Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights – YUCOM
Human Rights House
KnezaMiloša 4, 11103 Belgrade, Serbia
Project Progress and Financial Report – No 4.
Date of the visit: 24/12/2015
Place of the visit: Belgrade, Republic of Serbia
(Police station – Directorate of Immigration in Savska 35 and Parks around the Main bus station in Belgrade)
Project: “Aid to refugees and migrants – from legal aid to conditions assessment”
Persons responsible for reporting: Ana Janković Jovanović and Momčilo Živadinović
On December 24th 2015 a team consisting of Momcilo Zivadinovic and Ana J. Jovanovic, (graduated law student) accompanied by a translator for Farsi, visited unofficial gathering places for the refugees in Belgrade. We visited the parks around the Belgrade bus station and the Directorate for Immigration at the Police station in Savska 35.
Around 20 refugees/migrants were present in the park in front of the Faculty for Economics at the time of our visit. We’ve talked with six migrants originating from Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. All respondents, five male and one female, were of a young age and their education profiles were very diverse, ranging from those with no formal education to those who graduated from college. All the respondents were Muslims.
They arrived in Serbia from Bulgaria and Macedonia. All respondents wished to continue their journey to their desired destination, most often Germany, Sweden or Austria. They cited busses, cars, trains and ships as means of transport to Serbia but said they had to travel part of their journey on foot.
There was a group of refugees/migrants from Afghanistan in the park who said that their child was missing. As they told us, they managed to reach Serbia with the aid of smugglers, but they were in two different cars and they got lost in Belgrade. They reported this to the police officers at the railway station. The response of the members of the Ministry of internal affairs was inadequate since they refused to contact their colleagues even though they were told there is a possibility the child is in the custody of the officers from the other police station. In spite of this we managed to help them find their lost son at the police station in Savska 35, who had meanwhile been found by the officers from the Police station Zvezdara.
Vulnerable groups / torture victims
Some of the refugees/migrants complained that they were tortured by the police in Macedonia and that they were threatened at knifepoint to pay up so they could continue their journey. A few of the respondents stated that they’ve had troubles with the Taliban who were taking away their children.