“Refugee behind the Closed Border”

A couple of people who are living in the border zone set up a self-organized facebook page that is covering reports from people who are stuck at the Serbo-Hungarian border.
The page gives access to an insight perspective about the conditions of daily life and struggles inside the unofficial camps at the Hungarian border fence.

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Pro Asyl: Misshandlungen und brutales Zurückdrängen an der Grenze


HRW (Human Rights Watch) berichtet, dass Schutzsuchende, die irregulär die Grenze nach Ungarn überquert hatten, ohne Prüfung ihrer Schutzbedürftigkeit gewaltsam nach Serbien zurückverbracht worden seien. Insgesamt befragte die Organisation 41 Schutzsuchende, NGO- und UNHCR-Mitarbeitende, Anwält*innen, Aktivist*innen und Beamte des Ungarischen Büros für Einwanderung und Nationalität (OIN). Unter den Befragten waren 12 Schutzsuchende – darunter auch Frauen und Kinder –, die auf ungarischem Territorium bei dem Versuch aufgegriffen wurden, irregulär einzureisen. Die Betroffenen berichteten, von Beamten brutal geschlagen, misshandelt und zurück nach Serbien verbracht worden zu sein. Es seien sogar Hunde auf sie losgelassen worden, Beamte hätten sie getreten und mit Stöcken und Fäusten geschlagen.

“Gestrandet im Niemandsland”

01.08.2016 | taz.de

Die Stimmung im „Niemandsland“ am ungarisch-serbischen Grenzübergang Röszke ist noch gedrückter als sonst. Hunderte Flüchtlinge kampieren hier an dem Grenzzaun in einem Zeltlager. Die provisorischen Unterkünfte schützen nicht – weder vor der sengenden Hitze noch vor sintflutartigen Regenfällen.

Einige der Flüchtlinge haben einen Hungerstreik hinter sich, diesen aber in der vergangenen Woche abgebrochen. Mit ihrer Aktion wollten sie gegen die Flüchtlingspolitik der ungarischen Regierung protestieren, die auf Abschottung setzt.

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Migrants in Serbia on Hunger Strike

About 150 people decided to go on Hunger Strike and marched towards the Hungarian Border demanding to enter the EU. The Hunger Strike lasted for 5 days, from July 25 until July 29. After facing severe health risks some of the strikers were brought to a Hospital and the strikers ended their protest albeit there was no response given  by Hungarian or EU authorities. Most of the strikers are now in a camp in Banja Koviljaca, on the Bosnian Border.

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No Border Serbia also published an interview with one of the Hunger Strikers on July 29.

You know, its a global issue, the issue of refugees, there are now 3800 refugees here in Serbia, most of them are in the parks and in the streets, most of them covering somewhere, and many of them they live in camps, they have applied for asylum and they are waiting. In a legal process that is initiated by the Hungarian government on daily bases they receive 15 people from Horgoš camp and 15 people from Kelebija. To the issue of entering is very much slow when looking at the huge number of refugees although there is tough security system in Bulgaria and over here at the Hungarian border as well.

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Serbia announces Joint Venture of Police and Military to Guard Southern Borders

18.07.2016 | b92

As a reponse to the recent legal changes in Hungary that legalizes the push back of thousands of people, Serbia’s President Vucic announces a joint venture of Police and Military to Guard the Southern Borders to Macedonia and Bulgaria.

They will “jointly execute tasks in preventing the illegal entry of migrants from Bulgaria and Macedonia, and bring to justice human traffickers operating on Serbian soil.”

The Security Service Coordination Bureau forwarded this proposal to Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic.

After the meeting of the Bureau on Saturday, Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said that the main topics were “the events in Turkey, the migrant crisis and its consequences for security, legal order and economic future of Serbia, situation in the region, terrorism and its prevention, and the way to counter possible terror acts.”

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Human Rights Watch: Migrants abused at the Border

13.07.2016 | Human Rights Watch

(Budapest) – Migrants at Hungary’s border are being summarily forced back to Serbia, in some cases with cruel and violent treatment, without consideration of their claims for protection, Human Rights Watch said today.

New laws and procedures adopted in Hungary over the past year force all asylum seekers who wish to enter Hungary to do so through a transit zone on Hungarian territory, to which the government applies a legal fiction claiming that persons in the zone have not yet ‘entered’ Hungary. Human Rights Watch found that while some vulnerable groups are transferred to open reception facilities inside Hungary, since May 2016 the Hungarian government has been summarily dismissing the claims of most single men without considering their protection needs.

“Hungary is breaking all the rules for asylum seekers transiting through Serbia, summarily dismissing claims and sending them back across the border,” said Lydia Gall, Balkans and Eastern Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch. “People who cross into Hungary without permission, including women and children, have been viciously beaten and forced back across the border.”

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The Guardian: Refugees stuck in Serbia begin marching towards Hungarian border

Die Lage sei schlecht und werde schlechter, warnte das Flüchtlingshilfswerk der Vereinten Nationen schon Mitte vergangener Woche. In einem Bericht des Flüchtlingskommissariats zur Situation in Serbien hieß es, im äußersten Norden des Landes hätten sich binnen Tagen mehr als 1200 „Flüchtlinge/Migranten“ versammelt, die in Ungarn das Gebiet der EU (wieder) betreten wollen, das sie bei der (illegalen) Ausreise aus Griechenland verlassen hatten. Allein am 6. Juli, so der Bericht, habe man 120 Migranten betreut, die erzählten, aus Ungarn wieder in das Niemandsland zwischen ungarischer und serbischer Grenze abgeschoben worden zu sein. Belgrader Medien berichten in Anspielung auf frühere Zustände an der griechisch-mazedonischen Grenze, nahe des Dorfes Horgos drohe ein „serbisches Idomeni“ zu entstehen – ein wildes Flüchtlingslager für zehntausende „Niemandsleute im Niemandsland“, die ein Zaun an der Weiterreise hindere.

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The Situation at the Serbo-Hungarian Border

08.07.2016 | moving-europe

Latest update on the situation at the Serbo-Hungarian Border. The report covers the situation in the official camps in front of the Transit Zones as well as the consequences of the new “push back law” passed on July 5, 2016.

Although the state-controlled Balkan corridor is closed since March, hundreds of people still travel across the Balkans towards central Europe. People cross from Greece through Macedonia or from Turkey through Bulgaria to Serbia, where around 300 people arrive every day. After a few days in Belgrade, most people continue to Subotica, a small city close to the Hungarian border. Despite the fence along the Serbo-Hungarian border, there are several possibilities to cross from Serbia into Hungary. There are three camps in the area. One is a state run “one-stop-centre” in the outskirts of Subotica. The other two are self-organised camps right at the transit-zones. Around 15 people per day are allowed to cross legally into Hungary from each camp at the transit-zone.

Increasing Numbers of Pushbacks from Hungary to Serbia

Many people try to cross into Hungary on their own during the night to avoid the long waiting period and uncertainty in the transit zone. The unauthorised ways are highly frequented and many people manage to transit Hungary and continue their journey. However, the Hungarian police and fascist civil defence units control the Hungarian border tightly. They systematically push refugees back from Hungary to Serbia. In the last weeks, these pushbacks increased, leading to a larger number of people stuck in Serbia. There are many people reporting violence from the Hungarian authorities during the pushbacks. For more information, see previous report on violence during pushbacks from Hungary.

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Report on Police Violence during Push-Backs from Hungary

29.06.2016 | moving europe

A new law is about to be passed in Hungary on July 5. When it comes into practice it will legalize the displacement of hundreds of people who cross the Hungarian border fence to the Serbian side. This is based on a legal trick, as the fence is built five meters into Hungarian territory. Therefore, legally spoken, it is based on a displacement and not a deportation and needs no bilateral agreement with Serbia. However, in practice it is nothing else than a push-back as it leaves people with no other option as returning to Serbia territory.

Already in the last days people in Serbia witnessed push-backs from Hungarian territory and interviewed some of those who have been affected.

In the last days we witnessed an increased number of people who left for Hungary returning to Belgrade. They crossed into Hungary, but were caught by the police and pushed back to Serbia through a hole in the fence. Many people reported violent behaviour by the Hungarian police, including pepper spray, electrical shocks, beatings and setting dogs on them.

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critical reports and analysis about serbia as a country of transit and origin