Deaths of refugees do not only occur in far-away countries which refugees flee from, or in the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea, but they also happen at the borders of the Republic of Croatia and neighboring countries. A few days ago an Iraqi asylum seeker was found dead frozen in Gorski kotar. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. A 5-year-old girl died after she was hit by the train near the border of the Republic of Croatia and Serbia after the police run push-back. As these and previous cases show, children and adults, lose their lives due to freezing, falling under a train or burning on fire. This strongly states how the fatal policy of closed borders and prioritizing border security is.
In numerous reports of the Welcome Initiative! we have warned how dangerous the policy of closing and extroverted the international protection system can be, as well as the deterrence and expulsion of people who arrive in Europe mislead by the idea that European countries respect human rights and protect human life. What refugees face are expulsion and violence, violations of the right to access the international protection system often coupled with the words “no asylum here, go back …” and the likes.
Despite the claims of the EU leaders, the closure of borders has only contributed to the flourishing of a smuggling business, which at high cost and dangerous conditions only contributes to increasing the danger which refugees face on the road to security. Especially after the agreement between the EU and Turkey which forced a large number of refugees to stay on Greek islands in desperate conditions.
Those who are still able to flee over Mediterranean or the Aegean Sea, boomed in boats, and with the improvised life jackets often end up dead. On November 19,IOM has published information that 2.985 deaths occurred in the Mediterranean.
In addition to that, media disseminates the results of the EU and individual Member States’ attempts to shift the responsibility for accepting refugees and stopping migration flows to non-EU countries. Often, these are countries that do not have a well-regulated international protection system, so refugees have no opportunity to seek and obtain protection, or countries where human rights standards are significantly lower than in the EU. Currently, the most striking agreement between Italy and Libya is that by providing Libya with conditions for keeping refugees on its territory and preventing as many arrivals as possible on the territory of the EU created a reality in which refugees live in the conditions closest to the concentration camps. Reports and testimonies indicate that in Libya refugees are tortured, abused, sold in slavery, women and are girls raped, and an Italian doctor also warned of people who were tortured in a way that they tried to smear their skin.
Europe you should be ashamed!
Croatia you should be ashamed!