As it has been already stated, violence, repression and persecution has been growing since the squatted barracks got evicted and demolished on May 11th. Before the elections the serbian police was more reserved but now using violence openly. In the last two weeks there has been three physically violent police operations, forcing people to be taken to the infamous Preševo closed “camp” near Macedonia. Although is it presented as a reception center, the unspoken reality is that of a detention camp. The approx. 1000 people imprisoned there are not allowed to go in or out, except for a very restricted special permission, and the only way to leave the camp is to be pushed-back illegaly to Macedonia, which happens regularly.
Originally published by No Border Serbia
The first of these operations took place inside the official refugee camp in Obrenovac, near Belgrade. The police came to the camp at 5 o‘clock in the morning on June 10th and forced 103 random people inside waiting buses. Those who were resisting got violently beaten up and abused verbally. The approximately 50 policemen neither told anyone where they would be brought, although they were constantly asked to do so. People didn’t have time to take their personal belongings with them, not even their phones. Among them were families and minors who got separated.
On June 16th at 4 am, there was another police operation in Sombor Camp, near the Croatian and Hungarian border. This time all 148 single men were rounded up in a similar violent fashion and brought to Preševo as well.
On June 22nd also at 4am, the police literally hunt down approximately 100 people staying in the area of the former refugee camp near the Croatian border in the city of Šid. People were beaten and forced at gun point to leave their belongings and get into buses and were brought to the prison camp of Preševo.
Acting as spokesperson, being part of the decision making and putting himself in the spotlight is the minister of labour, employment, veteran and social policy, Aleksandar Vulin. He is openly using racist rhetoric as he referred to the operation in Šid as “cleansing”1 the area and justifying the actions with the usual lies of a safer environment for both residents and refugees by locking them up in, as he cynically put it: “in camps of the highest international standards”.
The pretending of the serbian authorities that these violent operations were conducted “in a human way”, saving migrants from the smugglers, locals from migrants, and the rest of europe from the “spread of the refugee crisis” is totally disgusting. As long as this racist border regime exists there is constant oppression and violence.
In solidarity with all people on the move