#route_des_balkans

  • Réfugiés : les Balkans jouent les « #chiens_de-garde » de l’UE

    La #Serbie a commencé durant l’été à construire une barrière de barbelés sur sa frontière avec la #Macédoine_du_Nord. Officiellement pour empêcher la propagation de la Covid-19... #Jasmin_Rexhepi, qui préside l’ONG Legis, dénonce la dérive sécuritaire des autocrates balkaniques. Entretien.

    D. Kožul (D.K.) : Que pensez-vous des raisons qui ont poussé la Serbie à construire une barrière à sa frontière avec la Macédoine du Nord ? Officiellement, il s’agit de lutter contre la propagation de l’épidémie de coronavirus. Or, on sait que le nombre de malades est minime chez les réfugiés...

    Jasmin Rexhepi (J.R.) : C’est une mauvaise excuse trouvée par un communicant. On construit des barbelés aux frontières des pays des Balkans depuis 2015. Ils sont posés par des gouvernements ultra-conservateurs, pour des raisons populistes. Les réfugiés ne sont pas une réelle menace sécuritaire pour nos pays en transition, ils ne sont pas plus porteurs du virus que ne le sont nos citoyens, et les barbelés n’ont jamais été efficaces contre les migrations.

    “Faute de pouvoir améliorer la vie de leurs citoyens, les populistes conservateurs se réfugient dans une prétendue défense de la nation contre des ennemis imaginaires.”

    D.K. : Peut-on parler d’une « orbanisation » des pays des Balkans occidentaux ? Quelle est la position à ce sujet des autorités de Macédoine du Nord ?

    J.R. : Tous les pays des Balkans aimeraient rejoindre l’Union européenne (UE), cela ne les empêche pas d’élever des barbelés sur leurs frontières mutuelles, ce qui est contraire aux principes européens de solidarité et d’unité. Quand les dirigeants populistes conservateurs ne peuvent offrir de progrès et d’avancées à leurs citoyens, ils se réfugient dans une prétendue défense de l’État, de la nation et de la religion contre des ennemis imaginaires. Dans le cas présent, ce sont les réfugiés, les basanés et les musulmans qui sont visés, mais il y a eu d’autres boucs émissaires par le passé.

    La Hongrie a ouvert la danse, mais elle n’est pas la seule, il y a eu aussi l’Autriche, la Bulgarie et la Macédoine du Nord en 2016, quand Gruevski était au pouvoir, et maintenant, malheureusement, c’est au tour de la Serbie. La xénophobie des dirigeants de ces États se voit clairement dans leurs discours. La barrière en question n’inquiète toutefois pas outre mesure les dirigeants macédoniens, car ils savent que rien de tout cela n’empêche réellement les migrations, et que ce ne sont pas des barbelés qui vont maintenir les réfugiés de notre côté de la frontière. Surtout pas maintenant qu’ils ont été habitués aux déportations de masse.

    D.K. : Certains disent que cette barrière pourrait couvrir la totalité de la frontière serbo-macédonienne, soit presque 150 km. Cela peut-il freiner les migrations ?

    J.R. : Tout d’abord, il est physiquement impossible d’installer une telle barrière dans les montagnes. À quoi bon couper tant d’arbres, détruire la nature ? Cette barrière ne s’étendra que dans les plaines, comme dans beaucoup d’autres pays. Là où, de toute façon, il n’y a déjà pas grand monde qui passe. La majorité des voies migratoires empruntent des routes de montagnes, qu’il est physiquement difficile de contrôler. C’est d’ailleurs pour cela que beaucoup de migrants entrent en Macédoine du Nord, parce qu’ils peuvent passer par les montagnes. Quant aux autres, ils coupent tout simplement les barbelés.

    “Ceinte de barbelés, l’Europe du XXIe siècle mène une politique hypocrite.”

    D.K. : Les pays des Balkans acceptent-ils de jouer le rôle de chien de garde de l’UE ? Il n’y a aucun pourtant aucune demande officielle de Bruxelles pour la construction de barrières physiques...

    J.R. : L’UE n’a jamais demandé officiellement la construction de barbelés. Ce sont certains de ses États membres ayant pris la responsabilité de « défendre » l’Europe qui ont imposé cette pratique, et offert des barbelés aux pays d’Europe du Sud-Est. C’est ainsi que la route des Balkans a été bloquée en mars 2016, sur la décision de l’Autriche, parce que l’Allemagne commençait soi-disant à refouler les réfugiés, et pas du fait d’une décision officielle des institutions européennes. De même, l’accord entre l’UE et la Turquie, survenu à la même période, a d’abord été signé par un pays de l’UE, qui a ensuite convaincu les autres de faire de même. Ceci étant, les barbelés facilitent le travail des patrouilles de Frontex, l’agence de l’Union européenne chargée du contrôle et de la gestion des frontières extérieures de l’espace Schengen. La position de l’UE n’est donc pas unifiée, d’où l’impression que cette Europe du XXIe siècle, ceinte de barbelés, mène une politique hypocrite et refuse d’assumer ses responsabilités.

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/refugies-balkans-chiens-de-garde-UE
    #réfugiés #asile #migrations #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #externalisation #murs #barrière_frontalière #frontières

    –—

    sur le mur entre Serbie et Macédoine :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/872957

  • Réfugiés : #violences et #chaos dans le nord-ouest de la Bosnie-Herzégovine
    Traduit et adapté par Manon Rumiz (Article original : https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/aree/Bosnia-Erzegovina/Migranti-caos-Bosnia-204594)

    Squats démantelés, familles déportées et laissées sans aide au bord de la route, violentes manifestations anti-migrants.... Dans le canton d’Una-Sana (nord-ouest de la Bosnie-Herzégovine), la situation des réfugiés devient toujours plus dramatique.

    « C’est le chaos. » Voilà comment Silvia Maraone, qui coordonne les activités de l’ONG italienne Ipsia (https://www.facebook.com/IPSIA.BIH) à #Bihać, résume la situation actuelle dans le canton d’#Una_Sana, explosive depuis le milieu de l’été. « Les conditions imposées par le gouvernement local n’offrent plus de répit à personne. Même les familles, les femmes et les enfants n’ont plus accès aux #camps officiels. Quant aux transports en commun, ils sont désormais interdits aux réfugiés, ce qui permet aux trafiquants de faire des affaires encore plus lucratives. »

    Dans le même temps, la police expulse les #squats et tous les #camps_informels, renvoyant les réfugiés hors des frontières du canton. La population locale, de son côté, manifeste ouvertement son hostilité face à la présence massive de candidats à l’exil. Les agressions verbales et physiques se multiplient, ainsi que les attaques contre les volontaires.

    “Le canton d’Una Sana est plus que jamais le #cul-de-sac de la route des Balkans.”

    Du fait de la #pandémie et de la proclamation de l’#état_d’urgence, la situation s’est encore détériorée depuis le printemps. Les camps officiels, déjà pleins, n’accueillent plus de nouveaux entrants alors mêmes que les arrivées ont repris depuis la réouverture des frontières au mois de juin. Le canton d’Una Sana est plus que jamais le cul-de-sac de la route des Balkans, d’autant qu’à l’ouest, le jeu de domino entre les polices italienne, slovène et croate se poursuit, aboutissant au #refoulement des migrants interceptés dans cette zone frontalière de l’Union européenne.

    La seule réponse apportée par les autorités locales a été l’ouverture, en avril, d’un « #camp_d’urgence » à Lipa, entre Bihać et #Bosanski_Petrovac, dont le millier places a vite été rempli. Les squats se sont donc multipliés dans les #friches_industrielles et dans les bois. De toute façon, les migrants ne souhaitent pas rester ici et le « #game » continue : chaque jour, ils sont des centaines à tenter de déjouer la surveillance de la frontière croate avec l’espoir de ne pas être arrêté avant d’avoir atteint l’Italie.

    Le début du « chaos » qu’évoque Silvia Maraone remonte à la mi-juillet, avec l’expulsion du camp de fortune qui s’était créé à l’entrée de #Velika_Kladuša, près du camp officiel de #Miral, le long de la rivière #Kladušnica. Officiellement, l’opération a été déclenchée à cause des plaintes répétées des riverains. Début août, la police est revenue pour chasser les migrants qui avaient reconstitué un nouveau camp.

    « #Milices_citoyennes »

    Quelques jours plus tard, le maire de Bihać, #Šuhret_Fazlić, déclarait que la situation était aussi devenue insoutenable dans sa commune. « Cela n’a jamais été pire qu’aujourd’hui. Chaque jour, nous assistons à l’arrivée d’un flux incontrôlé de migrants. Il y en a déjà des milliers qui campent un peu partout. Une fois de plus, on nous laisse seuls », avant de conclure, menaçant : « Nous sommes prêts à prendre des mesures radicales ». Ce n’est pas la première fois que le maire de Bihać tire la sonnette d’alarme. Début 2018, au tout début de la crise, l’édile déplorait déjà le manque de soutien des autorités de la Fédération, l’entité croato-bosniaque dont dépend le canton, et nationales. À l’automne 2019, Silvia Maraone s’inquiétait aussi : « La situation ne fera qu’empirer dans les mois qui viennent si de nouveaux camps officiels ne sont pas ouverts d’urgence ».

    Selon les chiffres officiels, plus de 80% des réfugiés présents sur le sol bosnien se concentreraient dans le seul canton d’Una Sana. « Il sont plus de 5000, dont à peine la moitié hébergés dans des centres d’accueil officiels. Les autres dorment dans des bâtiments détruits ou dans les bois en attendant de tenter le game », poursuit Silvia Maraone. Ces dernières semaines, la population de Velika Kladuša a organisé des manifestations hebdomadaires contre la présence de migrants. Organisées sur les réseaux sociaux, ces rassemblements réunissent des habitants venus de tout le canton.

    Pire, des #milices citoyennes ont commencé à se mettre en place pour refouler les migrants. « Dans certains groupes Facebook, des membres signalent les plaques des véhicules qui transportent des migrants », observe Silvia Maraone. « Des routes ont même été bloquées, des pierres et des bâtons jetés sur les véhicules. » Ce n’est pas tout. « Des citoyens ont attaqué des migrants en pleine rue, tandis que les volontaires leur venant en aide se sont faits dénoncer à la police. » Le 17 août, les forces de l’ordre ont dû intervenir à Velika Kladuša où des dizaines de riverains s’étaient massés et avaient attaqué un bus où se trouvaient des migrants.

    Pour justifier de telles actions coup de poing, on trouve la rhétorique habituelle de l’extrême-droite complotiste : la prétendue violence de ces migrants et la menace qu’ils feraient peser pour la sécurité de la population locale. Des arguments balayés par les statistiques officielles, mais qui font mouche auprès de Bosniens fatigués par des décennies de divisions, de corruption et de misère.

    Deux jours après la violente manifestation du 17 août à Velika Kladuša, la cellule de crise du canton d’Una-Sana a décrété des mesures très dures : l’évacuation de tous les migrants vivant hors des structures d’accueil officielles, perquisition dans tous les lieux privés offrants des services aux migrants, interdiction de quitter les camps officiels, d’utiliser les transports en commun et d’entrer dans le canton pour tous les migrants. Des postes de contrôle ont aussi été mis en place sur les routes d’accès au canton.

    “Ils ont tout brûlé, vêtements, téléphones portables, sacs à dos. Ils nous ont frappés avec des matraques.”

    « Les personnes expulsées des squats n’ont pas toutes pu être accueillies au camp de #Lipa et ont été refoulées en #Republika_Srpska (l’autre entité de Bosnie-Herzégovine) », dénonce Silvia Maraone. « Même les familles avec enfants sont abandonnées sans aucune aide. » Ces restrictions à la #liberté_de_mouvement violent les #droits_humains fondamentaux, comme l’a dénoncé Amnesty International dans un communiqué, le 25 août. Le réseau Transbalkanska Solidarnost (https://transbalkanskasolidarnost.home.blog) demande aux autorités locales et aux organisations internationales de « mettre fin à la politique du silence », de condamner publiquement ces pratiques illégales, de poursuivre les responsables et d’assurer un accueil digne et sûr aux migrants.

    Transbalkanska Solidarnost a recueilli plusieurs #témoignages sur ces expulsions, dont celles de l’ONG No Name Kitchen à Bosanska Otoka. « Nous dormions dans une ancienne usine abandonnée près de Bihać quand la police est arrivée. Il devait y avoir 20 ou 25 policiers. Ils ont tout brûlé, vêtements, téléphones portables, sacs à dos. Ils nous ont frappés avec des matraques, puis nous ont expulsés ici où nous sommes sans nourriture, sans rien. Je me suis échappé d’Afghanistan pour me sauver et là je retrouve cette violence... Pourquoi ?! », se désole A., 16 ans. Selon les chiffres des associations, plus de 500 réfugiés se sont retrouvés bloqués sur la ligne de démarcation entre les deux entités bosniennes, personne ne voulant les prendre en charge.

    Malgré les menaces qui se font toujours plus fortes, les réseaux de #volontaires continuent de venir en aide aux migrants : distribution de produits de première nécessité, de vêtements et signalement des violences et des violations des droits. « Ce n’est pas facile », reconnaît Silvia Maraone. « Tout le monde vous regarde mal et ceux que vous aidez sont détestés… Nous restons prudents. » Son ONG, Ipsia ; intervient toujours dans le camp de Bira, géré par l’#Organisation_internationale_pour_les_migrations (#OIM) où elle gère le Café social et prépare un projet plus vaste, soutenu par des fonds européens, pour développer des activités, hors des camps, visant à améliorer les relations entre migrants et population locale. Il y a urgence. « Jamais le bras-de-fer avec le reste de la Bosnie n’a été aussi tendu. »

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/refugies-chaos-dans-le-nord-ouest-de-la-bosnie-herzegovine

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #camps_de_réfugiés #campements #IOM #extrême_droite #solidarité

    –-> « Quant aux transports en commun, ils sont désormais interdits aux réfugiés, ce qui permet aux trafiquants de faire des affaires encore plus lucratives »
    #ségrégation #transports_publics #transports_en_commun #apartheid

    –-> « l’#Organisation_internationale_pour_les_migrations (#OIM) gère le Café social et prépare un projet plus vaste, soutenu par des fonds européens, pour développer des activités, hors des camps, visant à améliorer les relations entre migrants et population locale. Il y a urgence. »
    En fait, ce qu’il faudrait faire c’est ouvrir les frontières et laisser ces personnes bloquées en Bosnie, où elles n’ont aucune intention de rester, de partir...

    ping @karine4 @isskein

  • The first cases of COVID-19 among the migrant population in BIH, in the #Bira camp, were also confirmed (balkans.aljazeera.net/video/bay-o-zdravstvenom-nadzoru-migranata-u-bih). Organizations working in the camps are trying to keep the situation under control, but there is always the possibility of spreading of the infection among the migrant population.

    Reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa Dobrodosli, mail du 04.09.2020

    #réfugiés #asile #migrations #covid-19 #coronavirus #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #route_des_Balkans #Balkans #camps_de_réfugiés

    ping @luciebacon @isskein

  • Region in northwestern Bosnia sets up roadblocks to deter migrants

    Authorities in northeastern Bosnia have deployed police officers along a main transit highway to prevent migrants from entering their territory. The migrants are finding themselves trapped as neighboring regions are blocking them from walking back too.

    The local authorities in Krajino, in the northwestern part of Bosnia, have begun enforcing their decision to ban all new migrant arrivals and have set up roadblocks to prevent migrants who are headed to western Europe from entering their territory. The Krajino authorities allege that they are bearing the brunt of ongoing migration and that other parts of the country are failing to step in and help out.

    The deployment of police and the order to turn back all the migrants they encounter is an apparent violation of Bosnia’s human rights and immigration laws, AP reports.

    The roadblocks are set up on the main highway connecting Krajina to the rest of the country. Police in neighboring administrative regions of Bosnia in turn started blocking migrants from walking back, reports AP.
    Ali Razah, a Pakistani migrant, is one of hundreds trapped in the middle. He told AP that various police units had blocked him and other migrants from moving in any direction. “There is no food, no water, nothing and we are staying on the grass,” he said.

    Anti-migrant protests

    The Krajino region, on the border with Croatia, is a major transit point for migrants and refugees who aim to reach the European Union. The two towns Bihac and Velika Kladusa with their refugee and migrant camps are located in the region’s northwestern corner and have become a bottleneck for migrants — as Croatian authorities have sealed the border to the EU-member state and are reported to conduct pushbacks across the border using violence against the migrants.

    Recently, local residents of Velika Kladusa have repeatedly staged anti-migrant protests, accusing migrants of assaults and violence against the local population. On Monday August 17, hundreds of people reportedly blocked a road near a migrant reception center, complaining of harassment and increasing misbehavior by migrants in the city. The residents claim that cases of aggression and intimidation by migrants had multiplied, and that migrants from rival groups often fought or set fire to warehouses or dilapidated buildings where they they were staying.

    There are about 1,300 irregular migrants in Velika Kladusa, according to estimates by the authorities reported in the media, many of whom are sleeping rough in the surrounding area. In northwestern Bosnia-Herzegovina along the Croatian border there are more than 7,000 migrants, according to ANSA.

    Political infighting

    Most migrants enter Bosnia across the Drina River on the eastern border with Serbia. From there, they cross the country to reach Krajina.

    Bosnia since 1995 has been split along ethnic lines into two highly autonomous parts - the Serb-run Republika Srpska and the Bosniak-Croat Federation. Local authorities in Krajina have long accused Bosnia’s central government of not doing enough to resolve the crisis in Bosnia and of using the migration issue to fuel political infighting.

    So far, the Bosnian Serb hard-line leader Milorad Dodik has blocked efforts to deploy the army along the border with Serbia to stem the arrival of migrants, AP writes, and he is said to have used the migration issue to promote his Serbian-first position. He has repeatedly pressed for Serbs to separate from multi-ethnic Bosnia and unite with Serbia. Dodik refused to accommodate any migrants in the country’s autonomous Serb-run half and instead pushed them into Krajina.

    ’Closing borders is not a solution’

    Migrant aid groups working on the ground, however, stress that local authorities lack the willingness for practical solutions too. “The big problem is that we do not see a willingness from the different governments – international, national or local – to make a solution, to sit together with different groups and try to find a way to make the situation less hard for everyone,” a member of the NGO ’No Name Kitchen’ which helps migrants and refugees in Bosnia and Serbia told the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIRN), reported the BalkanInsight, in light of growing tensions towards migrants.

    “Opening camps and closing borders is not a solution,” they told BIRN. “It is just a patch. So we have people in transit who have nowhere to go, no tents, no blankets… If they try to reach an EU country, it is common that they get pushed back and normally with violence. Camps paid for by EU money are full and renting a house is not allowed. At the same time, locals are exhausted,” ’No Name Kitchen’ told BIRN.

    https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/26832/region-in-northwestern-bosnia-sets-up-roadblocks-to-deter-migrants

    #militarisation_des_frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #frontières #Bosnie #barrages_routiers #fermeture_des_frontières #Krajino

  • #CoronaCapitalism and the European #Border_Regime

    As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect people’s lives all over the world, the violence against migrants and refugees has intensified. This article explores #CoronaCapitalism and the Border Regime in a European context. Corporate Watch uses the term “border regime” as a shorthand to mean all of the many different institutions, people, systems and processes involved in trying to control migrants.

    This article only shares the tip-of-the-iceberg of migrant experiences during the coronavirus pandemic and we know there are many other untold stories. If you would like to share your news or experiences, please contact us.

    Mass Containment Camps

    As the world descended into lockdowns in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus, tens of thousands of people have been confined in camps in the Western Balkans and Greece, as well as smaller accommodation centres across Europe. New and existing camps were also essentially locked down and the movement of people in and out of camps began to be heavily controlled by police and/or the military.

    The Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) has been trying to track what is happening across the Balkans. They write that in Bosnia-Herzegovina, “more than 5,000 people were detained in existing temporary refugee reception centres. They include about 500 unaccompanied minors and several hundred children with families. Persons in need of special care, patients, victims of torture, members of the LGBTQ population, persons diagnosed with mental disorders, and victims of domestic violence have also been locked down into ‘EU-funded’ camps.” Police officers guard the centres and emergency legislation enables them the right to ‘physically force persons trying to leave the centres to return.’

    120,000 people are locked down in containment camps across Greece and the Greek Islands. Disturbing accounts of refugee camps are ever-present but the pandemic has worsened already unbearable conditions. 17,000 refugees live at Moira Refugee Camp where there are 210 people per toilet and 630 people per shower. Coronavirus, uncertainty over suspended asylum applications and the terrible living conditions are all contributing to escalating violence.

    In detention centres in Drama and Athens in Greece, the BVMN report that, “Respondents describe a lack of basic amenities such as running water, showers, or soap. Cramped and overcrowded conditions, with up to 13 inmates housed in one caravan with one, usually non-functioning, toilet. Requests for better services are met with violence at the hands of officers and riot police. On top of this, there have been complaints that no special precautions for COVID-19 are being taken, residents inside told BVMN reporters that sick individuals are not isolated, and are dismissed as having ‘the flu’.”

    While movement restrictions were lifted for Greek residents on 4th May, lockdown is still extended for all camps and centres across Greece and the Islands. This decision triggered thousands of people to protest in Athens. Emergency legislation adopted at the start of March in Greece effectively suspended the registration of asylum applications and implied immediate deportation for those entering the Greek territory, without registration, to their countries of origin or to Turkey.

    Detention and the deportation regime

    While major country-wide lockdowns are an unusual form of restriction of movement, for decades European states have been locking people seeking safety in detention centres. Immigration Removal Centres are essentially prisons for migrants in which people are locked up without trial or time-limit. In the UK the detention system is mostly run for profit by private companies, as detailed in our UK Border Regime book.

    Despite preparing for a pandemic scenario in January 2020, it took public pressure and legal action before the British government released nearly 1000 people from detention centres. As of the end of May, 368 people were still locked up in the profit-making detention centres and many more are living in ‘accommodation centres’ where they have been unable to access coronavirus testing.

    During the pandemic, people have been revolting in several detention centres across France and Belgium. Residents at a refugee centre in Saxony-Anhalt in Germany went on a hunger strike in April to protest against a lack of disinfectant. Hunger strikes have also taken place at detention centres in Tunisia, Cyprus and France.

    Women in a police holding centre for migrants in Greece went on hunger strike in June. In a statement, they wrote: “We will continue the hunger strike until we are free from this captivity. They will either set us free or we shall die”.

    People staged a rooftop protest at a detention centre in Madrid at the start of the outbreak. This was before all the detention centres in Spain were, for the first time in their history, completely emptied. To put this into context, Spain had 6,473 detainees in 2019. Legal challenges have been leveraging the EU Returns Directive which allows detention pending deportation for up to 18 months, but stipulates that if “a reasonable prospect of removal no longer exists…detention ceases to be justified and the person concerned shall be released immediately”.

    With a worldwide reduction in flights, deportations became unfeasible, however, many are afraid that the deportation machine will restart as things “return to normal”.

    Worsening life in the ‘jungle’

    People living in squats and other improvised accommodation have also faced sweeping operations, with people being rounded up and taken to containment camps.

    For those that remained on the street, pandemic restrictions took their toll. In Greece, movement amidst the pandemic was permitted via letters and text messages. For people who did not have the right paperwork, they were fined 150 euros, sometimes multiple times.

    Similarly, in the French city of Calais, people who did not have the right paperwork were commonly denied access to shops and supermarkets, where they may have previously used the bathrooms or bought food to cook. With many volunteer groups unable to operate due to movement restrictions, the availability of food dramatically reduced overnight. Access to services such as showers, phone charging and healthcare also rapidly reduced.

    People in Calais also faced a rise in evictions: 45 evictions were recorded in the first two weeks of lockdown. These expulsions have continued throughout the pandemic. On Friday 10th July 2020, a major police raid in Calais forced more than 500 people onto buses to be taken to ‘reception centres’ across the region.

    In Amsterdam in the Netherlands, some migrants were forced to live in night shelters and made to leave during the daytime – facing constant risks of contracting COVID-19 and police harassment in the city. They protested “I would stay at home if I had one”.

    Many migrant solidarity groups working on the ground lost huge numbers of volunteers due to travel restrictions and health concerns. Access to material donations such as tents, which are commonly collected at the end of festivals, also reduced. A constant supply of these resources is needed because the police routinely take the migrants’ tents away.

    Militarisation of borders

    The pandemic has seen an increase in military forces at borders and camps, persistent police violence and the suspension of ‘rights’ or legal processes. Using ‘State of Emergency’ legislation, the health crisis has been effectively weaponised.

    In March at the beginning of the pandemic in Europe, FRONTEX, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency deployed an additional 100 guards at the Greek Land Border. This is in addition to the agency’s core of 10,000 officers working around Europe.

    In their 2020 Risk Analysis Report, FRONTEX wrote that “the closing of internal borders is binding border guard personnel, which some border authorities have long stopped planning for”. This illuminates a key complexity in border control. For years, Europe has shifted to policing the wider borders of the Schengen Area. As the virus spread between countries within that area, however, states have tried to shut down their own borders.

    Police forces and militaries have become increasingly mobilised to “protect these national borders”. In Slovenia, this meant the military was granted authority to ‘process civilians’ at the border through the government’s activation of Article 37a of the Defence Act. While in Serbia, the army was deployed around border camps to ensure mass containment. 400 new border guards were also dispatched to the Evros land border between Greece and Turkey in addition to an increase in fencing and surveillance technologies.

    Escalating Police Violence

    Although migrants are no strangers to police brutality, national states of emergency have enabled an escalation in police violence. In mid-April an open letter was published by the Eritrean community of the Calais jungle reporting escalating police brutality. It describes the actions of the CRS police (Compagnies républicaines de sécurité); the general guard of the French police, infamous for riot control and repression:

    “They don’t see us as human beings. They insult us with names such as monkey, bitch etc. And for the past few weeks, they have started to threaten our lives by beating us as soon as the opportunity arises. When for example they found a group of two or three people walking towards the food distribution, or in our tents, when we were sleeping. They accelerate in their vehicles while driving in our direction, as if they wanted to crush us. They also took people with them to places far from Calais, and beat them until they lost consciousness.”

    The statement continues with a chronological list of events whereby people were beaten up, hit, gassed, had their arms broken, and were struck on the head so hard they lost consciousness and were taken to hospital by ambulance.

    With fewer people on the streets during the pandemic, police evictions that were not previously possible due to street-level resistance became successful. This was evidenced in the eviction of the Gini occupation at the Polytechnic University in Exarchia, Greece, a location that the police have not dared enter for decades. Dozens of migrant families were rounded up and taken to a detention centre.

    Violent pushbacks across borders

    There has also been an increase in illegal and violent pushbacks. Pushbacks are the informal expulsion (without due process) of individuals or groups to another country. This commonly involves the violent removal of people across a border.

    For example, on April 22nd in North Macedonia, a group of people from Palestine, Morocco and Egypt were pushed back into Greece. Two men were approached by officers in army uniforms and forced onto a bus where officers began to beat them with batons and guns. So much force was used that one man’s arm was fractured. The other members of the small group were later found and abruptly woken by officers. One man was stamped on and kicked across his body and head. Their shoes were removed and they were told to walk the 2km back to the border where they were met with the other group that had been taken there.

    A group of 16 people in Serbia (including one minor) were told they were being taken to a new camp for COVID prevention. They were then forced into a van and driven for nine hours with no stops, toilet or water. They were released at a remote area of hills and told to leave and cross the border to North Macedonia by the officers with guns. When found attempting to cross again days later they were told by police officers, “Don’t come again, we will kill you”.

    In Croatia, police have also started tagging people that they have pushed back with orange spray paint.

    There are also reports that Greek authorities are pushing people back to Turkey. According to the Border Violence Monitoring Network, many people shared experiences of being beaten, robbed and detained before being driven to the border area where military personnel used boats to return them to Turkey across the Evros river. In mid April in Greece, approximately 50 people were taken from Diavata camp in the morning and removed to a nearby police station where they were ordered to lie on the ground – “Sleep here, don’t move”. They were then beaten with batons. Some were also attacked with electric tasers. They were held overnight in a detention space near the border, and beaten further by Greek military officers. The next day they were boated across the river to Turkey by authorities with military uniforms. Another group were taken to the river in the dark and ordered to strip to their underwear.

    As pushbacks continue, people are forced to take even more dangerous routes. In Romania in mid-April, a group were found drowning in the Danube River after their boat capsized. One person was found dead and eight are still missing, while the survivors suffered from hypothermia.

    Danger at Sea

    During the pandemic, increasing numbers of disturbing accounts have been shared by migrants experiencing violence at sea. Between mid March and mid May, Alarm Phone (a hotline for boat people in distress) received 28 emergency calls from the Aegean Sea.

    On the 29th April, a boat carrying 48 refugees from Afghanistan, Congo and Iran, including 18 children, tried to reach Lesvos Island in the early hours of the day. They were pushed back to Turkish waters:

    “We were very scared. We tried to continue towards Lesvos Island. It was only 20 minutes more driving to reach the Greek coast. The big boat let a highspeed boat down, which hunted us down. There were six masked men in black clothes. They stopped us and made many waves. With a long stick they took away our petrol and they broke our engine. They had guns and knives. Then they threw a rope to us and ordered us to fix it on our boat. Then they started pulling us back towards Turkey. After a while they stopped and cut the rope. They returned to the big boat and took distance from us. It was around 6am.

    Then two other boats of the Greek coastguard arrived which were white and grey and drove very fast towards us, starting to make circles around our boat. They created big waves which were pushing us in the direction of Turkish waters. Our boat was taking in water and the kids were screaming. Our boat started breaking from the bottom. We were taking out the water with our boots. We threw all our belongings in the sea to make our boat lighter. Many of us had no life vests. A pregnant lady fainted. The Greeks continued making waves for a long period. A Turkish coastguard boat arrived and stood aside watching and taking photos and videos for more than six hours. Only after 13:30 o’clock the Turkish coastguard boat finally saved us. We were brought to Çanakalle police station and detained for five days.”

    During two months of lockdown, civil monitoring ships (volunteers who monitor the Aegean sea for migrants arriving via boat) were not permitted. In Italy, ports were closed to rescue ships, with many feared lost at sea as a result. Allegations have also emerged that Greece has been using inflatable rafts to deport asylum seekers. These are rafts without motors or propellers that cannot be steered.

    The Maltese Army also hit the headlines after turning away a boat of migrants by gunpoint and giving them the GPS coordinates for Italy. This is after recent reports of sabotaging migrant vessels, and pushing back migrant boats to Libya resulting in 12 people dying. The Maltese government recently signed a deal with the Libyan government to “to coordinate operations against illegal migration”. This includes training the Libyan coastguards and funding for “reception camps”.

    The threat of the virus and worsening conditions have also contributed to a record number of attempts to cross the Channel. The courage and commitment to overcome borders is inspiring, and more successful crossings have taken place during the pandemic. Between March 23rd (when the UK coronavirus lockdown began) and May 11th at least 853 migrants managed to cross the Channel in dinghies and small boats.

    State Scapegoating and the empowerment of the far right

    Far-right politicians and fascist activists have used the pandemic as an opportunity to push for closed borders.

    The election of a new Far Right government in Slovenia in March brought with it the scapegoating of refugees as coronavirus vectors. News conglomerate, NOVA24, heavily publicised a fake news story that the first COVID-19 patient in Italy was a Pakistani person who came via the Balkan route.

    Meanwhile, Hungary’s Government led by Vicktor Orbán moved to deport resident Iranians after claiming they were responsible for the country’s first coronavirus outbreak.

    In Italy, Matteo Salvini, the populist leader of the opposition Lega party tried to blame the movement of migrants from Africa across the Mediterranean as a “major infection threat” shortly before the country was overwhelmed with the pandemic and its rising death toll.

    The racist scapegoating ignores data that proves that initially the virus was transmited predominatnly by tourists’ and business people’s globe-trotting in the service of global capitalism and the fact that those whose movement is restricted, controlled and perilous, who do not have the power and wealth, are the most likely to suffer from the worst effects of both the virus itself and the shut downs.

    The Aftermath of Asylum suspension

    Access to asylum has drastically shifted across Europe with the suspension of many face-to-face application processing centres and appeal hearings. This ‘legal limbo’ is having a severe impact on people’s lives.

    Many people remain housed in temporary accommodation like hotels while they wait for their claim to be processed. This accommodation is often overcrowded and social-distancing guidelines are impossible to follow there. One asylum seeker in South London even shared to The Guardian how two strangers were made to share his double bed for a week in one room. One of the people was later taken to hospital with coronavirus.

    Closed-conditions at Skellig Accomodation Centre, a former hotel in Cahersiveen, Co. Kerry, Ireland enabled the rapid spread of the virus between the 100 people living there. Misha, an asylum seeker confined there, said she watched in horror as people started falling sick around her.

    “We were sharing bedrooms with strangers. We were sharing the dining room. We were sharing the salt shakers. We were sharing the lobby. We were sharing everything. And if you looked at the whole situation, you cannot really say that it was fit for purpose.”

    People were ordered to stay inside, and meanwhile coronavirus testing was delayed. Protests took place inside and locals demonstrated in solidarity outside.

    Asylum seekers in Glasgow have been protesting their accommodation conditions provided by the Mears Group, who Corporate Watch profiled in 2019. Mears Group won a £1.15 billion contract to run the refugee accommodation system in Scotland, Northern Ireland and much of the north of England. Their profiteering, slum landlord conditions and involvement in mass evictions have been met with anger and resistance. The pandemic has only worsened the experiences of people forced to live in Mears’ accommodation through terrible sanitation and medical neglect. Read our 2020 update on the Mears Group here.

    In the UK, the Home Office put a hold on evictions of asylum seekers during lockdown. The Red Cross stated this spared 50,000 people from the threat of losing their accommodation. Campaigners and tenants fear what will happen post-corona and how many people will face destitution when the ban on evictions lifts this August.

    In addition, a face-to-face screening interview is still needed for new asylum claims. This creates an awful choice for asylum seekers between shielding from the virus (and facing destitution) or going to the interviews in order to access emergency asylum support and begin the formal process. While meagre, the £37.75 per week is essential for survival. One of the reasons the Home Office make face-to-face applications compulsory is because of biometric data harvesting e.g. taking fingerprints of asylum seekers. One asylum seeker with serious health problems has had to make three journeys from Glasgow to Liverpool in the midst of the pandemic to submit paperwork.

    Access to food and other support is also very difficult as many centres and support services are closed.

    Barriers to Healthcare

    It is widely recognised that systemic racism has led to the disproportionate deaths of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people throughout the pandemic. Research has shown Black people are four times more likely to die than white people, and Bangladeshi or Pakistani groups are three times more likely. Many people from these communities are migrants, and many work in the National Health Service and social care sector.

    Research by Patients not Passports, Medact, Migrants Organise and the New Economics Foundation has shown that many migrants are avoiding seeking healthcare. 57% of respondents in their research report that they have avoided seeking healthcare because of fears of being charged for NHS care, data sharing and other migration enforcement concerns. Most people are unaware that treatment for coronavirus is exempt from charging. They also often experience additional barriers including the absence of translation and interpretation services, digital exclusions, housing and long distances from care services.

    Undocumented migrants are incredibly precarious. A project worker interviewed for the Patients not Passports Report shared that:

    “One client lived in a care home where she does live-in care and she has been exposed to Corona but has stated that she will not seek treatment and would rather die there than be detained.”

    Elvis, an undocumented migrant from the Philippines, died at home with suspected coronavirus because he was so scared by the hostility of Government policies that he did not seek any help from the NHS.

    For those that do try to access healthcare, issues such as not having enough phone credit or mobile data, not having wifi or laptops for video appointments, and simply not being able to navigate automated telephone and online systems because of language barriers and non-existent or poor translation, are having a very real impact on people’s ability to receive support. Fears of poor treatment because of people’s past experiences of discrimination and racism even if they access the services is another barrier.

    Exploiting Migrant Labour

    The exploitation of migrant labour has always been essential to sustaining capitalist economies. The pandemic generated contradictory responses from politicians and capitalists alike. Germany’s agricultural sector lobbied hard for opening the border after they were closed, leading the country to lift its ban and let in over 80,000 seasonal workers from Eastern Europe. Yet dilapidated living conditions and overcrowding are sparking new COVID-19 outbreaks, such as the 200 workers that contracted the virus at a slaughterhouse in western Germany.

    In mid May, the Italian government passed a law regularising undocumented migrants, whereby undocumented workers have been encouraged to apply for six-month legal residency permits. There are believed to be about 600,000 undocumented workers in Italy but only people doing ‘essential’ work during the pandemic can apply, mostly in the agricultural sector. Thousands of people live in makeshift encampments near fruit and vegetable farms with no access to running water or electricity.

    Working conditions carry risks of violence. On 18 May, five days after Italy’s regularisation law passed, a 33-year old Indian migrant working in a field outside of Rome was fired after asking his employer for a face mask for protection while at work. When the worker requested his daily wage, he was beaten up and thrown in a nearby canal.

    Conclusion

    The coronavirus crisis has exposed and intensified the brutality required to sustain capitalism – from systemic racism, to violent border controls, to slave labour for industrial agriculture, the list goes on. Despite extremely difficult conditions, undocumented migrants have formed strong movements of solidarity and collective struggle in many European countries. From revolts in detention centres to legal actions to empty them, people are continually resisting the border regime. As people reject a ‘return to normal’ post pandemic, the fall of the border regime must be part of a vision for freedom and liberation in a world beyond capitalism.

    https://corporatewatch.org/coronaborderregime
    #capitalisme #covid-19 #coronavirus #frontières #Europe #migrations #violence #asile #réfugiés #camps #camps_de_réfugiés #containment #rétention #campements #technologie #militarisation_des_frontières #Grèce #Turquie #violences_policières #police #refoulements #push-backs #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #santé #accès_aux_soins #travail #exploitation #pandémie #Frontex #confinement #grève_de_la_faim #fermeture_des_frontières

    ping @isskein @karine4 @rhoumour @_kg_ @thomas_lacroix

  • hunger strike and protest of asylum seekers in Slovenia

    Hunger strike and protests taking place in detention Centre for Foreigners in Slovenia due to inhumane conditions and unlawful detention of asylum seekers.

    Published by Slovenian initiative Ambasada Rog on Facebook (also copied in English below)

    https://www.facebook.com/ambasadarog/posts/1237550896579544?notif_id=1597998208072700&notif_t=page_share&ref=notif

    Published also in Slovene media (only in Slovene unfortunately):

    https://www.mladina.si/200747/ustrahovanje-s-psi

    https://www.rtvslo.si/slovenija/v-postojnskem-centru-za-tujce-naj-bi-gladovno-stavkali/533938

    –—

    Barbara Vodopivec, Slovenia

    HUNGER STRIKE IN CENTRE FOR FOREIGNERS

    Yesterday, new videos of the events in the Centre for Foreigners came to light, where a state of emergency continues to prevail. After the protest at the end of July, the situation did not improve, and asylum seekers want to warn the public with hunger strike about the unbearable situation. In the footage, visibly enraged asylum seekers point to a crippled person lying on the ground who is in need of medical attention. It was precisely because of the ignorance of the police towards such unbearable living conditions that some asylum seekers began with hunger strike. As the footage shows, the police reacted to the protest by entering the premises in the evening with police dogs, intimidating asylum seekers to go back to the containers.

    What triggered the protest?

    As already reported by the media, in June the Ministry of the Interior began with new practice of imprisoning asylum seekers in detention Centre of Foreigners in #Postojna. This led to an overcrowded capacity of the centre and creation of a special “container department” which is set up in a large, barred warehouse where asylum seekers are left without basic care, many still injured and without clean clothes, awaiting a decision from the Ministry of the Interior. They receive food through the bars and there is nothing done to take care of their health (it is by no means quarantine, as the common areas are sometimes shared by over 100 people, and new ones are coming all the time). Despite detention most of them do not receive any decision on deprivation of liberty which they could appeal and they do not have any access to legal aid. They wait for weeks or months without any information and any contact with the outside world. Some manage to begin asylum procedure during detention and wait for a decision from the Ministry of Interior, but the majority is deported to camps in Bosnia and Herzegovina through violent Croatian police. Many have already been beaten and robbed by the Croatian authorities, and testimonies about the confiscation of money and violence by Slovenian police officers are also becoming more frequent.

    Such a regime of detaining asylum seekers is not implemented anywhere else in Europe, as it clearly violates basic human rights. If a foreign country kept European citizens locked up in containers for months while assessing their visa applications, it would undoubtedly be a major international scandal.

    What do detained asylum seekers demand?

    The message is simple: “We are not criminals, we just want to live normal lives”.

    For several years, Slovenia has been returning them to inhumane camps in Bosnia and Herzegovina, denying access to asylum procedures. Now, above all, they are being detained even during asylum procedure. The police does this arbitrarily, preventing asylum seekers access to legal aid and manipulating their statements in proceedings. They want fair and transparent procedures, and now they are imprisoned in inhumane conditions without a reason and without a decision, which they have not experienced in any other country. They will continue the strike until they are released.

    Reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop, le 21.08.2020

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Balkans #route_des_balkans #grève_de_la_faim #Slovénie

  • Un mur en Serbie...

    Last week, we wrote how Serbian authorities, in complete secrecy, started the construction of a razor-wire fence in the South to prevent the irregular entry of refugees from North Macedonia. The photos which first appeared on the Asylum Protection Center’s (APC) Twitter account show that the fence is being set up from #Presevo to the east, along the border with North Macedonia. It’s worrying how the Serbian local authorities interpret this action as a “one step forward in the Europeanization process” of the country (https://www.slobodnaevropa.org/a/srbija-dize-zicanu-ogradu-na-granici-sa-severnom-makedonijom/30789825.html). At the same time, Serbian NGOs have registered an increase in number of pushbacks, specifically Asylum Protection Center (APC) is recording an increase in the return of people to North Macedonia.

    Le tweet du Asylum Protection Center:


    https://twitter.com/APC_CZA/status/1293865742153261056

    Reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa Dobrodosli, mail du 24.08.2020
    #frontières #murs #barrières_frontalières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Balkans #Macédoine #refoulements #push-backs #Balkans #route_des_Balkans

    • La Serbie clôture sa frontière avec la Macédoine du Nord

      18 août - 18h30 :

      #clôture métallique sur sa frontière avec la #Macédoine_du_Nord, près de #Preševo. Le maire de cette commune, #Shqiprim_Arifi, a confirmé à Radio Free Europe que la construction de cette clôture faisait partie d’un accord avec l’Union européenne (UE). « Nous pensons que la clôture a pour fonction de sécuriser davantage les frontières des pays extérieurs à l’UE face aux réfugiés, qui vont finir par revenir de manière massive sur la route des Balkans. » Shqiprim Arifi ajoute qu’il a « personnellement de sérieuses réserves » sur cette façon de traiter les réfugiés. Les autorités serbes refusent de communiquer toute information sur cette clôture.

      Source : dernières info du Courrier des Balkans —> https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/les-dernieres-infos-refugies-balkans

    • La barrière frontalière est mentionnée dans cet entretien de #Jasmin_Rexhepi pour le Courrier des Balkans :

      La #Serbie a commencé durant l’été à construire une barrière de barbelés sur sa frontière avec la #Macédoine_du_Nord. Officiellement pour empêcher la propagation de la Covid-19... #Jasmin_Rexhepi, qui préside l’ONG Legis, dénonce la dérive sécuritaire des autocrates balkaniques. Entretien.

      D. Kožul (D.K.) : Que pensez-vous des raisons qui ont poussé la Serbie à construire une barrière à sa frontière avec la Macédoine du Nord ? Officiellement, il s’agit de lutter contre la propagation de l’épidémie de coronavirus. Or, on sait que le nombre de malades est minime chez les réfugiés...

      Jasmin Rexhepi (J.R.) : C’est une mauvaise excuse trouvée par un communicant. On construit des barbelés aux frontières des pays des Balkans depuis 2015. Ils sont posés par des gouvernements ultra-conservateurs, pour des raisons populistes. Les réfugiés ne sont pas une réelle menace sécuritaire pour nos pays en transition, ils ne sont pas plus porteurs du virus que ne le sont nos citoyens, et les barbelés n’ont jamais été efficaces contre les migrations.

      “Faute de pouvoir améliorer la vie de leurs citoyens, les populistes conservateurs se réfugient dans une prétendue défense de la nation contre des ennemis imaginaires.”

      https://seenthis.net/messages/877066

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

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

    –---

    Texte du post sur FB:

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

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

    ping @isskein

  • Organizing amidst Covid-19


    Organizing amidst Covid-19: sharing stories of struggles
    Overviews of movement struggles in specific places

    Miguel Martinez
    Mutating mobilisations during the pandemic crisis in Spain (movement report, pp. 15 – 21)

    Laurence Cox
    Forms of social movement in the crisis: a view from Ireland (movement report, pp. 22 – 33)

    Lesley Wood
    We’re not all in this together (movement report, pp. 34 – 38)

    Angela Chukunzira
    Organising under curfew: perspectives from Kenya (movement report, pp. 39 – 42)

    Federico Venturini
    Social movements’ powerlessness at the time of covid-19: a personal account (movement report, pp. 43 – 46)

    Sobhi Mohanty
    From communal violence to lockdown hunger: emergency responses by civil society networks in Delhi, India (movement report, pp. 47 – 52)
    Feminist and LGBTQ+ activism

    Hongwei Bao
    “Anti-domestic violence little vaccine”: a Wuhan-based feminist activist campaign during COVID-19 (movement report, pp. 53 – 63)

    Ayaz Ahmed Siddiqui
    Aurat march, a threat to mainstream tribalism in Pakistan (movement report, pp. 64 – 71)

    Lynn Ng Yu Ling
    What does the COVID-19 pandemic mean for PinkDot Singapore? (movement report, pp. 72 – 81)

    María José Ventura Alfaro
    Feminist solidarity networks have multiplied since the COVID-19 outbreak in Mexico (movement report, pp. 82 – 87)

    Ben Trott
    Queer Berlin and the Covid-19 crisis: a politics of contact and ethics of care (movement report, pp. 88 – 108)
    Reproductive struggles

    Non Una Di Meno Roma
    Life beyond the pandemic (movement report, pp. 109 – 114)
    Labour organising

    Ben Duke
    The effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the gig economy and zero hour contracts (movement report, pp. 115 – 120)

    Louisa Acciari
    Domestic workers’ struggles in times of pandemic crisis (movement report, pp. 121 – 127)

    Arianna Tassinari, Riccardo Emilia Chesta and Lorenzo Cini
    Labour conflicts over health and safety in the Italian Covid19 crisis (movement report, pp. 128 – 138)

    T Sharkawi and N Ali
    Acts of whistleblowing: the case of collective claim making by healthcare workers in Egypt (movement report, pp. 139 – 163)

    Mallige Sirimane and Nisha Thapliyal
    Migrant labourers, Covid19 and working-class struggle in the time of pandemic: a report from Karnataka, India (movement report, pp. 164 – 181)
    Migrant and refugee struggles

    Johanna May Black, Sutapa Chattopadhyay and Riley Chisholm
    Solidarity in times of social distancing: migrants, mutual aid, and COVID-19 (movement report, pp. 182 – 193)

    Anitta Kynsilehto
    Doing migrant solidarity at the time of Covid-19 (movement report, pp. 194 – 198)

    Susan Thieme and Eda Elif Tibet
    New political upheavals and women alliances in solidarity beyond “lock down” in Switzerland at times of a global pandemic (movement report, pp. 199 – 207)

    Chiara Milan
    Refugee solidarity along the Western Balkans route: new challenges and a change of strategy in times of COVID-19 (movement report, pp. 208 – 212)

    Marco Perolini
    Abolish all camps in times of corona: the struggle against shared accommodation for refugees* in Berlin (movement report, pp. 213 – 224)
    Ecological activism

    Clara Thompson
    #FightEveryCrisis: Re-framing the climate movement in times of a pandemic (movement report, pp. 225 – 231)

    Susan Paulson
    Degrowth and feminisms ally to forge care-full paths beyond pandemic (movement report, pp. 232 – 246)

    Peterson Derolus [FR]
    Coronavirus, mouvements sociaux populaires anti-exploitation minier en Haïti (movement report, pp. 247 – 249)

    Silpa Satheesh
    The pandemic does not stop the pollution in River Periyar (movement report, pp. 250 – 257)

    Ashish Kothari
    Corona can’t save the planet, but we can, if we listen to ordinary people (movement report, pp. 258 – 265)
    Food sovereignty organising

    Dagmar Diesner
    Self-governance food system before and during the Covid-crisis on the example of CampiAperti, Bologna (movement report, pp. 266 – 273)

    URGENCI
    Community Supported Agriculture is a safe and resilient alternative to industrial agriculture in the time of Covid-19 (movement report, pp. 274 – 279)

    Jenny Gkougki
    Corona-crisis affects small Greek farmers who counterstrike with a nationwide social media campaign to unite producers and consumers on local level! (movement report, pp. 280 – 283)

    John Foran
    Eco Vista in the quintuple crisis (movement report, pp. 284 – 291)
    Solidarity and mutual aid

    Michael Zeller
    Karlsruhe’s “giving fences”: mobilisation for the needy in times of COVID-19 (movement report, pp. 292 – 303)

    Sergio Ruiz Cayuela
    Organising a solidarity kitchen: reflections from Cooperation Birmingham (movement report, pp. 304 – 309)

    Clinton Nichols
    On lockdown and locked out of the prison classroom: the prospects of post-secondary education for incarcerated persons during pandemic (movement report, pp. 310 – 316)

    Micha Fiedlschuster and Leon Rosa Reichle
    Solidarity forever? Performing mutual aid in Leipzig, Germany (movement report, pp. 317 – 325)
    Artistic and digital resistance

    Kerman Calvo and Ester Bejarano
    Music, solidarities and balconies in Spain (movement report, pp. 326 – 332)

    Neto Holanda and Valesca Lima [PT]
    Movimentos e ações político-culturais do Brasil em tempos de pandemia do Covid-19 (movement report, pp. 333 – 338)

    Margherita Massarenti
    How Covid-19 led to a #Rentstrike and what it can teach us about online organizing (movement report, pp. 339 – 346)

    Dounya
    Knowledge is power: virtual forms of everyday resistance and grassroots broadcasting in Iran (movement report, pp. 347 – 354)
    Imagining a new world

    Donatella della Porta
    How progressive social movements can save democracy in pandemic times (movement report, pp. 355 – 358)

    Jackie Smith
    Responding to coronavirus pandemic: human rights movement-building to transform global capitalism (movement report, pp. 359 – 366)

    Yariv Mohar
    Human rights amid Covid-19: from struggle to orchestration of tradeoffs (movement report, pp. 367 – 370)

    Julien Landry, Ann Marie Smith, Patience Agwenjang, Patricia Blankson Akakpo, Jagat Basnet, Bhumiraj Chapagain, Aklilu Gebremichael, Barbara Maigari and Namadi Saka,
    Social justice snapshots: governance adaptations, innovations and practitioner learning in a time of COVID-19 (movement report, pp. 371 – 382)

    Roger Spear, Gulcin Erdi, Marla A. Parker and Maria Anastasia
    Innovations in citizen response to crises: volunteerism and social mobilization during COVID-19 (movement report, pp. 383 – 391)

    Breno Bringel
    Covid-19 and the new global chaos (movement report, pp. 392 – 399)

    https://www.interfacejournal.net/interface-volume-12-issue-1

    #mouvements_sociaux #résistance #covid-19 #confinement #revue #aide_mutuelle #Espagne #résistance #Irlande #Kenya #impuissance #sentiment_d'impuissance #faim #violence #Delhi #Inde #féminisme #Wuhan #Pakistan #PinkDot #LGBT #Singapour #solidarité_féministe #solidarité #Mexique #care #Berlin #Allemagne #queer #gig_economy #travail #travail_domestique #travailleurs_domestiques #Italie #Egypte #travailleurs_étrangers #Karnataka #distanciation_sociale #migrations #Suisse #route_des_Balkans #Balkans #réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés #FightEveryCrisis #climat #changement_climatique #décroissance #Haïti #extractivisme #pollution #River_Periyar #Periyar #souveraineté_alimentaire #nourriture #alimentation #CampiAperti #Bologne #agriculture #Grèce #Karlsruhe #Cooperation_Birmingham #UK #Angleterre #Leipzig #musique #Brésil #Rentstrike #Iran #droits_humains #justice_sociale #innovation #innovation_sociale

    ping @isskein @karine4

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • More deaths of refugees on the Balkan route

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

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

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

    –—

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

  • La rotta balcanica. I migranti senza diritti nel cuore dell’Europa

    Lungo la “rotta balcanica” arriva in Italia e in Europa una parte rilevante dei rifugiati del nostro continente. Sono principalmente siriani, afghani, iracheni, iraniani, pakistani che fuggono da persecuzioni e conflitti pluriennali. Lungo tutta la rotta continuano a verificarsi misure che mettono a rischio le persone migranti come violenze, torture, respingimenti e restrizioni arbitrarie.

    Questo dossier rompe il silenzio sulla “rotta balcanica”, denunciando quanto sta avvenendo in quei luoghi e lanciando chiaro il messaggio che i soggetti vulnerabili del “game” non sono più soli.

    Lo ha curato la neonata rete “#RiVolti_ai_Balcani”, composta da oltre 36 realtà, tra cui Altreconomia, e singoli impegnati nella difesa dei diritti delle persone e dei principi fondamentali sui quali si basano la Costituzione italiana e le norme europee e internazionali.

    https://altreconomia.it/prodotto/la-rotta-balcanica
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Balkans #route_des_balkans #game #the_game #rapport

    ping @isskein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Both organisations deny receiving the money.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Une mission sur place quand la situation sanitaire le permettra

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

      Physical and psychological abuse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Routine violent pushbacks and torture by the Croatian police remain unpunished

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

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

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

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

      The EU’s failure to hold Croatia to account

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

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

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

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

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

    • Croatia, police abuse is systemic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      #violence_systémique

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      #OHCHR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Migrants ’illegitimately sent away from EU’?

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

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

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


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

    ping @isskein

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

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

      Contradictory approaches in Italy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Written by: Iza Thaler and Miha Turk from InfoKolpa

      Find daily updates and special reports on our Medium page.

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

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

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

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

    • Even from Trieste, Italy.

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

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

      Reçu via la mailing-list de Migreurop, le 15.06.2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Background

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

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

      Unregulated readmissions

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

      Irrelevance of the application for international protection

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

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

      Risk of “chain” refoulements

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

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

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

      Conclusion

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

      Due to this very serious situation

      ASGI asks the Italian government

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

      ASGI asks UNHCR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Threats and deportations

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

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

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

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

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

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

      https://vimeo.com/453221076

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

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

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

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

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

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

      https://vimeo.com/453221292

      Violation of asylum laws

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      The Interior Ministry denies these allegations.

      Not standard police procedure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ping @isskein

  • Frontex bientôt sur les frontières du #Monténégro et de la #Serbie

    1er juin - 8h : L’Union européenne a approuvé, mardi 26 mai, un #accord passé avec le Monténégro et la Serbie, prévoyant le déploiement de la #mission_Frontex sur les frontières de ces deux pays. Il s’agit d’aider le Monténégro et la Serbie, candidats à l’intégrer, à « mieux gérer les flux migratoires ». Le déploiement de #Frontex sera effectif dès juillet au Monténégro, tandis qu’une date doit encore être fixée pour la Serbie.

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

    #Balkans #route_des_balkans #militarisation_des_frontières #frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés

    –---

    Voir aussi :

    2018 :
    « Come il Montenegro si prepara a un’emergenza che non c’è »
    https://seenthis.net/messages/712376

    2019 :
    European Border and Coast Guard : Agreement reached on operational cooperation with Montenegro
    https://seenthis.net/messages/758359

    À partir de 22 mai 2019, Frontex déploiera des équipes conjointes à la frontière grecque avec des agents albanais. La Commission européenne a passé des accords semblables avec la Macédoine du Nord, la Serbie, le Monténégro et la Bosnie-Herzégovine, qui devraient également entrer en vigueur.
    https://seenthis.net/messages/782260

    ping @isskein @reka @karine4

  • La #Serbie envoie l’#armée à #Šid

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

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

  • Special Report: #COVID-19 and Border Violence along the Balkan Route

    The #Border_Violence_Monitoring_Network are publishing a feature report on the intersection of the current health crisis and border management. This new report shares first hand testimony of people-on-the-move who are experiencing the COVID-19 lockdown in transit. Its scope looks at the way restrictive measures disproportionately affect vulnerable persons in camps and at borders. Further, analysis of various countries from the region shows how COVID-19 measures have also been utilised to shape and erode the fundamental rights of these communities. Approaching the topic of COVID-19 as a period used to stage rights suspensions, some of the developments explored in this report include:

    –The deployment of military forces at borders and camps is a core feature of the securitised response to COVID-19. This was seen with proposals made by the Slovenian government to increase the army’s remit in the border area and the garrisoning of camps in Serbia.

    –The development of pushback practice in countries such as Croatia has shown a disturbing turn. Augmentation of border violence as a result of the pandemic appeared with the crude paint tagging of transit groups near Velika Kladusa. Meanwhile two officers actively involved in pushbacks in the Topusko area were tested positive for COVID-19, putting people-on-the-move at direct risk of contracting the virus at the hand of perpetrating officers..

    –Collective expulsions from camps has rapidly become a new concern for people in centres in Greece and Serbia. The lockdown measures were used on multiple occasions as an excuse to perform large scale pushbacks from inner city camps and centres hosting asylum seekers.

    –Inadequate accommodation facilities are an ongoing concern for transit groups denied the basic means to exercise relevant health protocols. Across the Balkan Route and Greece, the sealing of centres marked disproportionate deprivations of liberty and wilful neglect of hygienic standards by states and the European Union.

    https://www.borderviolence.eu/special-report-covid-19-and-border-violence-along-the-balkan-route
    #violence #frontières #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #migrations #asile #réfugiés #violent_borders #violence_aux_frontières #rapport #armée #militarisation_des_frontières #Serbie #Slovénie #push-back #push-backs #refoulement #refoulements #Velika_Kladusa #Topusko #Grèce #confinement #camps_de_réfugiés #hébergement

    ping @luciebacon

  • Pandemic as an excuse for violating refugees’ rights

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

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

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

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

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

    ping @luciebacon @isskein

  • Danas prijem prvih migranata u novi kamp Lipa

    Iako je Gradsko vijeće #Bihać prihvatilo Lipu kao novu lokaciju za smještaj migranata još u studenom prošle godine, vlasti u Bosni i Hercegovini su svoju suglasnost dale tek nakon proglašenja pandemije koronavirusa u BiH, kako bi se sa ulica krajiških gradova izmjestilo nekoliko tisuća migranata.

    Iako je prvo izmještanje migranata najavljeno još u ožujku, ipak do toga nije došlo. Prema zvaničnim najavama, danas se očekuje prijem prvih migranata u novi kamp Lipa, tako da se intenzivno radi na osposobljavanju kampa. Na ovoj lokaciji je postavljeno 50 šatora u koje bi trebalo biti smješteno 1000 migranata.

    ŠUHRET FAZLIĆ, gradonačelnik Bihaća

    “Odvija se projekat koji je sigurno na prostoru Balkana možda najveći građevinski poduhvat. Ko nije bio gore ne može znati šta se dešava. Gore je milionska investicij. Prije 15 dana gore je bila samo livada, sada gore se stvaraju kapaciteti za smještaj skoro 1000 migranata”, rekao je Fazlić.

    S obzirom na to da vlasti ne žele da se ponovi slika sa Vučjaka, otvaranje kampa Lipa kasni. Riješeno je pitanje struje, vode i odvodnje, još se čeka zeleno svjetlo od zdravstvenog sektora.

    Iz kantonalnog Zavoda za javno zdravstvo ističu da svaki dan dobijaju izvještaje od DRC-a i IOM-a o zdravstvenom stanju migranata koji se nalaze u prihvatnim centrima. Na ulazu u Lipu će se raditi trijaža migranata, a bit će osposobljen i karantin.

    Epidemiolog ZARINA MULABDIĆ, direktorica Zavoda za javno zdravstvo

    “Zadovoljni smo sa onim zatečenim gore. Samo treba da se još to do kraja provede, nešto u vezi infrastrukture što se treba nadopuniti. To će biti jedno sjajno rješenje, ni nalik na Vučjak, na koji sam ja dala negativno mišljenje kao epidemiolog”, kazala je Mulabdić.

    Lipa je prvenstveno namijenjena za prihvat migranata koji se nalaze na ulicama Bihaća i nemaju osnovne uvjete za život dostojan čovjeka.

    MUSTAFA RUŽNIĆ, premijer USK

    “Kapacitet je za sada 1000 migranata. Vidjet ćemo kako će se razvijati situacija. Vidjeli ste, to je jedan mali grad po svim standardima”, istakao je Ružnić.

    Еpidemiolog ZARINA MULABDIĆ, direktorica Zavoda za javno zdravstvo

    Cilj nam je da ovo što nam je na ulici stavimo na Lipu tako da imamo nadzor, dodala je Mulabdić.

    Iz Ministarstva unutrašnjih poslova Unsko-sanskog kantona kažu da su spremni za izmještanje migranata, kako onih s ulica Bihaća, tako i onih koji privremeni krov nad glavom nalaze u napuštenim objektima.

    NERMIN KLjAJIĆ, ministar unutrašnjih poslova USK

    “Na taj način ćemo ispoštovati odluku Vijeća ministara o apsolutnoj zabrani kretanja. Smatram da se nekih 400 do 500 migranata u ovoj sedmici može premjestiti gore na tu lokaciju, objasnio je Kljajić.

    Građani Bihaća su u samoizolaciji dok migranti čekajući svoje premještanje slobodno šetaju gradskim ulicama. Bez osnovnih higijenskih i zdravstvenih uvjeta, otvorena su prijetnja za širene pandemije koronavirusa.

    https://bhrt.ba/1134278/danas-prijem-prvih-migranata-u-novi-kamp-lipa

    #Bosnie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #camps #route_des_Balkans #Balkans

    –---

    Commentaire via la mailing-list Inicijativa Dobrodosli, mail du 29.04.2020:

    Most of the funds used to finance the construction were awarded by the EU, while the camp will be run by the #IOM and the #DRC. The camp is situated 22km from the city of Bihać, without a connecting road, which would mean it is, in essence, isolated peripheral accommodation. In addition, there is no wastewater infrastructure, which in time will certainly begin to create certain problems for people living there.

    For a long while, BH has not been a good place for refugees and other migrants – as confirmed by this week’s news about the protest in #Bira (https://www.facebook.com/groups/144469886266984/permalink/548667525847216) and the letter signed by 70 persons from #Miral (https://www.facebook.com/transbalkanskasolidarnost/photos/a.121803256103331/130375228579467/?type=3&theater). These are reactions of people on the move to the hardships they have to suffer every day, and which are becoming unbearable. Meanwhile, police violence on the borders is not ceasing, continuing with equal levels of brutality and injustice (reprezent.ba/video-zivot-na-divlje-u-divljim-kampovima-velike-kladuse).

    #Danish_Refugee_Council #OIM #violences_policières #violence #isolement #périphérie #hébergement

  • Migranti lungo la Rotta, quarantena permanente versione testuale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ping @luciebacon

    • [Traduit par Chiara Lauvergnac, via Migreurop] 

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

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

      Red-hot borders

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

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

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

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

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

      Silvia Maraone

      Caritas Italiana - Migranti lungo la Rotta, quarantena permanente

  • La #Slovénie érige de nouvelles barrières à sa frontière avec la #Croatie


    https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/24082/la-slovenie-erige-de-nouvelles-barrieres-a-sa-frontiere-avec-la-croati

    La Slovénie a décidé de renforcer sa frontière avec la Croatie afin d’éviter des franchissements illégaux par des migrants, a annoncé mardi le ministère de l’Intérieur. En cinq ans, près de 200 kilomètres de clôtures ont déjà été construits dans cette zone.

    La Slovénie a déclaré, mardi 14 avril, qu’elle allait ajouter 40 kilomètres de nouvelles barrières à sa frontière avec la Croatie afin d’empêcher des migrants de la franchir clandestinement, rapporte l’agence de presse Reuters. Depuis 2015, le pays a fait construire progressivement quelque 196 kilomètres de clôtures sur les 670 kilomètres de frontière commune entre la Slovénie et la Croatie.

    Le ministère n’a pas précisé où les nouvelles barrières seront installées, mais a indiqué que leur construction serait effective dans le courant de l’année. Une annonce similaire portant également sur 40 kilomètres de nouvelles barrières avait été faite en juillet dernier pour l’année 2019.

    Bien que la Croatie et la Slovénie soient membres de l’Union européenne, la première n’appartient pas à l’espace Schengen de libre circulation. Les autorités slovènes ont donc expliqué l’an dernier qu’elles comptaient installer de nouvelles clôtures « dans les zones où il est urgent d’empêcher le franchissement illégal des frontières et de protéger les citoyens et leurs biens ».

    Explosion du nombre de tentatives de franchissement de la frontière

    Sur les deux premiers mois de l’année 2020, la police slovène a dénombré 1 165 tentatives de passage clandestin, soit près de 80% de plus qu’à la même période l’an dernier. Elle avait notamment annoncé, le mois dernier, avoir découvert une trentaine de migrants cachés dans un train de marchandises (https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/23225/slovenie-la-police-decouvre-trente-migrants-caches-sous-de-l-argile-da).

    Revenu fin février dans le fauteuil de Premier ministre, Janez Jansa avait promis lors de sa campagne de durcir sa politique en matière d’asile, d’ajouter de nouvelles barrières frontalières et de renforcer les contrôles aux frontières de ce petit pays de deux millions d’habitants situé sur le route migratoire des Balkans (https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/23045/slovenie-le-conservateur-janez-jansa-revient-au-pouvoir-en-durcissant-).

    Durant le pic de la crise migratoire en 2015 et 2016, un demi million de migrants clandestins avait traversé la Slovénie en six mois afin d’atteindre les pays d’Europe occidentale plus riches, comme la France, l’Allemagne ou le Royaume-Uni.

    #barrières_frontalières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #murs #route_des_balkans #frontière_sud-alpine #frontières #clôture

    • C’était 2019...
      En Slovénie, une clôture « de la honte » à la frontière croate (1/3)

      Depuis 2015, le gouvernement slovène érige le long de sa frontière sud une clôture de #barbelés pour tenter d’endiguer le flux de migrants en provenance de la Croatie voisine. Les villages slovènes traversés par les fils barbelés supportent mal l’installation de ce grillage qui, selon eux, abîme le #paysage et n’empêche pas la traversée des migrants.

      « Qui aime se réveiller le matin avec des #fils_barbelés devant sa fenêtre ? » Rudy ne décolère pas. Cet habitant de #Slavski_Laz, un village perdu dans les #montagnes slovènes, frontalier avec la Croatie, ne s’explique toujours pas pourquoi le gouvernement a construit, ici, au bord de la #rivière_Kolpa, une clôture de barbelés.

      « Ils disent que ce grillage est fait pour nous protéger… Mais nous protéger de quoi ? Je n’ai #peur de rien… », continue ce retraité qui vit depuis des années dans la région encore largement sauvage. L’argument de « l’#invasion_migratoire » brandi par le gouvernement pour justifier la construction de ce mur de métal ne le convainc pas.

      « Les migrants ici, ils passent, c’est tout », explique-t-il. « Ils transitent par la Slovénie et puis s’en vont vers d’autres pays, vers le nord de l’Europe généralement ».

      Les amis de Rudy acquiescent, tous attablés dans le seul café encore ouvert à 19h de #Kostel, un village de moins de 650 habitants non loin d’une des rares routes menant à la Croatie. Selon eux, la clôture est inutile, elle abîme le paysage, et son rôle de #dissuasion est largement surestimé. « Ils disent que les barbelés vont empêcher le passage de migrants… Mais tout le monde passe quand même ! », sourit Marco, un ami de Rudy, habitant dans le village voisin de Fara, en déclenchant l’hilarité de l’assemblée.

      « Par exemple, en ce moment, avec l’hiver et les forts courants, les rivages sont boueux, poreux, alors, les terrains bougent, la clôture s’effondre. Les migrants qui veulent passer n’ont même pas besoin de se fatiguer, ils ont juste à l’#enjamber », continue Marco en riant. « Il y a des endroits où des sillons se sont creusés. Ils peuvent aussi passer sous la barrière ! »

      116 km de #grillages

      Près de 14 000 migrants ont traversé la frontière depuis le début de l’année, « soit 70% de plus que l’année dernière », à la même période, affirment les autorités slovènes à InfoMigrants.

      Cet été, 40 km supplémentaires de grillages ont donc été construits à la frontière sud, le long de la rivière Kolpa. « Il faut empêcher le franchissement illégal des frontières », a indiqué le ministère de l’Intérieur dans un communiqué. En tout, depuis 2015, Ljulbjana a déjà érigé 116 km de grillages le long de la Kolpa qui parcourt les 670 km de frontière avec la Croatie.

      « Ces clôtures ne sont pas une baguette magique mais elles nous aident », ajoute, de son côté, un commandant de police slovène.

      Khaled, un demandeur d’asile érythréen, aujourd’hui à Ljubljana, a tenté trois fois le passage de la frontière slovène avant de réussir à entrer dans le pays. La clôture, il s’en souvient très bien. « J’ai traversé la frontière au mois de mai, quelque part vers #Ribnica. Je me souviens qu’une fois la rivière franchie, il a fallu passer ces barbelés. Alors j’ai grimpé, je me suis déchiré les mains, elles étaient pleines de sang, mais je suis passé ».

      Montagnes dangereuses, présence d’#ours, eau glaciale

      Au delà de sa dangerosité, Rudy, le villageois, voit dans cet alignement de barbelés, une « #clôture_de_la_honte » qui, selon lui, stigmatise les migrants. « On voit arriver des familles, parfois des enfants. Je ne vois pas bien en quoi, ce sont des ennemis », continue le retraité.

      « Cette barrière, c’est le début de l’enfer », explique à son tour une jeune fille qui énumère les dangers qui attendent les migrants juste après son franchissement : la montagne « très dangereuse quand on s’y perd », les températures « glaciales » et les ours, nombreux dans le pays. « Parfois, on entend des cris là-haut. Ce sont des migrants qui hurlent pour effrayer les animaux ».

      Ces dernières semaines, deux migrants sont décédés par #noyade dans la Kolpa et un autre a été retrouvé mort de froid et d’#épuisement dans la #forêt.

      Surtout, les migrants doivent éviter les patrouilles de #police. « La nuit, quand nous tentons la traversée, nous voyons les lumières des lampes torche, derrière la clôture. Les #policiers sont partout. C’est ça qui nous effraie le plus », se souvient Khaled. « On fait tout pour les éviter. Quand la police vous attrape, elle vous renvoie en Croatie. Elle vous emmène rarement jusqu’à la capitale pour demander l’asile ».

      Depuis le début de l’année, sur les 14 000 entrées illégales, plus de 8 000 renvois – aussi appelés « pushbacks » - ont été effectués depuis les frontières slovènes, affirment les autorités.

      Patrouille de miliciens d’extrême-droite

      « C’est une #honte, il y a la police, l’armée, maintenant cette clôture et il y a même une milice ! », fulmine à son tour Katarina Bernad Sterva, directrice de l’association slovène d’aide aux réfugiés, qui se désespère de la situation à la frontière.

      Depuis quelques jours en effet, des miliciens en treillis militaires, visages cachés derrière des cagoules noires, patrouillent aussi le long de la rivière Kolpa. Dirigée par le leader d’extrême-droite, Andrej Sisko,cette milice se veut un « renfort » à l’armée régulière pour « défendre la frontière » et intercepter les migrants. « Nous sommes le point d’entrée de l’espace Schengen », se justifie Andrej Sisko. « Nous voulons faire passer un message. Nous voulons dire aux étrangers de rester chez eux. La clôture est fragile, elle ne permet pas de stopper les migrants alors nous venons contrôler les abords de la rivière nous-mêmes ».

      La milice d’#Andrej_Sisko n’a aucun mandat légal. Et visiblement, les villageois s’expliquent mal leur présence.

      Si certains rient à leur passage - « C’est le carnaval quand ils sont là », entend-t-on ici et là dans les villages frontaliers – d’autres comme Katarina Bernad Sterva regarde cette armée parallèle avec une inquiétude grandissante. « Ce qui m’effraie, c’est qu’ils existent. Publiquement, le gouvernement a condamné leurs actions, mais, dans les faits, les autorités ne font rien. Ces hommes sont fous, nous nous attendions à une réaction forte du gouvernement, comme par exemple l’annonce de la dissolution de ces patrouilles ».
      https://twitter.com/sarecmarjan/status/1036914541693755400?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E10

      Interrogée par InfoMigrants, la police reste muette sur le sujet. « Je n’ai rien à dire sur ces hommes. Ils n’ont pas le soutien de la police », déclare simplement Vicjem Toskan, l’un des commandants en chef de la police de Koper, à l’ouest du pays.

      Ce soir-là, à Kostel, les amis du café s’interrogent surtout sur le sort réservé aux migrants interceptés par cette milice d’extrême-droite. « On a déjà la police et l’armée pour intercepter les migrants. On a une clôture pour les empêcher de continuer leur route. Eux, qu’est-ce qui vont leur faire, la nuit, dans la montagne ? », s’inquiète Rudy. « Ils portent des masques, ils marchent dans la forêt. J’ai plus peur d’eux que des immigrés qui traversent la rivière », chuchote à son tour, une jeune fille en bout de table. « Si j’étais migrante, je n’aimerais vraiment pas tomber sur eux ».

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/20807/en-slovenie-une-cloture-de-la-honte-a-la-frontiere-croate-1-3

      #milices #patrouilles #extrême_droite #Kolpa #efficacité #montagne #Alpes #décès #morts #mourir_aux_frontières #danger #dangers #push-back #refoulement #refoulements #militarisation_des_frontières #push-backs

      –---

      #Walls_don't_work :

      « Par exemple, en ce moment, avec l’hiver et les forts courants, les rivages sont boueux, poreux, alors, les terrains bougent, la clôture s’effondre. Les migrants qui veulent passer n’ont même pas besoin de se fatiguer, ils ont juste à l’#enjamber », continue Marco en riant. « Il y a des endroits où des sillons se sont creusés. Ils peuvent aussi passer sous la barrière ! »

      –-> voir la métaliste

    • Despite all the existing reports about the Croatian police violence and brutality, Slovenia continues to pushback migrants to Croatia. This was recently even recognized by the Italian court: an Italian court stopped deportation to Slovenia on the grounds that there is a risk for an asylum seeker to be subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment due to the high possibility of him (or her) being further expelled to Croatia and then to Bosnia or Serbia.
      More on that in AYS article from beginning of June:
      AYS Special: Italian Court StopsDeportation to Slovenia, Meanwhile Pushbacks Continue
      https://medium.com/are-you-syrious/ays-special-italian-court-stops-deportation-to-slovenia-meanwhile-pushbacks-

      Last week, the new Slovenian Minister of Interior Affair (of the new right wing government) frankly admitted in an interview that Slovenian police is sending migrants back to Croatia and consequently into the refugees centres in Bosnia and Serbia:
      Notranji minister Aleš Hojs razkril migracijsko »skrivnost«
      https://www.dnevnik.si/1042931634 (only in Slovenian)

      Currently, the government is also preparing a new Aliens Act where they plan to severely restrict access to asylum (among many other things): this means that during what they call complex migration emergencies, proclaimed by the government, access to asylum can be completely limited.

      Message reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop, le 15.06.2020

    • Slovénie : une vingtaine de migrants « proches de la suffocation » découverts dans des camions

      La police slovène a annoncé avoir découvert 22 migrants cachés dans des camion-citernes, samedi, à la frontière croate. Les contrôles ont été fortement renforcés dans cette région avec notamment l’envoi de 1 000 nouveaux policiers début juin.

      « Ils étaient proches de la suffocation. » Vingt-deux migrants cachés dans deux camion-citernes alimentaires ont été découverts par la police slovène, samedi 20 juin, à la frontière avec la Croatie, rapporte l’agence de presse AP. Les deux poids-lourds avaient des plaques d’immatriculation provenant de Serbie.

      Un premier groupe de 13 migrants a été découvert lors d’un contrôle de police à la frontière. Le second groupe, composé de 9 personnes, a été trouvé peu après dans un autre camion appartenant à la même compagnie.

      Les migrants sont originaires du Bangladesh, d’Inde, de Turquie et de Syrie, indique la police.

      Des milliers de migrants empruntent chaque année la route dite « des Balkans » malgré sa dangerosité. Un grand nombre d’entre eux font appel à des passeurs afin de traverser les frontières vers l’Europe occidentale dans des camions, plutôt que de tenter leur chance à pied à travers les forêts et les montagnes de la région.

      Craignant une recrudescence des passages clandestins à la suite du déconfinement décrété dans différents pays européens, la Slovénie a annoncé, début juin, qu’elle envoyait 1000 officiers de police en renfort à sa frontière avec la Croatie. Ces effectifs sont équipés de #drones, de #caméras_thermiques et de #détecteurs_de_mouvements.


      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/25519/slovenie-une-vingtaine-de-migrants-proches-de-la-suffocation-decouvert

  • Nei Balcani è caccia ai profughi: in fuga dai rastrellamenti “anti Covid”

    Scappano a decine per sottrarsi a violenze e campi di detenzione. Protestano le Ong.

    Non fuggono dal Covid, ma dai campi di prigionia e dalle misure repressive messe in campo con il pretesto della tutela della salute pubblica. Fuggono anche dall’asse di Visegrad, condannato ieri in via definitiva dalla Corte di giustizia dell’Ue, che ha giudicato non conforme ai trattati i “muri” di Polonia, Ungheria e Repubblica Ceca, sordi ai richiami della redistribuzione dei migranti. La rotta balcanica non è mai stata facile per i senza patria che l’attraversano. La riprova è arrivata dalla Corte del Lussemburgo, chiamata a decidere sulle scelte dei tre Paesi membri giudicati colpevoli di non aver accettato profughi da Italia e soprattutto Grecia, come stabilito dal programma avviato nel 2015. «Rifiutando di conformarsi al meccanismo temporaneo di ricollocazione di richiedenti protezione internazionale» il gruppo di Visegrad è venuto meno «agli obblighi incombenti in forza del diritto dell’Unione», hanno scritto i giudici.

    «La Corte è stata cristallina quanto alla responsabilità degli Stati membri. Adesso – ha annunciato la presidente della Commissione, Ursula von der Leyen – ci stiamo attivando per redigere il patto sulle migrazioni che presenteremo dopo Pasqua».

    Non sarà facile fare dei passi avanti. I progetti dell’Ue dovranno fare i conti anche con i “pieni poteri” del magiaro Viktor Orbán e dei suoi emuli nei dintorni. Il timore per il coronavirus è giustificato, specie in Paesi che non godono di un efficiente servizio sanitario. Ma le risposte vengono contestate dalle organizzazioni umanitarie internazionali, preoccupate dalla diffusa spinta all’autoritarismo.

    A #Sarajevo la polizia da giorni sta confinando i migranti in un centro di detenzione alla periferia della capitale. Vengono bloccati lungo le strade e trasportati a forza. La prossima settimana analoghi rastrellamenti verranno condotti nell’area di Bihac, al confine con la Croazia. «Costringere persone, molte delle quali già vulnerabili, a stare in una tendopoli allestita in tutta fretta in una zona remota, senza assicurare forniture adeguate di acqua né di servizi igienico–sanitari e senza garantire spazi per l’auto–isolamento o l’accesso a cure mediche è una decisione inumana che faciliterà il rischio di infezioni e di decessi evitabili», ha dichiarato Massimo Moratti, vicedirettore delle ricerche sull’Europa di Amnesty International. Circa 4.100 persone si trovano nei centri temporanei di accoglienza gestiti dall’Organizzazione internazionale per le migrazioni (Oim), altri 3.000 vivono nascosti in tuguri e case abbandonate, per strada o nei boschi.

    C’è chi per sottrarsi alle retate ha rischiato di morire sepolto sotto un cumulo terriccio. Come la bambina di 5 anni che si era nascosta nell’ammasso di fango di un vagone ferroviario carico di argilla rintracciato ad Harmica, in Croazia. Gli agenti bosniaci l’hanno estratta ancora viva poco prima che il convoglio si mettesse in marcia, salvando anche i genitori e due fratelli. Neanche il tempo di dargli da bere e sono stati respinti in Serbia.

    La Romania resta il Paese dei Balcani con il maggior numero di contagi. Gli ultimi riportano 2.460 casi, 252 guariti e 86 i decessi dichiarati. In Slovenia i casi noti sono 841 e almeno un centinaio di essi sono medici e infermieri. In Macedonia del Nord si contano 354 contagi, con 11 decessi, e in Kosovo i casi sono 112, altri 120 in Montenegro.

    Gli abusi delle autorità sono aggravati anche dalla lotta contro il tempo per fermare il contagio. I legali di “Border violence monitor” stanno documentando con testimonianze e prove fotografiche quale trattamento subiscono i profughi. La fine dell’inverno, infatti, ha riaperto i percorsi lungo i sentieri più impervi, prima coperti di neve. Lividi su tutto il corpo, scorticature, ustioni da Taser, la pistola per le scariche elettriche in dotazione agli agenti in Grecia e Macedonia. Proprio in territorio ellenico il campo di raccolta a Ritsona, nel nord del Paese, è stato posto in quarantena per 14 giorni dopo che sono stati confermati casi di positività al Coronavirus. Nel reticolato si trovano 3mila persone, in gran parte intenzionate a proseguire la traversata verso la Macedonia del Nord o l’Albania. Ma Atene deve vedersela soprattutto con gli oltre 40mila profughi ammassati sulle isole, con la preoccupazione che un focolaio di Covid–19, dato oramai per imminente, sarebbe una catastrofe.

    https://www.avvenire.it/attualita/pagine/in-fuga-dai-rastrellamenti-anti-coronavirus
    #chasse_à_l'homme #anti-réfugiés #anti-migrants #asile #fuite #migrations #réfugiés #Balkans #route_des_balkans #coronavirus #covid-19 #camps_de_réfugiés #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Bihac #Croatie #Ritsona #Grèce

    ping @luciebacon

    • Traduction en anglais:
      Dozens flee to escape violence and detention camps. NGOs protest

      A refugee girl extracted from a wagon loaded with clay in which she had hidden in Bosnia - Border Violence Monitoring

      They do not flee Covid, but from prison camps and repressive measures put in place under the pretext of protecting public health. They also flee the Visegrad axis, yesterday definitively condemned by the EU Court of Justice, which deemed the “walls” of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, deaf to the calls for redistribution of migrants, non-compliant. The Balkan route has never been easy for the homeless who cross it. The proof came from the Court of Luxembourg, called to decide on the choices of the three member countries found guilty of not accepting refugees from Italy and especially Greece, as established by the program launched in 2015. "Refusing to comply with the temporary mechanism for the relocation of applicants international protection “the Visegrad group has failed” to the obligations under the law of the Union ", wrote the judges.

      «The Court has been crystal clear as regards the responsibility of the Member States. Now - announced the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen - we are taking action to draw up the pact on migration that we will present after Easter ».

      It will not be easy to make progress. The EU’s plans will also have to deal with the “full powers” of the magyar Viktor Orbán and his emulators in the surrounding areas. The fear of coronavirus is justified, especially in countries that do not have an efficient health service. But the answers are contested by international humanitarian organizations, concerned about the widespread push for authoritarianism.

      In Sarajevo, the police have been confining migrants for days to a detention center on the outskirts of the capital. They are blocked along the roads and carried by force. Similar roundiing up will be carried out in the Bihac area on the border with Croatia next week. "Forcing people, many of whom are already vulnerable, to stay in a tent city set up in a hurry in a remote area, without ensuring adequate supplies of water or sanitation and without guaranteeing spaces for self-isolation or access to medical treatment is an inhuman decision that will facilitate the risk of avoidable infections and deaths, "said Massimo Moratti, deputy director of research on Europe at Amnesty International. About 4,100 people are located in temporary reception centers managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), another 3,000 live hidden in hovels and abandoned houses, on the street or in the woods.

      There are those who risked dying buried under a pile of soil to escape the raids. Like the 5-year-old girl who hid in the mud heap of a railway wagon loaded with clay found in Harmica, Croatia. Bosnian agents pulled her out still alive just before the convoy set off, also saving the parents and two brothers. Not even the time to give him a drink and they were rejected in Serbia.

      Romania remains the Balkan country with the highest number of infections. The last reported 2,460 cases, 252 recovered and 86 reported deaths. In Slovenia there are 841 known cases and at least a hundred of them are doctors and nurses. In North Macedonia there are 354 infections, with 11 deaths, and in Kosovo there are 112 cases, another 120 in Montenegro.

      The abuses of the authorities are also aggravated by the fight against time to stop the infection. Border Violence Monitoring lawyers are documenting the treatment of refugees with testimonies and photographic evidence. In fact, the end of winter has reopened the way along the most impervious paths, previously covered with snow. Bruises all over the body, skin bursts, Taser burns, the electric shock gun supplied to agents in Greece and Macedonia. Precisely in Hellenic territory the collection camp in Ritsona, in the north of the country, was placed in quarantine for 14 days after coronavirus positivity cases were confirmed. In the grid there are 3 thousand people, largely willing to continue the crossing to North Macedonia or Albania. But Athens must deal especially with the more than 40 thousand refugees piled up on the islands, with the concern that a Covid-19 outbreak, given now for imminent, would be a catastrophe.

  • Migranti e Covid-19: la profezia che si autoavvera prima del tempo

    Stiamo assistendo in queste ultime ore ad una delle peggiori e becere strumentalizzazioni legate alle politiche e alla propaganda d’odio verso le persone migranti che tentano di andarsene dalla Libia o viaggiano attraverso i Balcani.

    A seguito delle misure che tutti gli Stati nazione stanno via via assumendo all’interno dei propri territori e verso l’esterno, uno pare essere il leit motiv. A priori incolpare il rifugiato, il richiedente asilo, il migrante per la diffusione del #Covid-19.

    Come riporta Amnesty International, il presidente degli Stati Uniti, Donald Trump non ha perso tempo ordinando di respingere sia verso il Messico che verso il Canada tutte le persone entrate negli Stati Uniti, senza dare loro il permesso di essere ascoltate nelle istanze di richiesta di protezione.

    In Olanda il ministro della Giustizia Ferd Grapperhaus ha dichiarato che il parlamento ha decretato di non ammettere più nuovi ingressi all’interno dei centri di accoglienza. “Non possiamo sapere in quanti e quali altri Paesi queste persone siano passate prima di giungere a destinazione e con chi possano essere entrate in contatto”, questa la motivazione alla base della decisione.

    In Serbia il presidente Vučić ha proclamato in conferenza lo stato d’emergenza nazionale elencando le varie misure adottate tra cui il dispiegamento dell’esercito a controllo degli ospedali, delle frontiere e dei centri collettivi per richiedenti asilo e il divieto a chi vi viene registrato di poter uscire. Misura che ha ricevuto il plauso da parte dell’Assessore alla Sicurezza del Friuli Venezia Giulia, Pierpaolo Roberti, dato che servirebbe a prevenire il contagio anche nella regione del nordest italiano. Nell’ ultimo report dell’UNCHR sulla situazione in Serbia si evidenzia un aumento delle persone registrate all’interno dei 16 campi governativi, salito dai 5912 a 8328 in una settimana, sebbene alla data del 25 marzo ancora non siano emersi casi di Covid-19 tra i richiedenti asilo. Da qualche settimana, in diverse città serbe tra cui Subotica e Belgrado, erano state autorizzate manifestazioni pubbliche contro la presenza e l’accoglienza di migranti

    La Grecia già il 27 febbraio, prima dell’annuncio dell’apertura dei confini da parte della Turchia, aveva deciso di aumentare i controlli alle frontiere per impedire ai migranti potenziali portatori di coronavirus, di entrare in territorio ellenico. “Adesso la migrazione include una nuova dimensione, dato che i flussi verso la Grecia comprendono anche persone provenienti dall’Iran – dove ci sono stati molti casi – e altre che sono passate per l’Afghanistan” aveva dichiarato il primo ministro Mitsotakis. “Le nostre isole, già gravate da problemi di salute pubblica, devono essere doppiamente protette”. Due settimane dopo, lunedì 9 marzo, è stato confermato il primo caso di COVID-19 nell’isola di Lesbo. A portare l’infezione in Grecia è stata una greca di ritorno da un viaggio in Israele, non un richiedente asilo.

    Anche per il governo greco il coronavirus è diventato un pretesto non solo per rafforzare le frontiere ma anche per dare avvio alla detenzione di massa dei richiedenti asilo, sia nelle isole dell’Egeo sia nella Grecia continentale. Nei due campi profughi di Lesbo, Moria e Kara Tepe, le autorità hanno annunciato che si potranno muovere solo 100 persone all’ora, dalle 7 alle 19. Su una popolazione totale di 20 mila persone significa che solo una su 20 ha il diritto di muoversi ogni giorno. Inoltre in tutti i campi della Grecia sono state cancellate le attività ludiche ed educative, è stato vietato l’ingresso agli esterni ed è stato messo i coprifuoco dopo le 19. Nulla, a parte campagne di informazione sul coronavirus e allestimento di cliniche ad hoc, è stato fatto per prevenire un possibile focolaio all’interno dei campi. I tanti appelli delle organizzazioni umanitarie greche e internazionali che chiedevano l’evacuazione delle persone dagli hotspot delle isole dell’Egeo sono rimasti inascoltati. A questo, si è aggiunta la linea dura che la Grecia ha portato avanti dall’1 marzo, a seguito dell’annuncio turco dell’apertura delle frontiere: sospensione del diritto d’asilo fino al 31 marzo per chi è entrato in territorio ellenico in maniera illegale, respingimenti di massa al confine marino e terrestre, e detenzione per chi è riuscito a varcare la frontiera.

    L’Ungheria, negli stessi giorni, ha interrotto l’accesso dei richiedenti asilo ai campi collocati nelle zone di transito al confine con la Serbia, giustificando la misura per questioni sanitarie e sostenendo che l’arrivo del contagio in terra magiara fosse da imputare ad iraniani universitari. Ma nella decisioni di Orban ha avuto peso anche il timore di un nuovo flusso di arrivi dopo il confronto telefonico con Erdogan.

    In Bosnia e Erzegovina sia la Federazione che la Repubblica Serba di Bosnia hanno separatamente dichiarato lo stato d’emergenza. Anche in questo caso, particolare attenzione è stata data al tema dei migranti e dei richiedenti asilo presenti all’interno del territorio, con la conseguente apertura di una nuova tendopoli nel Cantone Una-Sana, precisamente a Lipa, dove verrrano coattivamente trasportate le persone che vivono in aree informali fuori dai campi gestiti dall’OIM.

    Come avvenuto in Serbia, anche in Bosnia l’esercito è stato incaricato di controllare le frontiere e di monitorare i campi vietando l’uscita delle persone; nel frattempo anche la tendopoli alla stazione di Tuzla è stata sgomberata e le persone portate a Blazuj nei pressi di Sarajevo, dove già si viveva in condizioni di sovrannumero.

    All’Hotel Porin di Zagabria, prima del terremoto del 22 marzo, è stata montata una rete a circoscrivere l’area attorno al campo.

    A Gorizia, nell’area di Trieste e lungo i valichi di confine, sono stati eretti posti di blocco sulle vecchie frontiere che sono tornate ad esistere per iniziale volontà del governo sloveno. Al confine opposto ha disposto invece nuovi container dove trattenere i migranti catturati per poi consegnarli alle forze dell’ordine croate. Il presidente della regione Friuli ha ottenuto il dispiegamento di polizia e militari sul confine sloveno per fermare chi arriva dalla rotta balcanica, dopo che già da gennaio Salvini aveva chiesto il blocco delle frontiere per evitare l’arrivo di migranti.

    Filippo Grandi dell’Alto Commissariato delle Nazioni Unite per i Rifugiati (UNHCR), in una dichiarazione del 20 marzo sulla crisi COVID-19 ha dichiarato:

    “Sono sempre più preoccupato per le misure adottate da alcuni Paesi che potrebbero bloccare del tutto il diritto di chiedere asilo […] queste misure non devono portare alla chiusura delle vie d’asilo, né costringere le persone a ritornare in situazioni di pericolo”.

    Solo qualche giorno prima a Ginevra gli esperti ONU riuniti avevano rilevato i rischi dell’utilizzo dei poteri speciali come misure repressive. “Pur consci della gravità dell’attuale crisi sanitaria e riconoscendo che l’uso dei poteri in stato di emergenza è consentito dal diritto internazionale in risposta a minacce significative, ricordiamo con urgenza agli Stati che qualsiasi risposta all’emergenza coronavirus deve essere proporzionata, necessaria e non discriminatoria”

    L’Alto Commissario per i Diritti Umani delle Nazioni Unite aveva espresso perplessità simili.

    Il Portogallo il 29 marzo ha dichiarato l’intenzione di regolarizzare chiunque abbia inoltrato domanda di permesso di soggiorno retroattivamente dalla data d’inizio dell’emergenza, il 18 marzo. Tutti saranno trattati come cittadini ed avranno lo stesso diritto di ogni portoghese all’accesso alla sanità e cure.

    Ad oggi il Portogallo è l’unico Paese a compiere un’azione normativa, e quindi politica, che anzitutto guardi alla crisi legata al coronavirus come a un problema globale per tutti gli individui e nel fare ciò amplia le maglie del diritto e dei diritti anzichè restringere e rinchiudere come si è visto fare in tutti gli altri contesti.

    https://lungolarottabalcanica.wordpress.com/2020/03/30/migranti-e-covid-19-la-profezia-che-si-autoavvera-p
    #Balkans #fermeture_des_frontières #frontières #migrations #asile #réfugiés #coronavirus #route_des_Balkans #mobilité #immobilité #Hongrie #Serbie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Bosnie #Gorizia
    ping @luciebacon