Bosnia. Some hundred metres away from the squat I saw some men crouching next to a small fire. I went to them and they instantly invited me to sit with them. One prepared a „chair“ for me with some round trash-thing they had found around and put something like a rag over it, with a lot of loving effort. They had just finished cooking and invited me to come to their little shed which they could use for some time from a „nice muslim man“. „Eat, eat.“, they told me, handing over some of the bred to take out the eggy-tomatoey food they had prepared in a pan on the fire.
Image above: Many people on the move who are blocked in Bihać have no place to live, so they occupy ruins or small sheds, like this one.
Originally published by Migrant Solidarity Network.
On the ground of the shed they had led an old carpet they had found somewhere. Before entering the shed, they all took off their shoes to not make the carpet dirty and after eating they cleaned the carpet from the breadcrumbs. This day, most of them were laughing a lot, joking with each other. If someone didn’t speak or understand English, they translated for him. And they taught me some basic Pashtu words. They had a lot of questions about Switzerland, how the weather was there, what migrant people would work there, how I lived, with whom I lived… One man in the round with a sad look did not speak. He was sitting there, wrapped up in a blanket, close to the two men next to him for being a little warmer. Most of them only had sneakers, while there was snow outside. Some were wrapped up in a blanket.
They were making jokes about a casino and how they would get rich there. I did not understand their running gags. Later they told me to come with them: „We’ll go to the casino. Come, come, we’ll show you.“ So I went with them and learned that „the casino“ was some small bar where people could go and play some casino gambling games. For people on the move it was a place inside where it was warm and where they could stay without a pressure to consume. They are going there every day to warm up.
There were in total nine men. They told me they were all Pashtus coming from Pakistan. They had all tried „the game“ several times and every time they had been pushbacked by the Croatian police. Two of them have already made it to Trieste, Italy and have been pushbacked all the way to Bosnia.
The last time some of them had tried to cross the Croatian-Bosnian border was only four days ago. The walk back to Bihać took them around 10 hours. Barefoot.
For the nine men they had only two cellphones left, all others had been crashed by the Croatian police. Talking about the Bosnian police, they said they were „no problem“. They would let them stay in Bihać. Only the Croatian police would be a huge problem. They said, they would try „the game“ again after the snow was gone. With the snow it’s too cold and it would show their steps…“
Some people of the Migrant Solidarity Network are currently in Bihać at the Bosnian-Croatian Border. Do you want to set a helpful sign against the consequences of isolation, surveillance, pushbacks and dehumanization and share your money for food, clothes and shoes for People on the move? They will make your shared accessible on the ground. Payments to the account of Bleiberecht Bern, IBAN: CH72 0900 0000 6024 4887 5. Note Bihać.
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