Serbian NGO warns of migrant push backs into Serbia from EU countries

NEWS 09.12.202114:11
Migranti, migrant, tromeđa, granica, granični prelaz, migracija, ograda

A Serbian NGO warned on Thursday that at least 200 migrants are forcibly pushed back into Serbia from European Union member states every day.

The Asylum Protection Center (APC) said that its staff recorded 527 forcible push backs over Serbia’s borders with Hungary, Croatia and Romania. “Every person our staff spoke to was returned to Serbia at least once and most were returned twice on average. A small number said 10 or 15 times with one person reporting the highest number of push backs – 30,” the APC report said.

The most frequent forms of violence reported by Hungarian, Croatian and Romanian border guards were face slaps, punches and baton blows on the arms, legs and back as well as kicking. In some cases they reported that branches, whips and other objects were used to beat them. The migrants also reported verbal and psychological violence, intimidation using dogs and displaying firearms and shots fired into the air. They said they were forced to kneel, squat or lie on their stomachs in water for hours, had their clothes and shoes destroyed and were forced to cross back into Serbia in their underwear alone.

According to the APC report, border guards also seized personal property including mobile phones, money, food, clothing and footwear.

APC CEO Rados Djurovic said that the main rallying point for migrants, most of who are Arabs, is around the northern town of Sombor, adding that the number of Arab children between the ages of six and 12 traveling alone increased in June 2021.
The report said that more than 300 people crossed the border with Hungary every day in the first half of the year and that at least 50 people try to cross the border with Romania every day while between 300 and 400 tried to cross the border with Croatia.