“Only in underwear” – NGO accuses Serbia of violence against migrants


A North Macedonian non-governmental organization has accused Serbian police of violence against migrants. Last weekend, more than 70 migrants showed up in a village on the border with Serbia, many wearing only their underwear, the head of the refugee aid agency Legis said on Friday.

The migrants reported to organization employees that they had been beaten and humiliated by Serbian police.

The NGO published a video on the Internet that residents of the village of Lojane in northern North Macedonia had filmed.

Several men can be seen, most of them walking along a road between the Serbian border and the village at night in temperatures of around three degrees Celsius, most wearing only underwear.

The migrants came from different countries and were on their way to Western Europe via the so-called Balkan route, said Jasmin Redzepi, head of the refugee agency. “These people don’t want to stay here. Their destination was neither Serbia nor North Macedonia. They are not committing any crime,” she added.

“Silently approved”
The head of Legis complains about the anti-migrant policy that is “tacitly” approved by Europe. According to the NGO, some migrants wanted to try to cross the border with Serbia again.

According to the EU border protection agency Frontex, around 100,000 people tried to reach Western Europe via the Balkan route between January and October 2023.

130 Austrian police officers in Task Force “Western Balkans”
The Western Balkan states are also supported by around 130 police officers from Austria in protecting their borders, for example in Serbia, North Macedonia and Montenegro. The “Western Balkans” task force led by Austria, an important instrument in the fight against human trafficking, is being further expanded and Turkey has also joined the task force.

Source: Krone


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