Sunday, March 26, 2023

Bulgaria accused of migrant abuse

Must read

Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Activists, and illegal migrants have accused Bulgaria of abuse at the border with Turkey as the country seeks to curb the number of arrivals.

According to their claims, Bulgarian authorities have prevented illegal crossings, detained those who attempted them, stole their clothes, and mugged them, France24 reported on Wednesday.

Bulgaria has called on the EU to provide approximately 2 billion euros to reinforce the border wall and strengthen border control, but the European Commission has rejected the requests.

Sofia warned that the number of illegal crossings reached the highest levels since 2015 when illegal migration to the bloc peaked.

Activist Diana Dimova warned “since the beginning of last year, we have been seeing very intensive and brutal pushbacks of people” and stressed that the practice is illegal in the EU.

According to the Bulgarian Interior Ministry, border police prevented some 164,000 illegal crossing attempts last year, up from about 55,000 in 2021.

Porous border

Bulgaria’s reported inability to curb illegal migration has prompted Austria and the Netherlands to block the country’s accession to the Schengen Area, with EU countries to discuss the rise of illegal migration at this week’s summit in Brussels.

As part of its efforts to prevent illegal entries to the EU, Bulgaria has strengthened patrols along its border with Turkey and called on the bloc to provide financial support.

The EU Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) investigated 25 serious incidents in Bulgaria in the last two years, with one officer warning “pushbacks regularly occur in the operational area with Frontex staff deliberately kept away when they happen.”

According to one report, Bulgarian border police used “degrading language and racist vocabulary,” the officer stated.

Frontex warned that lack of “credible operational reporting… can signal shortcomings in the reporting mechanism or, even more worryingly, the existence of a tacit policy of non-reporting of actions severely endangering fundamental rights of migrants.”

Bulgarian authorities reject the accusations. President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev noted last month “over the past year, pressure on our border has increased sharply and… the actions of the migrants are becoming more and more aggressive.”

Last year, three Bulgarian police officers were killed when traffickers rammed their vehicles.

- Advertisement -spot_img

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest article