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They treat us like animals

on the night of 8. March 2019 to cross two of the migrants across the river in the Bosnian Sava-Croatian border. You want to go to Zagreb, the capital of the EU country Croatia. In the Jargon of the migrants, such a border are called border-crossing attempts, "The Game". Games of this type, however, often not as hoped.

An hour after crossing the border of the Algerians and the Libyans, both 35 years old, Slavonski Brod, where they are soon picked up by the Croatian police. At the police station, the two men are just laughed at, as you say, that you want to make an application for Asylum. It is clear that they will be deported, although authorities would need to check your clearly expressed to the asylum request, at least.

Robbed, beaten, harassed

The two migrants are asked for their personal details and photographs. In addition, you have Croatian documents, they do not understand. The cops take almost everything you have: the money, about 100 euros, the cigarettes, and also the identity papers of a Bosnian refugee camps. These belongings will not get back the migrants. After all, you are allowed to keep the phone. In a prison cell, you are then by police officers miss: blows to the face, kicks in the legs and back. "They treat us like animals", is one of the migrants to tell later. That he is treated in a police station, which is decorated with the EU-coat-of-arms, so, upset him.

Finally, the Algerians and the Libyans in a forest area on the border to Serbia will be exposed to, far away from Bosnia, although they had come from Bosnia, and is not related to Serbia. You will, however, try to go in the direction of Bosnia. Until you get to 20 miles and by the same officers, under the laughter, to the same place at the Serbian border and brought back to be discovered. About Serbia, you will reach finally to Bosnia. After seven, eight days you reach Sarajevo, where you will get the bare minimum help from a small relief organization. Where the Algerians and the Libyans are staying now, is not known.

database about illegal deportations

This migrant's fate in the EU recorded by Hans-Peter Schaub. Normally, the 37-year-old Swiss works as a political scientist at the University of Bern and as an employee of the Parliament's services for the Zurich cantonal Parliament. This spring, but Schaub holiday took, and was a Volunteer in Sarajevo.

on the one Hand, he helped under the umbrella of the small NGO Aid Brigade in the humanitarian supply of refugees . On the other hand, he created the collective "RE:ports Sarajevo" so-called Pushback-Reports. "We document what reports us refugees apprehended as irregular migrants, and then across the border to a different country were deported," explains Schaub in the conversation. The narratives of the respondents are Concerned, are worthy of for the most part believe – "unfortunately".

unlike a visa refusal, justified in writing and appeal are capable of, are those Pushbacks are illegal. Thousands of refugees are affected. "The Pushback is done, as a rule, in disregard of the fundamental rule-of-law and asylum principles," says Schaub. "Add to that, very often, physical violence and various forms of degrading treatment."

On the Balkan migrants stranded in the vicinity of the Croatian border in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Photo: Border Violence Monitoring

According to Schaub, the Repertoire of inhumane methods towards migrants large and frightening. People would, for example, found in rivers, in the middle of the forest without shoes, exposed, insulted, threatened, robbed, laughed at, beaten, for hours, in extremely cooled or overheated vehicles driving around, or forced to lay down for an "interrogation" in the middle of a city prone on the pavement. There were also reports of sexual Assaults.

"What has shaken daily, and with obvious classification at the EU external border and other borders in the Balkans happens to me," says Schaub. He is not a newbie, but has done well in 2016 five more weeks of operations before as a helper site: in Greece, in Serbia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

thousands stranded in Bosnia

The Pushback-reports of the collective "RE:ports Sarajevo" cover yourself with the documentation of other refugee assistance organizations, also collected in the database of Border Violence Monitoring and published. Similar findings by Amnesty International in its recently published report "violence against refugees of the Balkan route".

in Spite of all the foreclosure measures in Europe, has established itself in the last two years, a southern Balkan route. It starts in Turkey and runs through Greece, Albania and Montenegro to Bosnia-Herzegovina, in order to reach the EU – Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and then further to the North. In 2018, more than 22'000 migrants to Bosnia came Herzegovina. Most of these people come from North African countries, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

According to the UN refugee Agency, UNHCR, approximately 6000 migrants in Bosnia-Herzegovina are stuck currently. About half of this is located in reception centres in the proximity of the small towns of Bihac and Velika Kladusa on the border with Croatia. Many other migrants live on the streets or in abandoned buildings, and you have to live without any basic services. About ten percent of the refugees are unaccompanied minors. "Bosnia-Herzegovina can provide neither the necessary protection, and adequate conditions of life", as stated in the Amnesty report. Bureaucratic hurdles, lack of legal assistance and limited administrative capacity has meant that these migrants had little Chance to go through in Bosnia-Herzegovina to the asylum procedure.

Amnesty accusations against Croatia

Amnesty is serious allegations of Croatia: "refugees and migrants in Croatia systematically between border guards abused, robbed and deported." Also, the EU is criticized because it "supports, in spite of the hair-methods-raising to the border of Croatia provided financial assistance for border security". The EU must ensure that international law will be adhered to, and a humanitarian crisis is prevented. The criticism also applies to Slovenia, the last year, the border regime tightened.

The Pushback practice on the Croatian EU limit was already in the past year in the media, have been addressed. At that time, the authorities of Croatia rejected the allegations – until the Croatian refugee activists with video footage at the border, the official statements it is to. Nevertheless, it seems to be not better: the Systematic, illegal and often violent Pushback of refugees and migrants in Croatia but also in Slovenia, authorities are still on the agenda. (Tages-Anzeiger)

Created: 14.05.2019, 20:42 PM

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