EU countries Bulgaria, Hungary and Croatia were alleged to have mistreated asylum seekers.
Based on research by ARD magazine and Der Spiegel with broadcasters Lighthouse Reports, Sky News, Le Monde, Domani, SRF and Rfe-RL Bulgaria, the report shows that Afghan and Syrian asylum seekers who wish to seek asylum in Europe are subject to abuse. They were kept in secret prisons.
Video footage from the Bulgarian town of Srediz shows a group of people locked in a dilapidated shed. No seating furniture and toilets in a barn-like setting. It is reported that refugees held forcibly here await deportation rather than receive their asylum applications.
A Syrian refugee named Kanaan, who refused to give his last name, said: “We asked for food and water. They didn’t give us anything. An officer told us he would come fetch water from the toilet, and that we don’t deserve to come to the country.” He said.
It was recorded that asylum-seeker Kanaan had forcibly crossed the border with other refugees and was returned to Turkey.
It is reported that 10 Frontex officers work at the aforementioned border post in Bulgaria, where illegal arrests took place in front of the European border agency Frontex.
In the news, it was emphasized that the lawyers found the actions of the Bulgarian authorities illegal in many respects, and that, according to European and international law, these countries must accommodate and register asylum seekers and allow them to apply for asylum.
In Croatia, it has been confirmed, 20 people were put into eight-seater minibuses, where border guards used windowless white vans to push back, and kept covered for hours under the blazing sun.
On the other hand, the Hungarian authorities alleged that security forces wearing ski masks at the border with Serbia used pepper spray to put refugees into containers.
Italian Alessandro Mangioni, who works for Doctors Without Borders, stated that 500 asylum seekers have come to him and his colleagues with fractures, open wounds and other injuries since last year, and he said he had heard that they were kept in such containers.
It is noteworthy that in the containers in question in Hungary, up to 60 people are often forced to stand in a narrow space, and tear gas is used when border guards want to make room for new arrivals or when refugees resist.
In the news, it was emphasized that Bulgaria, Croatia and Hungary rejected these allegations, criticizing the negative behavior of the EU and Frontex on these issues.
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