Fotografije snimljene u kampu u Subotici i na Kelebiji u Septembru 2016. (izveštaj dole)
Pictures taken in the camps in Subotica and Kelebija, September 2016. (scroll down for report)
porazbijani telefoni od strane mađarske policije.// hungarian police smash peoples phones
Dobili smo ovaj snimak koji je snimljen pre dve nedelje. Pokazuje posljedice policijskog nasilja od strane hrvatskih državnih organa. Nakon što su brutalno prebijeni maloletnici su deportovani iz hrvatske u srbiju.
We also got this video which was taken about two weeks ago. It shows the result of police violence; croatian officials have beaten minors brutally before they deported them back to Serbia.
Subotica & Sid:
Both borders (Serbia-Hungarian as well as Serbian-Croatian) display a
number of similar circumstances: overfilled camps, non-functioning lists
which ensure legal crossings, severe police violence by both Hungarian
police forces (which also widely deploy dogs) and Croatian police (which
adopts the same model of beatings and push-backs for an ever-increasing
number of people) in the case of ‘unauthorized crossings’. The police
violence is documented in official NGO reports (e.g. Amnesty
International in the case of Hungary) and has been included in reports
ranging back to January 2016 (Croatian police violence and push-backs on the Serbian-Croatian border). But little has changed over all these
months, in fact the violence only seems to worsen. Most of the injuries one can see on the pictures come from dogbites, hits with metal sticks, or fists.
An often under-reported manifestation of the violence at Serbia’s
borders is of a psychological nature. When talking to people in official
camps as well as informal shelters the frustration and distress
resulting from uncertainty regarding the possibility of crossing via
these lists, the confusion resulting from ever-changing policy decision,
the experienced alienation and discrimination due to changing atmosphere
in Serbia regarding migrants, and last but not least suffered traumas
due to arbitrary police violence and prolonged detention. All these
factors lead to a severely damaged mental health of people on the move.
However, it is more complex and difficult to document these (mental)
injuries, and this is only made more complicated by the lack of medical
assistance in camps as well as more generally in Belgrade.
“I tried 6 times. Once I made it until Zagreb. They destroyed my knee, and they hit me in the face and on my body.” (P.)
“police dogs bit me in the arm, I could not move my arm for 1 month. they used teargas, we could not see and could not breath.” (N.)
Apart from the worsening weather conditions, money plays a huge role:
People are controlled by the police at various sleeping spots (squats,
parks, parking lots etc in the city of Belgrade) during the nights. Often up to 15 people are
taken to the police station, and many end up jailed with dubious fines
demanding up to 280€. Those lacking the ability to pay are imprisoned
and frequently released after a few days in exchange for paying a
‘discounted’ fine (e.g. 20€-100€).
Additionally the racist actions from the side of some locals increased:
Xenophobic neighborhood protests in the park by the railway
station in Belgrade, which occur daily, continue to harass migrants, activists and
anyone they deem to be of another opinion regarding the ‘migrant
crisis’. The numbers of these protesters remain low (~5-15) but their
recourse to verbal and physical violence is increasing, and a consequent
clash could be instrumentalised by the media to boost the participants
of these vigils. It seems paramount to avoid a situation like the one
caused by the group ‘Sauvouns Calais’ in France. Generally one can feel a huge difference in comments and looks against migrants on the streets. Where few months ago there was solidarity and understandingvisible, now a more hostile behavior from the side of the locals can be observed.
Grupa od oko 400-500 migranata krenula je danas na još jedan „marš nade“ od Beograda ka granici sa Madjarskom. Dok ovo pišemo, oni su u blizini Stare Pazove. Kreću se pod nadzorom policije i pripadnika kontroverzne organizacije Komesarijat za/protiv izbeglica. Neki od učesnika marša razmišljaju o povratku u Beograd, zbog iznurenosti i pritisaka kojima su neprestano izloženi. U ove pritiske ubrajamo i medijsko spinovanje, zlonamerno izveštavanje u stilu Milorada Komrakova. Kasno popodne, učesnicima marša policija je onemogućila ulazak u prodavnice i nabavku neophodnih namirnica, a NGOrganizacijama nije dozvolila distribuciju hrane.
Ne iznenađuje šta pišu mediji, kao ni to šta ne pišu. Pišu da iza ovog marša stoje neke „grupe poput No bordera i anarhističkih grupa”, a ne pišu o samoorganizovanoj borbi migranata za slobodu kretanja i dostojanstven život (a ni o svim drugim socijalnim borbama, jer je to u suštini ista borba). Horizontalno organizovani, antiautoritarni kolektivi su meta državne propagande i represije zato što dižu glas protiv nasilja država i vlasti kapitala, i zato što izražavaju solidarnost u praksi sa potlačenima. Pišu o potrebi za mobilizacijom vojske na granicama, a ne o svakodnevnoj policijskoj represiji. Pišu o ovome maršu kao nastavku „migrantske krize“, a ne pišu o Evropskom režimu granica koji prouzrukuje smrt, patnju i bedu. Kriza je Evropski rasizam, kriza su granice, kriza je
(ponovna) fašizacija društva. Ovaj marš nije kriza, već zapravo otpor toj krizi.
Kao što smo pisali i ranije, dva glavna načina na koji su migranti prikazani u mainstream medijima i tabloidima je da su ili pretnja sigurnosti ili bespomoćne žrtve koje ne mogu govoriti i delovati za sebe. Odbacujemo ova dva načina prezentacije kao i bilo koju drugu formu „prezentacije“ migranata. „Migranti“ nisu homogene skupine ljudi koje možemo „predstavljati“ na jednoznačan način. Medijsko izveštavanje i unifikovanje migranata je neadekvatno, pogrešno i degradirajuće. Sistem granica i migracijska politika, ograničavanjem slobode kretanja stvara grupu ljudi, koju nazivamo „migrantima”. No, ta ograničenja su nešto što ljudi prevazilaze svaki dan, i na taj način vraćaju nazad svoju humanost. Naš interes je tražiti i pronaći puteve solidarnosti koji povezuju zajedničke borbe.
Želimo da preciznije odgovorimo na dileme i lažne optužbe iznete povodom dešavanja 4. oktobra 2016: ne, naš kolektiv nije podsticao nijednog učesnika marša da krene u protest. Razlozi zbog kog su ljudi odlučili da otpočnu protestni marš izmedu ostalog su: okruženost militarizovanim granicama, vodi se lov na ljude, a nema drugog načina kretanja osim kriminalizovanim putevima. Ljudi koji su krenuli ka granici su mesecima zaglavljeni u Srbiji, a većina njih je iskusila brutalno policijsko nasilje i na Mađarskoj i na Hrvatskoj granici. Mnogi su opljačkani i deportovani nazad u Srbiju, čak 10 i više puta. Svakodnevno srećemo ljude sa teškim povredama od elektrošokova, ujeda policijskih pasa, razbijenih glava itd. Dovoljno smo već pisali o nefunkcionalnom azilnom sistemu, užasnom stanju u kampovima – koncentracionim logorima današnjice.
Zbog ilegalizacije i kriminalizacije i rastuće antimigrantske propagande ljudi trpe svakodnevnu represiju, ponižavanje, mogu biti uhapšeni svakog trenutka i stavljeni u pritvor; prostor u kome se nalaze je nalik velikom zatvoru okruženom bodljikavim žicama, policijom i vojskom iz kojeg ljudi žele da izadju i zatraže šansu za normalan život, školovanje, rad, a ne čekanje u redovima za milostinju.
Zato zahtevamo da mediji prestanu da tretiraju migrante kao skupinu koja je
bespomoćna, bez ideja, koja ne može govoriti za sebe.
Uvek solidarino sa ilegalizovanima i potlačenima!
Za slobodu kretanja i dostojanstven život za sve!
No border Serbia kolektiv
Statement regarding the self-organised march of migrants
A group of about 400-500 migrants began another March of Hope today
(04.10.2016) from Belgrade to the Serbian-Hungarian border. At the time
of writing they are in the vicinity of Stara Pazova. They are moving
under the oversight of the Serbian police and members of the
controversial government comessariat for/against refugees. Some of the
march’s participants are considering a return to Belgrade, due to the
exhaustion and relentless pressures they are subject to. We count the
media-spins amongst these pressures, malicious reporting in the style of
Milorad Komrakov. In the late afternoon, the police forbid the marchers
any access to any store in order to purchase necessary goods, as well as
banning any food distribution by NGOs.
It is not surprising what the media writes about, and what they don’t
write. Media outlets write that ‘groups such as No Borders and anarchist
groups’ are behind this march. They don’t write about the self-organised
struggle of the migrants for the freedom of movement and a life of
dignity (as well as all other social struggles, as they are
substantially the same struggle). Horizontally organised,
anti-authoritarian collectives are the target of state propaganda and
repression because they raise their voices against state violence and
the power of capital, and because they show solidarity with the
oppressed. They write about the need of mobilising military forces at
the borders, but not about the everyday police repression. They write
about this march as the continuation of the so-called ‘migrant crisis’,
but they do not write about the European border regime which causes
deaths, suffering and misery. The crisis is Europe’s racism, the crisis
are the borders, the crisis are the (renewed) fascisation of society.
This march is not the crisis, it is rather the resistance to the crisis.
As we already mentioned, the two main ways in which migrants are
portrayed in mainstream media and the tabloid press is that there are
either a threat to security or helpless victims who cannot speak and act
for themselves. We reject these two forms of representation as well as
any other for of ‘representation’ of migrants. ‘Migrants’ are not a
homogenous group of people who can be ‘represented’ in a unifying way.
The media’s reporting and unification of migrants is inadequate, wrong
and degrading. The system of borders and migration politics, by means of
restricting the freedom of movement, creates a group of people in the
first place, which are referred to as ‘migrants’. However, this
restriction is overcome by people every day, thereby regaining their
humanity. Our interest lies in searching for and finding ways of
solidarity which connect common struggles.
We would like to give a more precise reply to the dilemmas and false
accusation issued in the wake of the events of the 4th of October 2016:
No, our collective did not encourage any participant of the march to
join the protest. Some of the reasons why people decided to start the
protest march include a.o.: the encirclement of militarised borders, a
literal hunting of people, and no alternative way of moving except for
criminalised routes. People who are moving towards the border are stuck
in Serbia for months, and the majority of them have experienced police
violence on the Serbian-Hungarian as well as the Serbian-Croatian
border. Many have been robbed of their possessions and pushed back to
Serbia, sometimes 10 times or more often. Everyday we meet people with
serious injuries resulting from electroshocks, police dog bites, hits to
the head etc. The non-functional asylum system, and the problematic
state of the camps, which have (over)reached their full capacity in the
capital, have already been previously mentioned.
Due to illegalisation and criminalisation as well as a growing
anti-migrant propaganda, people are enduring daily repression,
humiliation, the threat of arrest at any moment and subsequent
imprisonment; the space in which one finds oneself is like a big prison
surrounded by barbed wire, police, and military forces, a space which
people want to leave and look for the chance of a normal life,
education, work, instead of waiting in queues for charity.
This is why we demand that the media stops treating migrants as a
helpless group, without ideas, unable to speak for themselves.
Always in solidarity with the illegalised and oppressed!
For the freedom of movement and life of dignity for all!
(written by Refugesupportserbia and Noborderserbia)
(prevod na naški sledi uskoro)
Friday, 16 of september 2016 – The demolition company “Mis Mag” came to destroy this building that had become a home for many of the people passing through Belgrade. The employees arrived in the morning around 12:00 pm to find out that the structure they were assigned to tear down was the living space of around 30 people. Regardless, the two workers at the site had a demolition contract and were there to complete their job. They asked everyone to leave, when some decided to stay and defend the building they called the police. Many who had been sleeping in the building were never given any warning of the demolition beforehand – they were confronted in the afternoon with a big blue excavator and told to exit the building. Many had possessions inside that they needed to gather and still others who were not present at the building at the time were not even aware of the demolition.
After the cops arrived, some men decided to remain in the building to try to protect the space they had been occupying for months. They were joined by support from local and international initiatives in the city. Following about an hour of discussion between the various individuals involved in the situation, the excavator began to move to tear down the first wall of the structure while the police simultaneously attempted to remove everyone from the building. Around ten people were still insidethe building when the first wall began to come down. The situation became clearly dangerous for everyone involved and everyone subsequently exited the area, helpless to stop the destruction.
“I was there when they started to destroy it. For them maybe it was just an old structure which needed to be destroyed but for me it was home and a safe place especially in cold and rainy nights. I couldn’t do anything to stop [it] because I am just a refugee. The only thing that I did at that time I hoped that they will never destroy this building but they did and I was just hopeless. With [the] building they also destroy my memories and they make lots of boys like me homeless. I wish someday they feel the meaning of homeless. Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
Person that has been living inside the destroyed building
The eviction and demolition is symbolically important as it represents one more disappointment and challenge for people on the move; one more action by the municipality of Belgrade to interrupt attempts to have a dignified existence in the city. The destruction of this first building was the continuation of a constant need to move on from sleeping place to sleeping place.
As always we can see the everyday racism and the dominance that is revealed in the reaction of NGOs and the press involved in this incident. The people who were sleeping in the destroyed buildings were not being asked anything, not even addressed. The NGOs and police and also the press representatives as many times before, objectify the squatters because they are migrants. They show them as passive beings that can not decide themselves – so in this racist logic, the people can not have been the ones that decided to stay in that self organized housing-structure by themselves. This decision is attributed to some influence from “outsiders,” like it happened in many migrant-actions before. As usual, various forms of decision-making and self-organization among the migrant communities are not recognized or taken seriously by the press, NGOs and officials.
The demolition of the building is not a stand-alone issue. Rather it is part of a much larger plan for the city of Belgrade. Currently there is a big investment “project” taking place with the name of “Belgrade Waterfront.” This project, one which ignores public opinion, represents the gentrification of the city – lots of land was purchased to make room for a remodeled city area, complete with burgeois hotels and the largest shopping mall of the Balkans. Many locals have expressed their opposition to the Waterfront Project; a project that puts the interest of capitalists and investors before the needs and the will of people who live in Belgrade and in all Serbia. This international investment project is facing ongoing resistance from various groups of people.
Therefore, the people sleeping in these self organized shelters, are not only subjects to a migration policy that forces people to let the police and humanitarian workers control every step they take – but by their occupation of abandoned buildings they are also seen as an obstacle for the capitalist construction side of the Belgrade Waterfront Project.
As a conclusion is to say, that in spite of the stronger controls, people will continue to self-organize and be in solidarity with each other. The Belgrade Waterfront Project and the resistance against it shows, how important it is to unite the struggle for decent housing for everyone, the struggle for the right to the city and all common goods with the fight for unconditional freedom of movement and stay.
(srpsko-hrvatski u nastavku) Ahmed H, one of the Röszke 11, accused for “terrorism and other crimes” is kept in custody and total isolation since one year. As Ahmed’s last court session was on the 23nd of September, solidarity demonstration took place in Budapest, Szeged and in Vienna, in front of the Hungarian embassy.
People in solidarity in front of the court building in Szeged
During the whole court hearing the judge was only reading the testemonies of the police who were allegedly injured during the so called riot. Ahmed’s lawyer was even not present, only his deputy. The police blocked the court corridor so the majority of the people who wanted to monitor the trial was not allowed to enter the courtroom. All froms of communication with Ahmed were prevented. Still, the people who gathered to demand the freedom of the accused managed to send their messages of solidarity via playing and singing songs of resistance, and showing signs behind the police blockade. The police was constantly making pressure and threatening with starting misdemeanor procedures against the protesters. When the trial was finished people in solidairty were waiting for Ahmed to be carried out from the courtroom, but instead of it, he was locked into another room. As a sign of disobedience some people refused to leave the court building until they were evected by the police. The last person who left the building was a 73 years old lady who came to Szeged in order to protest.
The next court session will be on the 28th of October, when the first level sentence is expected to be read out. Let’s organize and show the power of solidarity! Support the solidarity campaign where ever you are!
We should not forget about Yamen A., Farouk A., and Kamel J., the other 3 people from the Röszke 11, who got already sentenced and who are imprisoned in differnt prisons over Hungary.
AGAINST THE OPPRESSION OF STATES! NO FENCES, NO PRISONS! FREEDOM FOR AHMED AND THE RöSZKE ELEVEN!
Speeches on Deák tér, Budapest
Protest march through the streets of Budapest
Ahmed H., jedan od Röszke 11, optužen za „ teoririzam i ostale zločine“ se drži u pritvoru i totalnoj izolaciji već godinu u Budimpesti. Njegovo poslednje saslušanje na sudu je bilo 23. septembra u Segedinu, protesti solidarnosti su se održale u Budimpesti, Szegedinu i Beču.
Tokom celog saslušanja sudija je čitala svedočenja policijskih službenika koji su navodno povređeni 16. septembra 2015. Ahmedov advokat se nije ni pojavio na suđenju samo njegov pomoćnik. Policija je blokirala hodnik tako da većini ljudi koji su želeli da prate suđenje to nije bilo dozvoljeno. Sve vrste komunikacije s Ahmedom su bile sprečene. Ipak, ljudi koji su se skupili da bi zahtevali slobodu optuženih i osuđenih, u pauzi su uspeli da pošalju poruke solidarnosti putem puštanja i pevanja pesama otpora i pokazivanjem pismenih poruka preko policijske blokade.
Policija je neprestano vršila pritisak i pretila sa prekršajnim procedurama protiv ljudi koji su se okupili da protestuju. Nakon suđenja čekalo se da Ahmed bude izveden iz sudnice, ali umesto toga zatvorili su ga u jednu drugu prostoriju. Kao znak neposlušnosti nekoliko ljudi je odbilo da napusti zgradu suda dok ih policija nije izbacila. Osoba koja je najduže pružala otpor je bila 73 god. stara žena koja je došla u Szegedin radi protesta.
Sledeće suđenje će se održati 28. oktobra, kada se očekuje donošenje prvostepene presude. Pozivamo sve da pokažemo snagu solidarnosti! Podržite solidarnu kampanju! Yamen A., Farouk A., and Kamel J., trojica od Röszke 11 koji su već osuđeni početkom jula ove godine su i dalje u pritvoru u Mađarskoj.
Since the 15th of July, the day that prime minister Aleksandar Vučić held a speech  about the problems Serbia is facing at the moment, the situation in Serbia for people on the move has become more and more tense. The speech was an awaited response to the legal changes made in Hungary on July 5th (“8 kilometer” push-back law ) which set a legal frame for the Hungarian authorities to push back thousands of people to Serbian territory.
Among other points, Vučić mentioned in his speech that migrants are one of the biggest problems Serbia is facing at this time and that more repressive measures will be taken in order to gain control over the irregular movement of people. One of the measures put into practice has been a “joint venture” of police and military in order to guard the southern borders towards Macedonia and Bulgaria. As of August 30, 4,428 people have been kept from entering Serbia by military and police units, while within the same operation 673 who were encountered on Serbian territory have been brought to official reception centers . The military officials don’t use the word “push-back” or mention any direct contact with the groups, rather they state that people “gave up” when they saw the Serbian forces. Thereby, Serbia maintains its humanitarian vocabulary used to distinguish itself from other Balkan countries like Hungary and Macedonia who boast with numbers of people they successfully pushed back. Which methods were used to deter people and why these 4,428 people did not apply for asylum in Serbia but instead went back is not mentioned. Probably the mere sight of a police officer is not enough to stop people from moving on, yet their stories and voices remain silent and invisible.
On the one hand, this increasingly repressive policy changes can be seen as a national answer to the reality that was created by the northern neighbour Hungary and to the fact that from one day to the other people got stuck in Serbia with no option to move on. On the other hand, these changes can also be seen in the frame of a European Border Regime that consists of more than just the legal closure of European borders. This will be elaborated in the following.
MILITARIZATION OF THE BORDERS
Ever since Hungary launched the push-backs, the number of people stuck in Serbia has been increasing on a daily basis. According to the Hungarian police, from July 5th to August 31th there have been 4,937 official incidents of prevented entries at the border and another 3,486 people who made it across the fence and got pushed back to Serbian territory [4 / 5]. Many of them came back to Belgrade and reported horrible experiences of violent encounters with the border police and private border patrols. Reports included tear gas, hand-cuffs, feet-cuffs, dog bites, pepper spray, shootings, and personal indignations (such as having to strip naked before being beaten up).
Officially, there are now around 4,400 people stuck in Serbia . This number might seem confusing compared to the total number of 8,423 failed attempts mentioned above but it’s important to remember that one person can be pushed back many times. People arrive in Serbia, try to go to Hungary, are pushed back to Serbia, and then try again repeatedly. And while a small number of people always manage to cross, there are also new people who arrive in Serbia.
These days, even more people can not afford a smuggler to Hungary. If there is one fact about migration, it is that a closed border most of all means rising prices. Therefore, just a small “elite” of those who can still pay the dictated price are able to move on with smugglers. But prices are skyrocketing, standing around 1500€ for one person only as far as Hungary which used to be 150€ some months ago.
At the same time, with the establishment of joint police and army patrols on the southern borders, the amount of people who reach Serbian territory in the first place is decreasing significantly, from an average of 300 to 200 daily arrivals, according to UNHCR estimates . However, for those stuck in Serbia, the conditions have become very humiliating and devastating.
DESTRUCTION OF THE PARKS
The most visible measure against migrants in the city center is the ongoing destruction of the parks, which they use to meet, exchange information and obtain aid. For months, the Commisariat made tedious efforts to chase away anyone who set foot on the grass. This came to an end on July 25 when big machines entered the park and dug up the whole ground. Officially, the objective was to “renew the grass” – which is obviously nonsense in summer season with temperatures around 38°C and too dry of a climate for plants to grow. Some officials openly admitted that the goal of the action was “to keep away the migrants” – and more than one month later still no grass has been planted.
In a second step, the devastated areas were fenced off with head-high (ca. 1.80m) orange plastic fences. For those still sleeping in the parks, only the concrete walking paths were left available. Even worse, the municipality sometimes waters the parks at night (the concrete, not the soil) making it impossible to sleep there. By these measures the accessible space is very limited and the fences not only became a barrier but also dividers in a very literal sense. If the government intended to make the parks look as if migrants were a problem, then they succeeded. Now, neighbouring people gather every evening in the park, exchanging and complaining about the migrant community, a visible sign to make people feel unwelcome. The once open and public space used and inhabited by an ever changing community of people transiting and by local people going to university or walking their dogs has been made unlivable and unenjoyable for everyone.
It is important to bear in mind that all of this is happening right in the district of Savamala, the area of the planned “Belgrade Waterfront” investment project. According to their plans the whole area will be changed completely in a high-speed gentrification process, involving evictions of the local population and destruction of a whole part of the city to make space for hotels, shopping malls and office buildings.
INCREASED REPRESSION ON MIGRANTS
The repressive presence of police and Commissariat is increasing in both numbers and in behaviour almost on a daily basis. Their actions turned into a constant harassment against migrants. People have been prevented from laying down on the grass (before it was destroyed), have been asked for papers every morning and been pushed to go to the camps continuously, have been poked with flashlights in order to leave the grass, bench or wherever, and even have been threatened with deportation to Macedonia or Bulgaria for not following the orders .
The behaviour changes significantly with presence of international and local volunteers in the parks who monitor the situation and interfere in case of violence, false promises or lies. When they are not around the behaviour becomes even more rude and disrespectful. People have repeatedly reported that Commissariat workers kick and push people who lay down, shout at them in a dehumanizing manner and express racist comments.
UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPT TO GAIN CONTROL
With the increasing number of people stuck in Belgrade and Serbia, the authorities started to pressure people to apply for asylum and go to the camps. On a daily basis, buses leave from the parks to Krnjača (in a suburb of Belgrade) and to other camps all over Serbia. Until mid-July, it was fairly easy to either stay in one of the camps with the option of leaving it at any point or to stay somewhere in town. This policy changed after a meeting of the group for coordination of security agencies and the police and Commisariat are now showing more intention to actually bring the laws into practice. The pattern of behaviour is very obscure, and it is almost impossible to give advice to people these days.
For instance: Some people have been kept in Krnjača for days until they would register (fining those without registration with worse food and living conditions) and then sent to other camps. There is no chance to get “Krnjača,” “Šid,” or “Subotica” written on the registration paper, but people can go there and register themselves. As most of the camps are further away, the fear of being sent there makes new arrivals even more reluctant to register. In the beginning of August this led to the absurd situation of empty beds in Krnjača while at the same time people had a hard time finding a place to sleep in Belgrade.
STRATEGY OF CONFUSION
The official policies of the registration papers for the camps are also very intransparent and incoherent. Two different papers have been issued in the last weeks, one of them designating the exact camp where people have to stay, the other one not mentioning any specific place. As the directors of the camps are in charge of deciding whether or not people can leave during the day, there is no universal information regarding whether they are open or closed. Rather, in camps like Krnjača or Preševo the policy of leaving was changed several times, causing people who believed they were going to an open camp to be locked up inside for days. Those working with migrants have to call the authorities each morning to learn what the situation in the camps is – including official institutions like Asylum Info Center and Commisariat workers in the parks. Even the decision whether people are allowed in the public parks can change from day to day.
This strategy of intransparency leaves everyone in a state of confusion and insecurity since what you know today might not be valid tomorrow. The authorities manifest their hierarchical position of “being in charge” to the extent that the current legal grounds have to be requested on a daily basis. In this situation it is almost impossible for migrants to plan their actions and their personal capability to act is limited to a minimum. This leaves people with the option of complying with anything that is decided from above or staying outside of all official support.
Technically speaking, applying for asylum has only minor influences on parallel asylum processes in other countries as Serbia is not part of the Dublin agreement. Nevertheless, most people have had bad experiences with police and other officials and simply do not want to go to the camps in the outskirts of Belgrade or in the middle of nowhere where they are invisible and without the facilities they need.
Having been displaced several times, the attempt to keep every migrant in camps is a measure of dehumanization and indignity, turning them into objects of control and “removing” them. Locking them up in invisibility, Serbia is restricting the Freedom of Movement of all migrants in a very literal way.
EVICTION OF THE PARKS
On August 11, the police and Commissariat made use of the free capacities in Krnjača and evicted both parks in Belgrade in a joint action. That day, the parks were surrounded by four buses and 20-30 police officers accompanied by a bunch of Commissariat workers. Everyone was told to enter the buses and go “to the camp” (not knowing which one). People also reported that they were threatened to be deported to Bulgaria or Macedonia if they refused to get on the bus. Furthermore, the parks were declared as off-limits, “locked” for everyone without paper and it was said that anyone who steps over this rule would be brought to jail. This day, around 400 people were moved to Krnjača which was subsequently completely overcrowded. A video published on facebook provides testimony of the situation .
The police also visited other more invisible places and formerly tolerated venues where people stayed and showed extremely disrespectful and threatening behaviour towards both migrants and citizens. In the same vein large number of hostels in vicinity of the parks have been raided and some of them shut down.
Preposterously, on August 13, 150 people were then kicked out of Krnjača in the middle of the night. The busdrivers that conduct the line to Krnjača were told not to take any migrants back to the city, thus leaving those kicked out with no other option than to walk three hours back to the city.
This contradictory behaviour only depicts meticulously the arbitrary strategy of the Serbian authorities. There is a clear attempt to push people out of sight, into the invisibility of the camps, but there is no real capacity of doing so. This leaves migrants and supporters in a limbo situation that is hard to cope with. The insecurity of what will happen the next day is having a significant influence on the general atmosphere in the parks, causing stress, trauma, auto-aggression and (psychological and physical) violence.
REPRESSION AGAINST SUPPORT STRUCTURES
Alongside the evictions of people from the parks, the structures supporting them have also come under strong pressure. Miksalište is facing complaints from the neighbourhood and sanitary inspection was postponed daily for three weeks. Info Park, which has already been under strong pressure from Commisariat to move out of the park in April and May, when old Miksalište and No Border Hostel were evicted and destroyed, got a new and final notice to leave the park on August 22 . Providing around one thousand meals a day, Info Park is a big support for people on the move and the eviction decreases support in the parks tremendously.
Having been one of the countries where the situation for people on the move was considered less tense and more easy to rest in and travel through, Serbia is now making up big steps to get in line with the other countries on the “Balkan route“ – implementing strong control and repression on people on the move.
Transforming from a short-time transit country into a place where people are stuck for longer time, the Serbian government is having a hard time controling the bigger number of people and implements policies that appear blind and incoherent. Since people are not transferred throughout the country by busses but redirected into the camps that stood empty since 2015, Serbia is (re-)constructing a category of “residing asylum seekers” that are to be processed in a governmental asylum process, thereby ignoring the reality that people intend to move on as soon as possible and that there actually is no bureaucratic apparatus to handle thousands of asylum processes. This goes along with growing racist tendencies in the population, officials and media, that used to be more neutral or at least indifferent. Removing people out of sight into remote camps is presented as an intermediate “solution“.
Following the example of other countries of the European Border Regime, Serbia also finally introduced stronger border controls in an attempt to decrease the number of illegal arrivals. Since the number of people in Bulgaria might increase therefore, there is a stronger pressure for Bulgaria to control its borders as well. This lines up in a number of steps of the Border Regime to locate its physical outer land border on the Bulgarian-Turkish border such as increased Frontex operations in Bulgaria .
The current attempts of the Serbian government to regain control on the situation can be read in context of the visit of an EU mission in the beginning of September to evaluate the progress in the EU integration process . The current chapters 23 and 24 deal amongst other with basic and humanitarian rights where the recent efforts on migration management can be used as an example of Serbia displaying European values and practices.
The trial of ten people accused for „illegal border crossing and participation in mass riot”
After the end of the trial on „first level court” most of the people were sent to Bicske, that is an open camp near Budapest in Hungary. At the moment seven people are in Western Europe. The other three people are still in Hungary.
Yamen A., whose verdict was three years imprisonment and 10 years expulsion from Hungary is currently in the prison of Szeged. We are trying to get in touch with him, but the procedure is quite complicated.
Farouk A. is in a detention center in Kiskunhalas. After the end of the trial he was sent also to Bicske, but a few days later he was moved to Kiskunhalas. The pretrial detention has to be renewed in every two months, the decision will be reviewed in September by the Immigration office (BÁH).
Kamel J. is in the detention center of Békéscsaba and his application for family reunification is in progress. Apart from Yamen, he is the only person who was not in Bicske after the trial, he was immediately moved into the detention center. After two months he requested his relocation into open camp, but the Immigration Office refused it justifying the decision with his lack of identity documents and prolonged his detention. His lawyer argued that until the decision of the family reunification most probably they will not be able to achieve his relocation. They are waiting to receive the decision in the middle of September.
In the „first level court” verdict people got 2-10 years of expulsion from Hungary. The phrasing of the decision is really obscure, with some legal twist it could mean expulsion from the Schengen Zone. According to the lawyer of Kamel J. , probably if people leave Hungary before the verdict come into force, the decision can be applied just on Hungary, not on the whole Schengen Zone.
The „first level court” has sent the verdict to the „second level court” recently, most probably the trials on the „second level” will not start before 2017. People who are already abroad do not have to attend the trials personally, their lawyer can represent them.
The trial of Ahmed H., who is accused for „the crime of terrorism and other crimes”
Ahmed H. is in the prison of Venyige street in Budapest. He is remanded in custody until his next trial which will be on the 23d of September in Szeged.
In 2015 September, was the time when the Hungarian border fence to Serbia was closed violently and it became from one day to the other illegal – by criminal law – to cross. The fence, which until now grossly violates people’s right to move and seek asylum was put in place. So, while the government was transporting people themselves to Austria by busses the day before, on September 16th the police was using tear gas and water cannons against people who wanted to do so. Out of the place of the protest, they arrested the 11 accused completely randomly, among those people who could not leave that quickly when the counter-terrorist police force attacked the demonstration. Among them are very young and very old people, sick people, a person in a wheelchair.
After nearly 10 month of detention, in horrible conditions, after the falsification of translations and the biased refusal to take into consideration important video material and the brutal use of tear gas of the police, the accused were found guilty – while the international media didn’t pay attention and covered the trial 10 of the accused got prison sentences between 1 and 3 years and expulsion from Hungary for up to 10 years, while one, Ahmed H., accused for terrorism – for throwing stones – is facing up to 20 years of imprisonmen. the decision is not the final one, the prosecutor announced to go into revision and demanded harder punishment. The accused and their defense lawyers also appealed against the decision. So due to Hungarian laws the case is escalated to second level court in Szeged.
While most of the accused had already served the prison time they have been sentenced to and are now either in open camps, soon to be released from detention or have left Hungary already, for two this is not the case: Yamen A., who was sentenced to 3 years of prison in Szeged, and Ahmed H., still waiting for his verdict in prison in Budapest, are still kept in long-term physical detention. While the main focus of the campaign at the moment is on the immediate freedom of the Ahmad H. (20 years) and Yamen A. (3 years) it’s also important to consider how the criminalization and the stigmata, the massive psychological trauma, the threat of expulsion separating them from their families in the EU, is something that prolongs, even after the physical release. The lives of the 11 people are used to state an example, with which the Hungarian state wants to create an atmosphere of fear and criminalize movement as such.
The Röszke trial is revealing the reality of a system in which state and police violence is never put in question, and in which money and goods can move freely but not people. The trials are happening in an increasingly repressive context. They are happening in a context of militarized European borders, in which people get pushed back multiple times violently at the Serbian-Hungarian border, robbed and beaten up by paramilitary groups, while Hungarian majors proudly post pictures of people at the border tied up in dehumanizing poses before they get pushed back to Serbia. They are happening in a context in which the legal frameworks get shaped in a way that such violence is legitimized and in a context full of racist propaganda, in which theHungary holds a referendum (on October 2nd), symbolically letting Hungarian citizens chose between the forced relocation scheme of the EU and the ‘Hungarian solution’ of fencing off people completely.
This case is one of many horrible cases within the ongoing European migration policy. But it is crucial not only because it reveals the absurdity of European politics of migration, the repression of the EU border regime and the oppressive politics which lie behind the ‘innocent’ idea of state institutions particularly well, but also because those repressive politics are also this time pushed forward at the massive cost of individuals lives.
We invite everybody, individuals and collectives to join and support this campaign in all possible ways. Spread information, organize solidarity actions and join the two demonstration in September! Let’s unite and fight the repression of borders and states!
Dates and locations of the protests:
22.09.2016 Budapest, in front of the Venyige prison (1108 Budapest, Maglódi u. 24), where Ahmed H. is imprisoned
23.09.2016. Szeged, in front of the court (6720, Szeged, Szechenyi ter 4.)
Pripadnici KIRS-a, žandarmerije, policije u uniformi i civilu rasteruju ljude koji su se sklonili od kiše ispod krova parkinga
Svakodnevna represija u parkovima
Delegacija proterivača, na prvom mestu komesarijat za izbeglice (koji može biti nazvan i „komesarijatom protiv izbeglica“) žandarmerija, gradska policija i policija u civilu, svako veče i svako jutro dolazi na mesta gde se ljudi sklanjaju ne bi li odspavali koji sat, i poteruje ih. Bilo je slučajeva kada je policija koristila silu da bi „sklonila“ ljude sa mesta , gde su mirno spavali ili odmarali. Neki od zaposlenih Komesarijata su izjavili kako su oni na“ istom nivou kao i policija”, time priznali pravu prirodu svog posla. U mnogim slučajevima se pokazalo agresivno i sadističko ponašanje zaposlenih Komesarijata koji su već mesecima na misiji da uznemiravaju, proteruju ljude i pozivaju policiju na intervencije.
O sadističkom ponašanju i iživljavanju nad ljudima svedoči i slučaj od pre par dana kada je zaposlenik Komesarijata tokom proterivanja bacio zemlju u hranu koju je grupa ljudi pripremala.
Prema svedočenju ljudi, svojim ponašanjem se najviše ističe radnik Komesarijata sa fotografije, koji prilazi ljudima dok odmaraju i udara ih baterijskom lampom koju stalno drži u ruci i šutira ljude dok spavaju. Naravno ovaj pojedinac je samo odraz sistema koji mu daje moć da zlostavlja ilegalizovane, verujemo da nema “dobrih” i “loših” sluga represivnog državnog aparata, ali je važno da se zna ko je trenutno izvršitelj naredbi. Dokumentujte i intervenišite u slučaju da ste svedok nasilja i proterivanja!
Dosta je pogledati video snimak koji su ljudi snimili u kampu u Krnjači, i biće jasno zašto ljudi ne žele da borave na tim mestima. Pored toga što tridesetoro ljudi spava u istoj sobi i da nema hrane, ljudima se uskraćuje sloboda kretanja, da bi izašli često moraju preko ograde.
Svaki logor koji nosi naziv “izbeglički kamp”, “prihvatni centar” itd. je vrsta zatvora. Razlike su samo u nivou militarizacije te institucije. To su koncentracioni logori današnjice, postoje da bi ljude držali u izolaciji pod kontrolom, istovremeno ti zatvori su biznis za državu i njene institucije.
“ To što bi ljudi (ako ih ne bi maltretirali) radije spavali u ruševinama i parkovima, dovoljno govori o tome da bi se trebalo preispitati šta nije u redu sa kampovima. “ ( otac četvoro dece, trenutno zaglavljen u Srbiji)
U noći 13.-14. avgusta, tek što su stigli, 150 osoba je izbačeno iz kampa “Krnjača”, pa su ljudi bili prinuđeni da hodaju nazad do Beograda. To se desilo nakon što su isti ti ljudi bili naterani od strane policije i komerasrijata da napuste parkove i da idu u kamp, jer „im je tamo mesto“. Ova besmislena, apsurdna politika jeste politika straha i nasilja.
Park je za sve!
Kao intervencija lokalnog stanovništva na sve veću represiju i državnu propagandu, u nedelju se održalo solidarno druženje pod nazivom „Park je za sve!“ . Pored kulturnog i zabavnog programa poput performansa, izložbi, kreativnih radionica, pravljenja banera i filmskih projekcija, ideja okupljanja je bila da se ukaže na to da se lokalno stanovništvo i ljudi koji su zaglavljeni zbog represivnog graničnog režima suočavaju sa istim problemima; policijske represije i sistematskog nasilja. Jedan od simbola represije su narandžaste plastične ograde u parkovima, zbog kojih prostor koji bi trebao da bude javni i za sve nas postao leglo novih ograda.
Push-backovi iz Hrvatske
Zbog prevelikog policijskog nasilja i opasnosti na granici sa Mađarskom, ljudi su u potrazi za drugim rutama. Međutim, pošto se represivni sistem migracione politike EU primenjuje svuda, ljudi se suočavaju sa istim nasiljem na svakoj granici. Mnogi su više puta vraćeni iz Hrvatske, njihovi zahtevi za azil su ignorisani, bez sudskog rešenja, samo su „ gurnuti „ nazad na drugu stranu granice, pojedine grupe su se vratile sa teškim telesnim povredama nanete od strane hrvatske granične policije. Neki su stigli čak do Slavonskog broda i Zagreba i vraćeni odatle.