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Balkan Region – Report October 2019

Date 16 November, 2019
Category Monthly Report

The Border Violence Monitoring Network just published it’s October report, covering pushbacks and police violence from Croatia (and Slovenia), into Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia. Highlighted by the trend analysis of this report, pushbacks by Croatian authorities in particular included the use of stripping, fires, water immersion, theft and beatings. The tactics, shared by multiple respondents and quoting direct statements from the police, show an armoury of formal and informal weaponry which also include: tasers, pepper spray and gatekeeping of asylum. Each facet of these pushbacks shows a clear intentionality: to compound further the experience of people subject to illegal collective expulsions.

This report analyses, among other things:

  • Basement in Bajakovo road border crossing used to abuse transit groups
  • Croatian police use undressing as a winterised border tool
  • Use of pepper spray during transportation
  • Accompanying Violence: Analysis of practices in Croatia


In the meantime, European policy development reached a new level of incoherence with the green lighting of Croatia’s Schengen accession. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, the rise of internal violence against transit populations raised further concerns about reception conditions within the primary recipient state for pushbacks. This precarity was also illustrated in the targeting of informal communities in Serbia this month, and at the south of the Balkan Route where a partner report by Mobile Info Team revealed systemic pushback violations from Greece to Turkey. Read in full here:





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