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Balkan Region Report – April/May 2020

Date 16 June, 2020
Category Monthly Report

In this report, the stories of 736 people subject to pushbacks in the Western Balkans and Greece are told. The Border Violence Monitoring Network continued to record high levels of illegal cross-border removals throughout the COVID-19 lockdown period and into the relaxation of measures. First hand accounts of these actions – carried out by both police, state armies and Frontex – come from a range of different borders stretching from the Evros river between Greece
and Turkey, to the Italian-Slovenian border. This publication provides field updates from April and May, relaying the situation along the EU external border and it’s persistently violent character.

This report analyses, among other things:

-Spray tagging abuse by Croatian police

-Pushbacks by Frontex from Albania

-Countrywide removals from Greece to Turkey

-Dissaggregated “chain” pushbacks from Serbia

-Legal challenges to Croatia and Hungary

-“Informal Readmissions” from Italy to Slovenia

Read the full report to find out more on these topics. Other features include an update from Serbia where army garrisoning, fenced reception centres and fascists attacks have marked a steep increase in violence against transit communities. You can also follow more on investigations into a shooting by the Greek military, logging by Croatian authorities on the green border, accommodation pressure in Una-Sana Canton, and updates on housing evictions across Athens and Thessaloniki.

You can also sign up for regular updates from the Border Violence Monitoring Network, including the monthly newsletter, press releases and in depth reports.
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