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Annual Torture Report 2023

Date 26 June, 2024
Category Special Report

A week after the BBC released evidence of the Greek Coast Guard forcing people in transit to their deaths by throwing them directly into the sea, the Border Violence Monitoring Network published the 2023 Annual Torture Report showing that the allegations around the Greek authorities are only a small glimpse into the reality of abuse and human rights violations happening on Europe’s borders. 

Released in conjunction with the UN’s International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the 5th edition of BVMN’s Annual Torture Report showcases how European State authorities are routinely and deliberately inflict significant harm and torture to people in transit. Testimonies in the report highlight cases which include excessive force, sexual assault and gender-based violence, dog attacks, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, racism, Islamophobia, and the use of firearms aimed at or in the vicinity of innocent people on the move, including young children. 

The 5th Edition: Annual Torture Report centres on the 81 testimonies collected by BVMN field-based member organisations in 2023, which contributes to a broader body of evidence collated by BVMN since 2017, of border violence affecting approximately 30,091 people. As demonstrated within the report, we assert that pushbacks are so widespread and systematic that they represent an informal border management policy carried out by State officials, characterised by extreme violence, cruelty and torture.

The reporting within the 5th Edition: Annual Torture Report is thanks to the hard work of our member organisations including; Pushback Alarm Austria, InfoKolpa, Mobile Info Team, PIC, Centre for Legal Aid: Voice in Bulgaria, BlindSpots, Rigardu, Collective Aid, Are You Syrious, I Have Rights, Mission Wings Bulgaria and other member organisations who due to threats of criminalisation remain anonymous.