On Wednesday 19th April 2023 a 23-year-old woman from Sierra Leone, Fatmata, was shot and killed by a North Macedonian border police officer at the Greece/North Macedonia border. The event occurred just outside of Gevgilja during a vehicle inspection; Fatmata later died in a nearby hospital from wounds sustained in the shooting. Her husband, Abu Bakar, 24-years-old from Sierra Leone, was present and witnessed the event. Abu Bakar reports that, after being told he would be taken to hospital with Fatmata and as he was trying to document the event, he was put into handcuffs, questioned and held in detention for 36 hours. The police then offered him, and the rest of the transit group, to be taken to the Serbian border and leave the country. Abu Bakar refused, and decided to stay in North Macedonia to seek justice for Fatmata.
BVMN and Second Tree call on MEPs to support the wishes of Abu Bakar and the rest of Fatmata’s family: for a full, prompt investigation and a fair trial, and acknowledgement that the fundamental rights situation in North Macedonia is not in line with international and Union human rights law.