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Serbia: STOP TERROR AGAINST THE REFUGEES

Sunday 25 June 2017, by siawi3

Source: Women-In-Black-Belgrade

STOP TERROR AGAINST THE REFUGEES

Announcement on the occasion of June 20 - International Refugee Day

ON THE OCCASION OF INTERNATIONAL REFUGEE DAY, JUNE 20,
WOMEN IN BLACK
WILL VISIT THE CAMP IN OBRENOVAC, IN SUPPORT OF THE REFUGEES.

On the occasion of June 20, International Refugee Day, we point to the
extremely difficult situation of the refugees who are staying in Serbia.
Let us remind of the fact that, early on in May, the Serbian authorities
forcibly evicted the refugees from the shanties near the Belgrade bus
station. Although the living conditions there were poor, those shanties
were provisional accommodation for over one thousand refugees. Under the
onslaught of coercion and excavators, this place, which used to be the
epitome of solidarity and the refugees’ painstaking efforts, disappeared
overnight.

Merely one month later, all the excuses put forward by the authorities
as justification for this act turned out to be unfounded. Particularly
shameful are explanations that everything was being done "in the
refugees’ best interest".

Although the organization Women in Black was implicitly denied access to
the camps, we are informed daily about the developments in the camps by
the refugees with whom we have kept in touch.

One of the main "arguments" the authorities had put forward so as to
persuade the refugees to move to the camps was their own security.
According to the numerous testimonies of the refugees, we can conclude
that the level of security in the camps, despite being under control of
the Police and the Commissariat, is much lower that it used to be in
the shanties.

The conditions in the camps are generally not better than they used to
be in the shanties, which is scandalous, in view of the the fact that
Serbia has been receiving huge sums of money from the international
community for taking care of the refugees.

Furthermore, state terror against the refugees has continued, including
illegal deportations, as well as transfers to remote camps, which was
recently the case, when 150 refugees were moved from the camp in
Obrenovac to the camp in Preševo, infamous for its illegal deportations
to Macedonia and Bulgaria. The Obrenovac camp refugees are frequently
subjected to discrimination and they are not allowed to use public
transport in order to reach Belgrade.

Numerous are the refugees’ testimonies about the brutality and
systematic terror at the hands of Croatian and Hungarian police. A large
number of refugees were arrested when crossing the border, and battered
and robbed by the police.

We call upon the citizens to express their solidarity with the refugees
and manifest resistance to the authorities’ unlawful acts.

SOLIDARITY IS OUR STRENGTH!

Women in Black

In Belgrade, June 20, 2017