-dok-krsi-ljudska-prava). In an interview for Faktograf (https://faktograf.hr/2019/10/23/zeleno-svjetlo-za-ulazak-hrvatske-u-schengen-ima-svoju-mracnu-stranu, the representative of the Centre for Peace Studies claimed that it is impossible that EU institutions do not know what is happening at the borders with Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially when not only many national and international organisations but also institutions such as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants (https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=25088&LangID=E) and the Commissioner of Human Rights of the Council of Europe (https://rm.coe.int/09000016808d7db3) warned about violent push-backs. Paradoxically, the European Commission confirms in its report that the violence against refugees at the borders is acknowledged, and at the same time, it makes certain decisions that tacitly support these practices. If the European Union really wanted to dissociate itself from the policies which rely on beating the people who are in a search of safety, then it would have already taken some steps to urge the Croatian Government to take the necessary measures and to prevent daily violence.

      Reçu via la newsletter Inicijativa Dobrodosli, le 29.10.2019.

      Mise en évidence de ce passage :

      The European Commission’s report states how Croatia needs to invest in the procurement of new technical equipment and training of special dogs that would support the border protection.

      –-> #chiens #militarisation_des_frontières #technologie #protection_des_frontières #frontières_extérieures #refoulements

      #Schengen #adhésion #espace_Schengen #violence

      –-------------

      voir aussi en français :

      Adhésion à Schengen : la Croatie en bonne voie pour intégrer l’espace Schengen

      La Commission rend compte aujourd’hui des progrès accomplis par la Croatie en vue de satisfaire aux conditions nécessaires pour intégrer l’espace Schengen. La Commission européenne considère que, sur la base des résultats du processus d’évaluation Schengen lancé en 2016, la Croatie a pris les mesures requises pour que les conditions nécessaires à l’application intégrale des règles et normes Schengen soient remplies. La Croatie devra continuer à mettre en œuvre toutes les actions en cours, notamment en ce qui concerne la gestion des frontières extérieures, pour faire en sorte que les conditions précitées continuent d’être remplies. La Commission confirme également que la Croatie continue de remplir les engagements liés aux règles Schengen qu’elle a pris dans le cadre des négociations d’adhésion.

      https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/fr/IP_19_6140

  • Hundreds died in Rohingya camps on Thai-Malaysia border
    http://www.atimes.com/article/hundreds-died-rohingya-camps-thai-malaysia-border

    More details have emerged about Thailand’s ugly trade in people now that a marathon trial has ended in Bangkok with 62 people convicted of human trafficking and other serious crimes.

    Camps set up by traffickers in the jungle on the Thai-Malaysian border to hold Rohingya and other ‘boat people’ existed for many years prior to government crackdown in mid-2015 that curtailed the brutal trade, a key activist group has said.

    Freeland, a Bangkok-based non-government group that fights wildlife trafficking and human slavery, worked with Thai police to identify key figures in the smuggling networks that were rounded up and put on trial.

    The group said on Friday it “believes that more than 500 people died in the camps where the people in this particular trafficking chain were held, and that the camps were probably there for at least five years or more”.

    It also had “digital forensics experts” able to help police access vital data on mobile phones found on drivers and in cars stopped with smuggled Rohingya on board. Data on the phones indicated “the precise route the drivers had taken on multiple occasions… [and] filled in pieces of the trafficking supply chain, and ultimately uncovered the location of some holding camps.”

    The data also allegedly led to bank transfers to a senior military officer convicted of trafficking, Lieutenant General Manas Kongpaen. Manas, who was sentenced to 27 years jail, was involved in the notorious ‘pushbacks’ affair in December 2008 and January 2009, when vessels carrying hundreds of Rohingya were towed back into the Andaman Sea and set adrift.

  • Greek police continues to illegally hand over Turkish asylum seekers to Turkey

    On 2 June at 9am, a family of six, including an infant, and three men who wished to apply for international protection in Greece because of persecution in Turkey were handed over by Greek police to a group of masked gunmen. The refoulement was witnessed and the HLHR has in its disposal the license plate numbers of the Greek police van that transferred the asylum seekers. The new refoulement took place in #Evros by boat, near Didymoteicho, and involved Mustafa Can, his wife and their four children, as well as Yılmaz Erdoğan, Fethullah Çatal, and one more man, whose name is still not known.

    https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/migrants-rights/greek-police-continues-to-illegally-hand-over-turkish-asylum-seekers

    #push-back #refoulement #Turquie #Grèce #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Didimoticho
    cc @i_s_

  • U.S. border officials are illegally turning away asylum seekers, critics say

    Several weeks ago, a former Guatemalan police officer walked up to U.S. private ­security guards at the border crossing here and asked for asylum in the United States.
    “I am fleeing my country,” the policeman later recalled telling the guards, explaining that he had survived two attempts on his life. “I am being persecuted in a matter of life and death.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/us-border-officials-are-illegally-turning-away-asylum-seekers-critics-say/2017/01/16/f7f5c54a-c6d0-11e6-acda-59924caa2450_story.html
    #USA #Etat-Unis #push-backs #refoulements #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières
    via @isskein

  • Hungary: Appalling treatment of asylum-seekers a deliberate populist ploy

    Asylum-seekers – including unaccompanied children – are suffering violent abuse, illegal push backs and unlawful detention at the hands of Hungary’s authorities and a system blatantly designed to deter them, Amnesty International has revealed in a new report.

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/09/hungary-appalling-treatment-of-asylum-seekers-a-deliberate-populist-ploy

    #Hongrie #push-backs #refoulements #violence #asile #migrations #réfugiés #détention_administrative #rétention

  • Turkish border guards fire on fleeing Syrians, 8 dead: monitor

    Syria’s main opposition group expressed surprise that Turkish border guards opened fire on Syrians fleeing into their country


    http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/turkish-border-guards-fire-fleeing-syrians-8-dead-monitor-1581996551

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Turquie #Syrie #fermeture_des_frontières #meurtre #décès #frontières #réfugiés_syriens

    • Turkish border guards shoot civilians on border with Syria, two killed

      QAMISHLO – Turkey’s border police on Sunday opened fire on a number of Syrian civilians who were trying to cross the border illegally, escaping the ongoing war in Syria, local sources reported.


      http://aranews.net/2016/06/turkish-border-guards-shoot-civilians-border-syria-two-killed

    • Nearly 900 undocumented migrants rounded up in Turkey

      Turkey continues to serve as a key route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, particularly since the outbreak of the civil war in Syria 2011.

      Turkish security forces have captured 899 undocumented migrants in Turkey, according to a statement released by the Turkish General Staff on April 1.

      Turkish border guards rounded up 641 migrants trying to illegally enter Turkey from Syria, in addition to 123 more migrants attempting to illegally enter Turkey from Iran.

      The statement noted that 111 kilograms of illegal drugs were also seized along with the migrants.

      Furthermore, an additional 135 migrants were held while trying to illegally enter Greece from Turkey, according to the statement.

      Turkey is home to more than 3 million Syrian refugees who have been arriving in neighboring Turkey steadily since the outbreak of war in 2011. However, in 2017, most of those detained undocumented migrants came from Pakistan (15,000) and Afghanistan (12,000), as compared to migrants coming from Syria (10,000).


      https://ahvalnews.com/migrants/nearly-900-undocumented-migrants-rounded-turkey

    • L’Observatoire des réfugiés de l’Université d’Egée publie un témoignage terrifiant d’un jeune de 18 ans, arrêté par les gardes côtes turques, lors d’un passage raté en #Grèce, et renvoyé en Syrie manu militari sans autre forme de procédure, avec un groupe d’autres syriens. Etant donné les récentes déclarations d’Erdogan, comme quoi qu’il a l’intention de renvoyer en Syrie les millions de réfugiés actuellement sur le territoire turque, cela laisse présager le pire.

      A New Nightmare : Picked up in the Aegean and Returned to Syria

      For the past ten days I have been waiting for news from Mohammad. Like me he comes from Aleppo but for the past 6 years he has been with his mother and brother living in Istanbul. Mohammad is 18 years old.

      We became friends through Facebook where he saw that I was involved with many refugees in Athens and in Samos. He had read my story in the Samos Chronicles. As a young gay man he turned to me for advice and help which I was happy to give. Over the past six months we have talked a lot and a good friendship has developed. I know that he trusts me.

      For Mohammad his determination to leave Turkey and to seek a life in Europe was decided when his bosses refused to pay him. After three months of working in factory manufacturing textiles he went to his boss and asked to be paid. They refused. Even after much pleading they still refused and told him to go. They would never pay him and if he didn’t like it he should go to the police. This is what he did. But the police told him that without papers they could and would do nothing. Mohammad again pressed them, asking them to go to the factory where they could meet the people he worked alongside who could tell the police how he had worked there for three months. But they took no notice. They did nothing.

      For Mohammad this was the final straw. He would leave Turkey and come to Greece. As he told me he wanted to be a human being with rights. He would no longer be a slave or be treated as garbage. We started to discuss options. I told him that he should come as quickly as possible to Athens and together we could sort out the next steps. I thought the fastest way would be to come through Evros in the north of Greece and then travel down to Athens where I was ready to care for him. But he was shy about this idea. He only had 400 euros. He did not want to be a burden on me. So he decided that the best way for him was to go down to Izmir and find a smuggler to get him to one of the Greek islands. He told me that by going to the islands first he would at least get some help with accommodation and food.

      These were tense days for me waiting to know what was happening to Mohammad. For over a week I heard nothing from him. Then came his call. He was not in Greece but in Idlib province in Syria. I was completely shocked. As for Mohammad he was crying and crying. Very very upset.

      In Izmir he had found a smuggler to take him for 400 euros. But they had not long left the shore when they were caught by the Turkish coastguard who returned them to Izmir. Then he was in the prison for 6 days. The police then came and handcuffed all the people he had been travelling with and loaded them onto a bus. Of course, he said, people were asking their guards what is happening, where are you taking us. But their only reply was a beating. “So we were silenced and scared. After many hours we were eventually put into cars, still handcuffed. The next thing we knew they were releasing us not far from a small town. Then they told us we were free to go and that we were now inside Idlib province in Syria”.

      At no point did they meet anyone who could help . No lawyers came to the prison. The police took their Turkish papers and destroyed them. “One of the young guys with us kept pleading with the police to let him go back to his elderly mother. But all he got was a beating. I was very frightened”.

      Mohammad is devastated to find himself in this position. He is back in Syria but in an area where war still rages; where the Free Army and Daesh roam the streets and which is simply not safe.

      As he had no family nor friends in this province it was the solidarity from those he travelled with that found him a place in a family home. There is not much space but at least he feels safe for the moment. He hopes to find a smuggler who can take him back to Turkey. But I am afraid for him as the border is now harder to cross and the Turkish border guards are shooting and killing those trying to cross. I have heard many stories about this bad situation around the Turkish border near Idlib but this is the first time I have heard about refugees who are trying to cross to the Greek islands being returned to Syria in this way.

      Now all I can do is to wait for news from Mohammad. I write his story because I want his situation known. What has happened to him is wrong and I am sure it is not legal under international law. I know that Turkey is unlikely to be punished. But as a refugee I know that many of us only survive because we help one another and get the best help from those so called ordinary people in the streets who we meet as try to get to a safe place. These are the people I want to reach out to. Not governments.

      https://refugeeobservatory.aegean.gr/el/node/820

  • Spain-Morocco : border #violence

    Madrid, 24 March 2015 – Together with Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes (SJM), JRS Europe is monitoring events on the Spanish land borders with Morocco very closely. Following interviews with migrants and visits to border posts at the Melilla-Nador border detailed submissions were made to an EU delegation that visited in February. JRS Europe is alarmed by recent border violence and the continued efforts of the Spanish government to legalise #push-backs.


    http://jrseurope.org/news_detail?TN=NEWS-20150324053155
    #Espagne #frontière #Maroc #refoulement #migration #asile #réfugiés

  • Still no good life for refugees in Bulgaria

    The situation for refugees in Bulgaria still exhibits extreme social vulnerability. As the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC) and the European Council on Refugees (ECRE) pointed out in a report from January 2015 the push-backs, the lack of integration and discrimination against asylumseekers in Bulgaria are continuing. Meanwhile, the Bulgarian Defense Ministry deployed troops on the Bulgarian-Turkish border and Boyko Borisov, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister announced the extension of the fence project, which will now comprise 331 km.

    Violent #push-backs at the border are still taking place. One such violation of international norms took place on March 25 as a result of which Mohammed Jawad Kadima (30) and Elias Murad (35) died after freezing to death because of their impossibility to move while sustaining severe injuries on their limbs. A witness of the incident says the following about his experience with the Bulgarian Border Police:

    We were 12 people. At the border we got arrested. They beaten us, massively. The bulgarian police took our mobiles, our money that they could find and all objects of value. One of the refugees was not able to walk and his legs couldn’t carry him anymore. The police called us to go back to Turkey. We returned to Turkey.

    We remind our readers that violent push-backs often take place at the border. For more information, read our report from July 2014.

    http://bulgaria.bordermonitoring.eu/2015/03/24/still-no-good-life-for-refugees-in-bulgaria
    #Bulgarie #asile #migration #réfugiés #barrière_frontalière #mur #refoulement #Turquie

  • #Push-backs across the border? – The ‘dirty work’ of keeping refugees out of Bulgaria

    We met Hassan on a rainy day in a reception centre for refugees and asylum-seekers in Harmanli, Bulgaria, about an hour’s drive from the Turkish border. He shares a room with seven other Syrians who made their way to Europe to flee the armed conflict.

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/articles/blogs/2014/07/push-backs-across-the-border-the-dirty-work-of-keeping-refugees-out-of-bulg

    #refoulement #asile #réfugiés #frontière #migration #Bulgarie

  • Muiznieks urges Spain to withdraw amendment giving legal cover to #push-backs in #Ceuta and #Melilla

    Concluding a visit to Melilla and Madrid, Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, has called on the Spanish authorities to stop the pushbacks to Morocco of migrants entering the cities of Ceuta and Melilla and to reconsider the amendments legalising this practice. According to the Commissioner, these modifications are in clear breach of human rights law.

    “The Spanish authorities should reconsider [the amendments] and ensure that any future legislation fully abides by Spain’s international obligations, which include ensuring full access to an effective asylum procedure, providing protection against refoulement and refraining from collective expulsions", Commissioner Muižniekssaid.

    “Push-backs must stop and should be replaced by a practice which reconciles border control and human rights. This is not mission impossible, considering that the migration flows in Melilla currently remain at a manageable level”, he added. According to the Commissioner, Spain received 5,200 asylum applications in 2014, i.e. 1% of the applications lodged in Europe.

    Furthermore, the Commissioner asked for any excessive use of force by law enforcement officials to be fully and effectively investigated and for those found responsible to be adequately sanctioned.

    Commissioner Muižnieks welcomed the establishment in November 2014 of an asylum office at one of Melilla’s entry points from Morocco. According to the Commissioner, people fleeing Syria are increasingly using this office but regretted that “for other people, particularly Sub-Saharan Africans, who may also have valid protection claims, this possibility is still out of reach and they have to take serious risks, including jumping over the fence that surrounds the city, to get in”.

    Citing the overcrowded conditions in the Centre for Temporary Stay of Migrants (CETI), which is hosting 2,000 migrants, four times its capacity, the Commissioner also recommended improving reception conditions in Melilla.

    The conservative-led lower house of the Spanish parliament approved legislation on Thursday 11 December allowing for the summary expulsion to Morocco of migrants entering the country’s cities of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa. The bill still has to be passed by the upper house of the Parliament.

    #refoulement #Espagne #Maroc #migration #asile #Forteresse_Europe

  • Turkey: Border abuses and destitution aggravating plight of Syria refugees

    The international community’s failure to deal with the growing number of Syrian refugees fleeing into Turkey has led to a crisis of unprecedented proportions with refugees facing #push-backs and live fire at the border and hundreds of thousands living in destitution, said Amnesty International in a new report published today.


    http://www.amnesty.eu/en/news/press-releases/all/turkey-border-abuses-and-destitution-aggravating-plight-of-syria-refugees-08
    #Turquie #frontière #Syrie #réfugiés #asile #migration #refoulement

    • #Turquie : la protection des réfugiés de Syrie atteint ses limites | Amnesty International France
      http://www.amnesty.fr/Nos-campagnes/Refugies-et-migrants/Actualites/Turquie-la-protection-des-refugies-de-Syrie-atteint-ses-limites-13281

      A peine 14% des 1,6 millions des #réfugiés de #Syrie vivent dans l’un des 22 camps bien équipés implantés en Turquie. Mais ces derniers ont déjà atteint leur capacité maximale d’accueil.

      Ce sont donc près de 1,3 million de réfugiés de Syrie qui sont livrés à eux-mêmes en Turquie. Une très faible proportion bénéficie de l’aide d’organisations humanitaires.

      Pour se nourrir et se loger, les familles prennent des mesures désespérées, faisant même parfois travailler leurs enfants.

      QUE FAIT LA #COMMUNAUTÉ_INTERNATIONALE ?

      Les faits parlent d’eux-mêmes : la Turquie a dépensé quatre milliards de dollars pour faire face à cet afflux massif de réfugiés.

      Parallèlement, seuls 28 % des 497 millions de dollars assignés à la Turquie dans le cadre de l’appel de fonds régional 2014 des Nations unies en faveur des Syriens avaient été versés par les donateurs internationaux à la fin du mois d’octobre.

      En septembre 2014, en trois jours, la Turquie a accueilli 130 000 réfugiés de Syrie. En trois ans, l’#Union_européenne dans sa totalité n’en avait pas accueilli autant.

      La Turquie a pris à sa charge une partie substantielle du poids financier de la crise. Le manque d’empressement des pays #riches à assumer une plus grande responsabilité financière dans cette crise et à offrir un nombre décent de places de réinstallation est #déplorable ».

      Andrew Gardner