An Open Letter to the Governments of Europe
We, the front-line volunteers who for months now have been helping thousands of refugees, call on all the governments of Europe to act immediately and decisively to alleviate the situation. There are tens of thousands of people moving through south-eastern Europe and the current capacities of volunteer-based help sites are seriously challenged. Given also the rapid approach of winter and problems at various borders, we feel there is a real danger that the situation will lead to serious medical problems and likely deaths among the refugee community.
Every person has the legal right to seek asylum. If Europe is not able to provide safe and legal routes for asylum-seekers, it is obliged to provide aid to those who took the dangerous route. We do not want to see a single refugee dying while waiting in endless queues at European borders, literally in our own hands.
Europe, please act! weiterlesen
Reports from Sunday evening 11pm from Michal Berg
BERKASOVO/BAPSKA (Serbian side) – There might be new route in the next week – Serbia and Croatia have agreed on providing trains directly from Sid on the serbian side to Slavonski Brod in Croatia. Latest news say this could start on 2nd November. If this happens, volunteers will be needed a lot to move the material to Sid train station. Please be ready to help. 9000 refugees arrived to Croatia today. Bigger groups of refugees in the morning left to Croatia by noon. Currently no refugees, but many expected over night and in the next days. Hygienic conditions deteriorating, but volunteers trying to improve this. Crowd control is difficult in peak times. Small tents and sleeping bags not neccessary now. Big tents, 10 walkie-talkies, warm clothes, shoes and especially cash needed there, as well as volunteer help, medical help will be a plus. Trying to find a place in Sid to wash and reuse the blankets. Accomodation nearby but can provide shelter for max 20 volunteers. Please bring your own tent, headlight and high-visibility jacket. Contact number +381 649 366 029.
Urgent call from Dimitrovgrad
There will be only 2 or 3 Volunteers left in Dimitrovgrad, who don’t even have a car, they are from Croatia and Canada, can translate Farsi and speak a bit of Croatian. Here in Dimitrovgrad there are 200 up to 300 mostly Afghan men, some women arriving here, the repression of the officials is getting worse, the prices of the busses rose from 35 to 40, so the refugees start walking to Pirot, Nis or even Belgrade. In the nigth it is around 3 degrees, probably less up there in the mountains.
Things we need: donations [warm clothes like jakets, shoes, socks, pants, hats, scarves, etc.], money for food and a CAR to get the stuff here and at least 4 people!!
Report from Moria / Lesbos by Infomobil
“Hot Spot” reminds of war zone
++Refugees left to survive in Moria under inhuman conditions++Vulnerable groups unprotected for days in war zone like areal++
2,500 persons can be registered daily in Moria according to local media, while more than 10,000 arrived within the last 24 hours. Refugees are queueing kilometers in and outside the registration camp that was originally constructed as a prison. At the same time the registration camp lacks any form of a functioning queuing system as well as dignified infrastructures and basic needs provision. Refugees are sitting and sleeping for hours between mud and garbage, being pushed by the crowd, insulted and beaten by police forces and sometimes even thrown tear gas. They get sick and injured under the life threatening living conditions in Moria.
Read the full report
Report from the press conference of the Slovenian government
Boštjan Šefic, Ministry of Internal Affairs
– “yesterday was succesful without jams (3300 migrants have arrived), we took care of all of them (**comment from Fronta: As we know there was a very problematic jam at Obrežje yesterday where 6 buses had to wait for several hours; there was no infrastructure there (toilets, food, water)
– “because AUT has taken 600 the qouta of max. 2500 per day was met”
– “the train had to wait for the capacities of the arrival centers to be ready again”
– the stucture: Syria, Pakistan, Afganistan, Irak; 528 minors, 1355 women, 1417 men
– 4 Afgans asked for asylum!
Slovenia (2pm) weiterlesen
The situation when it comes to refugee route through Slovenia:
State authorities established two types of centers, registration centers on the border with Croatia and accommodation centers on the border with Austria. Registration centers are Dolga vas, Petišovci, Središče ob Dravi, Gruškovje and Obrežje. Accommodation centers are Šentilj and Gornja Radgona. Registration centers are under the police authority, accommodation under Civil Protection.
Refugees travel by trains from Croatian Serbian border until Čakovec in Croatia. There they are divided in smaller groups and continue their journey either by buses to Dolga vas, Petišovci, Gruškovje and Obrežje either by train to Središče ob Dravi (the biggest group of around 1200 people). Registration takes place in big tents. Around one person in two minutes. Police takes photo and fingerprints. Although in Petišovci yesterday they did not take fingerprints due to problems with machine. Upon this they issue permit to stay for six months. This is permit issued to person that is in process of deportation but can not be deported for various reasons. In short time they are taken by buses to accommodation centers where they can have rest and are agin quite quickly escorted by foot to Austrian side of the border, where Austrian police receives them and submit them to another registration procedure. Austrian police than transports refugees to Graz and Vienna. It seem that cooperation between Austrian and Slovenia police is strengthened. In registration centers there is presence of Austrian police officers.
Report from Dimitrovgrad
Dimitrovgrad urgently needs people! There are only six people and actually all of them want to leave as soon as possible (as soon as someone arrives).
The situation is pretty critical and also very scary. There are far to less volunteers at place providing tea, soup and blankets to 500-700 arriving people every day, a lot of them amilies. The built up two pavillons, one for cooking and one for shelter. Red Cross is there during the day with a mini camp but still leaving the place from the afternoon to the morning and not providing blankets. People have to wait up to 24 hours for busses to Belgrade.
Scary Locals have threatened volunteers and forced them to remove any information for refugees on their criminal taxi business (direction Belgrade) as well as any arabic and farsi signs („because the taxi drivers cant read it“). The volunters there were really scared as the leading guys of the local „mafia“ showed up and kind of „cooperated“ to calm down the situation and prevent violent escalation. The local police is also making their corrupt business. Since yesterday night refugees are forced to pay a ten euro fee for registration which is no legal.
Also police at Dimitrovgrad is very uncooperative and tried to force people to remove the tents as there is no official permission. At the moment, volunteers can continue their work but police threatens with eviction.
Arriving people describe Bulgaria as a horror. There are a large number of personal reports about refugees who had been robbed in Bulgaria by police, taken away everything, passport,money, mobile phones. Many people and also families had been taken into custody, beaten up violently, tortured and forced to give fingerprints. A lot of people at Dimitrovgrad have injuries caused by Bulgarian police. Several reports by arriving people of illegal pushbacks and of at least three dead lying on the trails at Bulgarian-Turkish and Bulgarian-Serbian border.
Report from Dimitrovgrad
There is now a small camp by the Red Cross, but only open from 8 am till 3 pm. A group of volunteers have builded up a mobile kitchen to serv warm food to the people especially in the nigth. Around 500 to 700 persons are crossing in the nigth the bulgarian border to enter buses to Belgrad. People reported that they have up to two days walking through the mountains. Partly they are threaten and robed by bulgarian police.
Hungary closed the so-called “green border” to Croatia. Illegal border crossings on this border are very dangerous as they are now heavily punishable by law – same as on the border to Serbia!
Croatia changed the route for the “humanitarian corridor” and transports people now to the Slovenian instead of the Hungarian border (more details below). Although Austria raises police and military presence at their southern borders (with Slovenia & Italy), Austria and Germany still have their borders open for controlled transit. Austrian, Slovenian and Croatian authorities have said they will continue with the “humanitarian corridor” and will only change their behaviour if Germany starts to close its borders.
The green border between hungary and Croatia is closed since friday evening. The Croatian government now brings people from the borderarea (where people still enter through Bapska) by train to Čakovec (near the Slovenian border), from there there are at the moment transported several buses to the border crossings Gornji Macelj and Musrko Središće/ Petisovci.
Slovenia started to bring the first transports toward the Austrian border, before that the people got registered in Šentilj. There is infos that Slovenia will keep the corridor until Austria and Germany decide on other policies. On the Croatian side it seems that authorites try to slow down the moving of people. In Austria People are arriving in Spielfeld and Bad Ratkersburg.
Report from Presevo, Thursday afternoon, 15th of october 2015
The situation in Presevo is somewhat stable as there are more volunteers at place, more infrastructure has been built up and authorities and humanitarian organizations finally organized themselves better. The catastrophic flood situation calmed down, so as there is no rain at present and the high water is gone. Even so it is really cold at night and with a constant inflow of 4000 to 6000 people coming, more volunteers and donations are needed the coming week. While officials and some organizations claim everything is under control, there is a massive lack of a sufficient, coordinated and cooperative help.
Refugees arrive at Tobanovce on the Macedonian side and walk a muddy 2 kilometer long road across the border to Miratovac on the Serbian side, where busses take them to Presevo. Almost everyone arriving here has wet feet. As the local taxi drivers keep up there mafia driving services to inacceptable high prices and dropping people anywhere in the forests around, volunteers built up an information point. There are signs in different languages warning people of the taxi drivers who tell lies about the camp, and explaining what is going to happen during registration in the camp in Presevo. Moreover, police is keeping an eye on the taxi drivers as they continued threatening volunteers.
Serbian-macedonian border weiterlesen