Oxfam accuses Bulgaria of violence against migrants

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police-block-a-group-of-migrants-trying-to-cross-data                                                             Image from Barbara Miller to abc.net

Yesterday, a new report has been sent by Oxfam accusing Bulgaria of violence against Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan migrants. The extortion of money, beating and police dogs attacks are now part of everyday life of refugees, who are trying to cross Bulgarian borders. All these migrants are hoping to arrive in Serbia or go to Austria, some of them walking through the mountains for more than a week. 

Oxfam has grouped charges in a folder containing the interviews of more than 110 victims. According to Oxfam, the numbers incurred are “in full agreement” with the latest report issued by the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, based in Sofia.

It is dramatic. The sick refugees are badly cared of. They are treated by a shocking way. This is unacceptable to treat people who are victims of poverty and war. We must not forget that Bulgaria is part of the European Union and we can not accept the way in which the Bulgarian forces of order acting these last months” said Nikolina Milic, Center for Human Rights located in Belgrade.

A migrant, who had no identity papers, has been hit several times by police on his arrival in Sofia, capital of Bulgaria. Another refugee named Hamayoon from Afghanistan, said: “During an inspection, a policeman tore off a tree branch and hit me violently with it“. But the abuses go even further. An other victim explains his altercation with the police. They have put a gun to his head and then beat him with it. Then the police reportedly took all his money and his phone.

Stefano Baldini, director of Oxfam in Eastern Europe, spoke about the subject: “It is essential that Europe intervene and protect the basic Human Rights without regard to borders

The Bulgarian government has for now not talked about the abuses his country is accused. This awful report proves, once again, that migrants put their lives in danger to survive. For now, more than 710.000 refugees have already arrived in Europe.

Laura Delbrassinne, IEJ 3E, Groupe 1

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