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Halt Summary Returns, Beatings, Robbery of Asylum Seekers

Click to expand Image Bulgarian border police stand near a barbed…
2016-1-eca-bulgaria-fence
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Amid an influx of Iraqis and Syrians into Europe, the West is neglecting another group of refugees also in desperate need of help.


 TOVARNIK, Croatia — Rajab Ali, a 16-year-old Hazara boy from Afghanistan’s Bamyan province, was silently weeping when we found him standing at the last remaining opening in the 12-foot-high razor-wire border fence Hungary has constructed on its…
Afghan Refugees
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Two Iraqi men died from hypothermia at the border between Bulgaria and Turkey, after Bulgarian border guards allegedly beat the Iraqis when they attempted to cross into Bulgaria – an incident that is only the latest horrible reminder of the crisis at…
News

EU Should Press Sofia to Investigate, Provide Protection

(Brussels) – Bulgarian border police have in the past month forced Syrian asylum seekers back to Turkey and beaten some of them, Human Rights Watch said today based on accounts by victims.   Human Rights Watch documented three separate incidents of…
News

Calls for Europe to Help Fund Mare Nostrum Have Been Largely Ignored

The Italian Navy’s twitter feed contained joyous news last week: a pregnant mother among the 90 people rescued from the sea by a Navy frigate had given birth on board to a little girl, Yambambi. Over that weekend more than 1,600 people were rescued. While…
News

By Alice Farmer and Lilana Keith

When Human Rights Watch first saw Yemi, the 17-year-old boy was huddled on a concrete bench in the corner of a windowless, graffitied holding cell run by the French border police. Clad in a stiff new leather jacket but otherwise without clothing warm…
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The Bulgarian guards found us, pointed their guns at us and started beating us,” the 25-year-old Afghan said, describing what happened to him on 11 January. “Afterward, they put us in the car and took us to the border. They took all our phones and money…
News
My twitter feed on Monday was full of the latest tragedy in the Mediterranean. At least 17 people died when an overcrowded boat sank on the crossing from Libya to Italy, with many more still unaccounted for. We don’t know their names or their stories.…
News

Syrians, Others Forced Back Across Turkish Border

(Sofia) – Bulgaria has embarked on a “Containment Plan” to reduce the number of asylum seekers in the country, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The plan has been carried out in part by summarily pushing back Syrians, Afghans, and others…
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 Containment Plan
 
 
 Bulgaria’s Pushbacks and Detention

 of Syrian and Other
 
 Asylum

 Seekers and Migrants
 
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 A Pushback
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Last year, the Bulgarian government felt the sting of criticism from Brussels, Geneva and other quarters for mishandling an influx of mostly Syrian refugees. Many were confined in cold, filthy camps without government-provided food, medical care or…
News
“Please take me back to Lyubimets!” Those were the words of a 17-year-old unaccompanied Afghan boy I met in December in the emergency center in Harmanli, a town in south-central Bulgaria not far from the Turkish border. The fact that the boy preferred…