Testimony: Imprisonment in Padinska Skela and deportation from Serbia

       Migrants can be detained in strict prisons and also there is deportation center, or Prihvatilište za Strance, in Padinska Skela in which migrants get detained while they are awaiting deportation, most migrants in Serbia are detained in strict prison, closest to where they were arrested. In Serbia, migrants can be taken to court, for illegal entry or stay on the territory. The article 84 of the Law on Foreigners specifies a fine between 10000 and 50000 dinars (100-500eur) for the illegal entry onto the territory and the article 85 specifies a fine between 6000 and 30000 dinars (60-300eur) for the illegal stay on the territory. In cases where the person cannot pay the fine, they are able for 3-30 days long prison sentence. When their prison sentence is over, what happens to the migrants is decided by the Ministry of Interior, and it is unclear on what basis the decision is made. There are three option.  The first  option  is  that  they  are  just  let  out,  with  a  piece  of  paper  testifying  they served their sentence. The other option is that the police takes them to Prihvatilište za strance in Padinska  skela,  where  they  spend  further  time  in  detention  and  from  where  they  are  mostly deported to Macedonia. And the third option is that they are deported straight to Macedonia. As Serbia has a readmission agreement with Macedonia, it can deport back all third country citizens who have entered Serbia illegally. And then, as Macedonia has a further readmission agreement with Greece, they can be deported back to Greece.

There is the testimony of S. who experience described detaining and deportation practice of Serbian authorities:

       It all started when I heard that in Serbia there is a Camp for refugees and asylum seekers; and they give ID cards. So I started my journey from Greece to Serbia, because life in Greece was getting difficult and dangerous.

I reached a Serbian city, 50km far from Belgrade. I took a taxi and went to Belgrade, where I started to ask people on the streets for the camp. At last, they directed me to a big police station, a rose colored building. I asked the policeman and he showed me the office, it was on the left. I entered inside and I found one lady and I told her where I am from and what I need, which was protection in an asylum center. She said nothing, just gave me a paper and she told me to write my name and my country, and all that information. 30 min after that, one man came and asked me to go with him to another office upstairs. On the 3rd floor this man looked me in a room. After that they took my finger prints, took a photo and then searched my body and my bag. They wrote down everything what I had.

After that the same man with two girls from that office they took me on a car. I was thinking that they’re taking me to an asylum center. But I found myself in big blocked building which was court. The judge was a women, she spoke nice English. She told me that I entered Serbia illegally so I must pay 90 euro and if I don’t have this amount I must go to jail for 9 or 10 days. She said after that, they will give me a paper with which I have a chance of three days to leave Serbia or to go to any asylum center. Well, I spent those 10 days in prison near the closed camp, Padinska Skela. And I found many people from Syria and Palestine who were there before me and then others came from Pakistan. Anyway my ten days finished, but they didn’t free me, they just transferred me to that closed camp -Padinska Skela. It was a place where they put people to fulfill the number that a police car can take – which is around 18 – and then deport them. In that place whatever you speak no one will hear you.  No way, deportation is the only law there…Even they will not let you sleep when you want, you have to make your bad, and sit when it s not time for sleeping. If you ask for a phone call, they won’t say no, but the phone box inside does not work.  Some people started to stop eating. It was Ramadan, they did not take any food. After a few days one of the police officers came and he asked what they want. They said they are asylum seekers and they have the right to be in asylum camp. He was laughing, he told there is no camp, and that they will be deported. After, how time was passing, and we were still imprisoned some of us for weeks, the people started to ask to deport them, just to leave that place and get free.

After staying there 6 days, they took ever evidence from us that we had been in Serbia, even our Serbian money. With that money they bought things for us, like water, coca, biscuits…We had to took off even the etiquettes from the bottles, because it was written in Serbian language. And…they took us back to Macedonia. It wasn’t easy. It was very difficult there, because the police of Macedonia is very brutal, they caught many of us and also take us back to Greece. Any way, it took from me another two months to come here again. But the second time I was lucky, so that I entered Bogovadja camp. I stayed almost 3 months there. Then problems started to rise up again. The manager kicked me out from the camp and the reason was cause as he said I stayed too long in the camp. I asked to transfer me to another camp, he said go alone, even he refused to give me my police paper. So I started to sleep in broken houses near the camp. And it was cold, so after sleeping like ten days outside, I felt if this situation continues like this I will die from the cold. So I went to one hotel. Because I didn’t have the police paper, I went again to that police station and brought new one. The next day the police came to the Hotel and took all of us to that closed camp, Padinska Skela. Me with my new, valid paper and another 17 people who had been in the same Hotel – all the Syrians with their police papers – the police deported us to Macedonia. It was winter and very cold weather.

 I can’t say I am strong and I didn’t lose hope so I came back again, but I can say the truth: I don’t have another place to go, so I am forced to come again. And i don’t know whether I will be deported for the third time or God will help me to settle in a good place, because I feel I will lose my mind.

Finaly S. had “luck” and after a while he left Serbia.

  This testimony clarifies the dysfunctionality of the serbian migration policy. There is no guaranteed  protection for migrants even with the valid “police paper” (valid just for 72 hours), they don’t have any chance to claim asylum inside prisons, they are not consider as asylum seekers once they are imprisoned, and they can be deported any time if they don’t get a chance to stay in asylum centers. From our perspective all deportations are irregular, but the ones described above are irregular even according to the deportation laws. First of all there are cases when asylum seekers properly sought asylum and got deported, another aspect is; if  a migrant was not arrested on the border (as it was the case of S. ), on which basis can she/he be deported back to Macedonia? One could enter Serbia  from  Montenegro or Bulgaria, Rumania etc.. The police  precisely clear away  all the proof of these deportations, so there is no evidence that the person had ever been in Serbia. It seems that  the police officers are also aware of the absurdity of the practice they do, which is the  consequence of the dysfunctional migration policy.


STOP ALL DEPORTATIONS!!!                                                                                                                                           SHUT DOWN ALL DETENTIONS!                                                                                                                                     STOP THE CRIMINALIZATION OF MIGRANTS!

in serbian:

 Svedočenje: zatvaranje tražioca azila u Padinskoj Skeli i deportacije iz Srbije

U Padinskoj Skeli se nalazi „Prihvatilište za Strance” koje je u stvari zatvor gde se migranti drže pre nego što će biti deportovani. Migranti i tražioci azila mogu biti pritvoreni u okružnim zatvorima širom zemlje, najčešće u blizini mesta gde su uhapšeni. Privode se na sud zbog “ ilegalnog” ulaska ili boravka na teritoriji Srbije. Zakon o stranancima na osnovu prekršaja iz člana 84 – “ilegalni” ulazak u zemlju – izriče kaznu između 10.000 i 50.000 dinara (100 – 500 evra), a prema članu 85 zbog ilegalnog boravka, osoba se može kazniti novčanom kaznom od 6000-30.000 dinara ( 60 – 300 eur). U slučaju da osoba ne može platiti kaznu, osuđuje se na zatvorsku kaznu od 3-30dana. Nakon izvršenja zatvorske kazne ministarstvo unutrašnjih poslova odlučuje o tome šta će se dalje desiti sa migrantima. Na osnovu čega se donosi  ta odluka nije poznato. Prema poznatim slučajevima tri ishoda su moguća: prvi, omigrant/kinja će biti pušten/a sa otpusnim listićem, na kojem piše da je odslužio/la predviđenu kaznu.  Druga mogućnost je, da će ga/je policija odvesti u “Prihvatište za strance” u Padinsku Skelu, gde će provesti još neko vreme u pritvoru, a zatim se migranti odavde najčešće deportuju u Makedoniju. Treći mogući razvoj događaja je – da migrant/knju direktno deportuju u Makedoniju. Pošto između Srbije i Makedonije postoji ugovor o readmisiji svi građani treće zemlje koji su “ilegalno” ušli u zemlju mogu biti vraćeni u Makedoniju. Pošto je Makedonija isto potpisala ugovor o readmisiji sa Grčkom, postoji opasnost od lančane deportacije za Grčku ( uprkos tome da je u celoj Evropi zabranjeno vraćanje migranata u Grčku ).

S., tražilac azila u Srbiji  je iskusio opisana zatvaranja i deportacije od strane srpske vlasti.

Njegovo svedočenje:

Sve je počelo kada sam čuo da u Srbiji postoji centar za izbeglice (tražioce azila), i da se može dobiti lična karta tražioca azila. Krenuo sam na put iz Grčke za Srbiju, jer je u Grčkoj život postao teži opasniji.                                                              Stigao sam do jednog srpskog grada, udaljenog 50 km od Beograda. Zatim sam taxijem došao do Beograda. Pitao sam ljude na ulici gde se nalazi kamp za izbeglice. Konačno su me uputili u veliku policijsku stanicu roze boje. Policajac mi je pokazao kancelariju koja je bila sa leve strane. Ušao sam. Unutra je bila jedna gospođa, rekao sam joj odakle sam, i da mi je potrebna zaštita u centru za tražioce azila. Nije rekla ništa, samo mi je dala neki papir i rekla je da napišem svoje ime, državu i sve te informacije. 30 minuta kasnije, jedan čovek je došao i rekao da pođem s njim u drugu kancelario na spratu. Zatvorili su me u sobu na na trećem spratu. Posle su mi uzeli otiske prstiju, slikali su me, pretlesli i pregledali moju torbu. Zapisali su sve što sam imao sa sobom. Posle toga, isti čovek  zajedno sa dve gospođe me je odvezao do kola. Mislio sam da će me odvesti u centar za tražioce azila, ali sam dospeo u veliku zatvorenu zgradu, bio je to sud. Sudija je bila žena, i  dobro je govorila engleski. Rekla mi je da sam ušao u Srbiju “ ilegalno” i zbog toga moram da platim kaznu od 90 eura. Ako nemam taj novac, moram ići u zatvor na 9 ili 10dana. Rekla je da ću posle odslužene kazne dobiti jedan papir sa kojim ću imati šanse da u roku od tri dana napustim Srbiju ili da odem u jedan od kampova.                                                  

  Tako sam proveo tih 10 dana u zatvoru u Padinskoj Skeli, veoma blizu  tzv. “zatvorenog kampa” (Prihvatilište za Strance/ Padinska Skela). Sreo sam puno ljudi iz Sirije i Palestine, koji su bili tu već pre mene, a posle je došlo još ljudi iz Pakistana. No, kako god bilo, mojih deset dana su isteklo, ali me nisu pustili na slobodu. Prebacili su me u zatvoreni kamp u Padinskoj Skeli. To je mesto gde zatvaraju ljude, dok se ne skupi toliko zatvorenika koliko može stati u kola marice – oko 18 – a zatim ih deportuju. Na tom mestu niko te neće slušati što god ima da kažeš. Nema zakona koji će te zaštititi, nema drugog izlaza, deportacija je neizbežna… Čak te neće ostaviti ni da spavaš kad želiš, krevet se mora uredno namestiti, moraš da sediš uspravno ako nije vreme za spavanje koji su oni odredili. Ako ih pitaš za telefonski poziv, neće reći da ne može, pokazaće ti  telefonsku govornicu koja ne radi. Neki ljudi su prestali da uzimaju hranu. Bio je Ramadan, nisu jeli ništa. Posle nekoliko dana jedan od policijskih službenika je došao i pitao je šta žele postići. Rekli su mu da nisu kriminalci, da su tražioci azila i da imaju pravo da budu u kampu za izbeglice a ne u zatvoru. On se smejao, rekao je da nema nikakvog kampa i da će svi biti deportovani. Kako je vreme prolazilo, a mi smo još uvek bili zatvoreni neki od nas već nedeljama, ljudi su počeli da traže da ih deportuju, samo da bi izašli odatle.                                                                          

  Posle 6 dana, uzeli su od nas sve što može da posluži kao dokaz da smo ikad bili u Srbiji. Čak i naše srpske novčanice. Od tog novca kupili su nam vodu, koka-kolu, neke kekse “za put”. Terali su nas da skidamo čak i nalepnice sa flaša, jer su bile na srpskom jeziku. I…vratili su nas nazad u Makedoniju. Nije bilo lako… Bilo je veoma teško, makedonska policija je brutalna, mnoge iz naše grupe su uhvatili i deportovali nazad u Grčku. Trebalo mi je 2 meseca da se ponovo vratim u Srbiju. Ovoga puta sam imao sreće, ušao sam u izbeglički kamp u Bogovađi. Ostao sam tamo skoro 3 meseca. Onda su ponovo krenuli problemi. Upravnik centra me je izbacio iz kampa, a razlog  je bio prema njegovim rečima da sam predugo ostao u kampu. Tražio sam od njega da me prebaci u drugi kamp, rekao je – idi sam- čak je odbio da mi vrati moj papir sa policije ( potvrda o izraženoj nameri za azil ). Spavao sam u šumi u nekim ruševinama blizu kampa. Bila je zima i veoma hladno. Posle deset noći provedenih napolju, osećao sam, ako se ovo i dalje nastavi ovako, umreću od hladnoće. Nisam mogao više da izdržim i otišao sam u jedan hotel u susednom gradu. Pošto nisam imao nikakve papire sa sobom, ponovo sam otišao u policijsku stanicu i uzeo novu potvrdu. Sledećeg dana bila je policijska kontrola u hotelu, sve su nas pokupili i odneli u “zatvoreni kamp”u  Padinskoj Skeli. Mene, sa svojom novom potvrdom od policije, i ostalih 17 ljudi koji su bili u istom hotelu – sve sirijce sa novim potvrdama – sve su nas deportovali ponovo nazad u Makedoniju. Bilo je mnogo  hladno.                                               

Ne mogu reći da sam jaka osoba, da nisam gubio nadu i da sam se zato vratio. Mogu da kažem samo istinu: ja nemam drugo mesto kuda bih išao, prisiljen sam da se vratim. Ne znam da li će me deportovati i treći put ili će me Bog sačuvati i pomoći da se naselim na nekom bezbednom, dobrom mestu…Osećam da ću  izgubiti svoj razum…

S. je  posle kraćeg vremena nakon našeg sustreta napustio Srbiju.

Ovo svedočenje ukazuje na potpunu disfunkcionalnost srpske migracione politike. Migranti nemaju zagarantovanu  zaštitu čak ni sa validnim potvrdama o izraženoj nameri za azil (te potvrde su inače validne samo 72 časa). Nakon pritvaranja više se ne prepoznaju kao  tražioci azila. U zatvorima nemaju nikakve šanse da zatraže azil. Pored toga, u svakom trenutku im preti opasnost od hapšenja i deportacije ako su van centra za tražioce azila.   Iz naše perspektive svaka deportacija je neregularna i stramo je zločinom. Međutim, gore opisane deportacije su  neregularne čak i prema zakonu. Osobe su po propisu zatražile azil i uprkos tome bile deportovane. Ako migrant nije uhvaćen u blizini granice ( kao što  je bio  slučaj S.-a, koji je zatražio azil u Beogradu ) –  na kojoj osnovi se migrant deportuje  nazad u Makedoniju? On/ona je mogao/la da uđe u Srbiju iz Crne Gore, Bugarske, Rumunije ili neke druge zemlje…Policija precizno uklanja sve dokaze ovakvih deportacija, tako da ne postoji ništa što bi ukazalo na to da je osoba  ikada boravila u Srbiji.


ZAUSTAVLJANJE SVIH DEPORTACIJA!                                                                                                                           STOP PRITVORU I KRIMINALIZACIJI MIGRANATA !

bez granice, bez nacije,                                                                                                                                                     sloboda kretanja za sve!

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