THE BLACK BOOK OF PUSHBACKS  

A 1500-page ‘Black Book’ that documents the horrific violence suffered by over 12,000 people at the hands of authorities on the EU’s external borders has been released today – International Migrants Day – by The Left in the European Parliament. Compiled by BVMN and printed over two volumes, the ‘Black Book of Pushbacks’ is a collection of hundreds of testimonies of migrants and asylum seekers who have experienced human rights violations at external borders.

 

Pushbacks are illegal under international law, but member state authorities have long ignored such breaches of human rights which are contrary to the EU’s founding principles and international obligations. This ‘Black Book’ only includes incidents that have been directly recorded by BVMN; the real number of victims is likely to be much higher. The book covers:

  • A total of 892 group testimonies detailing the experiences of 12,654 people.
  • The violence many endured in Italy, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary along the so-called ‘Balkan route’ including maps, data, photos and other key information.

  • The types of suffering and violence perpetrated by border agents, member state police forces, soldiers – even guard dogs.

  • Documented incidents that could be clearly described as sadistic, merciless, humiliating and degrading treatment.

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ABOUT BORDERVIOLENCE MONITORING NETWORK

BORDERVIOLENCE.EU DOCUMENTS ILLEGAL PUSH-BACKS AND POLICE VIOLENCE INFLICTED BY EU MEMBER STATE AUTHORITIES.

The reports that make up this database have been collected by individuals working with the NGOs No Name KitchenCollective Aid, Re:Ports SarajevoJosoor, Fresh Response and IPSIA as well as independent persons. We also work closely with Are You SyriousCentre for Peace StudiesInfo KolpaMobile Info Team and Mare Liberum in the field of political interest representation and advocacy. In (humanitarian) support work for people-on-the-move at different locations in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Greece and Slovenia volunteers of the aforementioned organizations started to notice the effects of push-backs and, increasingly, physical violence perpetrated against the people we were working with, which led to initiating the common testimony database.

Since we started documenting these cases in 2016, the frequency of such incidents has risen and the level of violence has reached shocking levels. In solidarity with the people suffering these abuses, we aim to bring their often forgotten stories to public attention and demand that these practices stop immediately.