EU planes chasing refugees and bulldozers to drive families away

EU planes chasing refugees and bulldozers to drive families away
EU planes chasing refugees and bulldozers to drive families away

Ademir Veladžić

The hum of radio-controlled drones from Croatian police accompanies a long stretch along the paths on the border. “They always catch us, even at night in the dark,” says a sore Afghan, who has reached rejection number 54. What he does not know is that the planes used by Europe to report migrants to the Libyan coastguards are now also used on these borders. Where, it now turns out, even “independent inspections” to detect abuses by the Croatian police are agreed in advance with the authorities.

One of the tracks in the Balkans of the Frontex “Osprey 1” aircraft – Sergio Scandura / Radio Radicale

As in the Mediterranean, the Frontex crews hunt down migrants on boats to be returned to the torturers of the prison camps, in the Balkans they aim their telephoto lenses between ridges, cliffs, dense forests, then signaling the position of the refugees to the Croatian teams on the ground. The confirmation comes from the path of an old acquaintance of ours. It is “Osprey 1”, the Frontex plane identified many times at the scene of several shipwrecks and which for a while had flown ordering the public platforms that monitor the flights to obscure its route. It has recently reappeared as it patrols the entire border between Croatia and Bosnia, always keeping within the EU airspace. The route, mile by mile, was discovered and made public by Sergio Scandura, of Radio Radicale. Once again, the Brussels agency uses its weapons not to help refugees and verify that they are entitled to humanitarian protection. The entire arsenal is being deployed for an undeclared war on humans, despite knowing what treatment they will face if rejected, in Croatia as in Libya.

“I told the police I wanted to seek asylum. I come from Afghanistan and I don’t want to go back to the country of the Taliban ”, says a head of the family who was sent back in a bad way, despite a newborn in the arms of his mother and two children clinging to their father. “There is no way to legally enter Europe,” he complains as he cursed the bad weather that wet the wood and tonight, in the Velika Kladusa clearing, there will not even be a fire to light.

Ademir Veladžić

On the ground, meanwhile, the bulldozers deployed by the Bosnian government have swept away the informal camps where families are waiting for the right moment to attempt the crossing. The caterpillar blades send the curtains flying through the air, while the heavy wheels smash what’s left. It happens under the gaze of the children. Some mothers, as seen in Ademir Veladžić’s video, run to save at least their shoes.

Others, in small groups, immediately set off through the corn fields, to hide and examine the possibility of an early departure for Croatia. Many, exhausted and desperate, are taken back to a government camp in Sarajevo, 400 kilometers further south. «We lost this time too – a girl tells us as she tries to save a muddy pink onesie -. We will try again in spring ». The husband is disconsolate, he would have liked to spend the worst season in Europe, in a warm place for his little girl. He’ll have a poor tent and shared bathrooms.

In the Excavation

In Bihac, the IOM-operated building for foreign families has made huge strides. The Italian Laura Lungarotti, head of the UN agency for migrants in Bosnia, has managed to give new life to a previously dilapidated structure that now offers a roof, hot food and even education activities. The coexistence of several family groups in the same room is not always easy. The turnout in winter will increase, but it is difficult to offer stable assistance when there is no possibility of seeking asylum from the European Union. “The families know that there is only the” game “and the wall of the Croatian police waiting for them, but they do not give up and when they leave here – explains an operator under the watchful gaze of a Bosnian policeman who intends and speaks a excellent Italian – it’s because they try the game ».

Even in the Lipa camp, where the opening of new containers in which up to people can be accommodated is expected, there are signs of improvement, however judged insufficient by the delegation of Social Democratic MEPs who carried out an inspection in recent days. “We are far from an acceptable standard, especially in relation to the funds allocated. We will continue to monitor “, write in a note Pietro Bartolo, Elisabetta Gualmini, Alessandra Moretti and Pierfrancesco Majorino. “In January we saw the tragedy of the people in the snow. Now the desolation of uncertainty: between attempted trips and difficult reception projects – write the dem MEPs -. Hundreds of Afghans and Pakistanis are hosted in the camp, but there are no basic services and those activated will probably no longer be sufficient when with the approach of winter there will be new arrivals of Afghan citizens fleeing their country “.
If the situation is not even worse, much is due to the generosity of many donors and to the work of organizations such as Ipsia-Acli, coordinated by Silvia Maraone who (as explained in the video interview) does not hide the concern for the coming months.

The barrier between the EU and the Balkan passes is also made up of state lies that are beginning to fall apart. Inspections on the Croatian border, arranged to make sure there are no violations by agents, are in fact a farce. In fact, the inspectors had never been able to find confirmation of the mistreatment. Now we know why: inspections are agreed in advance.

Once again it seems that the “Libya system” has made school. In Tripoli, UN observers can only inspect detention centers after obtaining permission many days before the scheduled date. And also in Croatia a convenient scenography is set up. The confirmation comes directly from the Zagreb authorities, with a sensational document. While the Interior Ministry reiterated that the “surveillance mechanism is independent”, an official document states the opposite.

Responding to a request for access to the documents of the “Study Center for Peace” in Zagreb (Cms), Secretary of State Terezija Gras affirms that the “surveillance mechanism on the treatment by police officers of irregular migrants and applicants for international protection Takes place through «announced visits to the border».

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