Bogovadja, Nov.21th 2013


Still around 300 people have to stay outside the reception center, even though they legally have the right to a place inside and regular food etc.

Tea and talks and self-organization                                                                         Around 150-200 people came to take a tea and took the cards. We talked again about self-organization and the possibility to join the protest of the villagers, which they planned on Dec. 1rst. There were several voices saying they want to join, if it is save for them to do so and that they’d want to talk with the organizers from the village first. Most of the migrants who passed by, signed the petition. One of them had chosen it as his personal task to collect as many signatures as he can.

Deported from Hungary to Serbia                                                                           We met again people who were deported from Hungary after they had to stay there in prison, so called closed camps”, mostly more than one month. They have again no paper with an official deportation order. So they don’t have any proves that they had been in Hungary. Some persons, we talked to, said they were given the “choice” to return “voluntarily” or to stay for six month in prison (closed camp). After this they were five days in the town prison of Subotica. When one of them was released from the prison and asked a police officer where he could go now, he was told to “go home” – “but where is my home?!”, he asked. Most of the ones who were deported had a paper form the Serbian authorities saying they have to leave Serbia within 10 days.

Forced to claim asylum in Hungary                                                                    One migrant we talked to, told us about the experience of his friends. Around 70 refugees from mostly Eritrea and Somalia and some other African counties were forced by the Hungarian police to claim asylum by using force, by beating them, as they refused to claim asylum and were asking to be deported back to Serbia instead. At this moment they are in the “Open Camp” in Debrecen. It seems weird that the Hungarian authorities forced these migrants to claim asylum and at the same time they try to directly deport as many migrants as possible back to Serbia. The person we talked to assumed that they might be after “these nationalities”, because they are “more likely” to be granted asylum and so they can count on receiving money from the EU for them. We forwarded the contact of the refugees in Debrecen to people form MigSzol and the lawyer of Helsinki Committee.

Talk with the Major of Bogovadja                                                                            The major said, she had nothing against the migrant, but like the situation is now in Bogovadja it could not go on… She is of the opinion another reception center for refugees has to be build, but at another place. She assured, they in village weren’t criticizing the migrants, but overall the state for not taking responsibility.                                                                                                                                                                                                 Protest and Blockade December 1st                                                                      The villagers planned to make another protest on Dec. 1rst by blocking the main road to Belgrade in order to draw attention to the situation in Bogovadja and force the state and responsible organs to take action. She told us, she personally had nothing against the migrants joining the protest on 1st.                                                                                                        Agreement: The villagers will soon have a meeting, at which she will ask the other villagers about their opinion of a joined protest on the 1rst. She also agreed to arrange for a meeting with the organizers of the protest and migrants.                                                                 General remark                                                                                                             As we understood from the talk to her and other locals, when the villagers didn’t send their children to school “because they were afraid for the safety of their children”, this was rather a strategic move in order to draw attention to the general situation than out of real fear.

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