Let us join forces and secure refuge and dignified life before winter to all the families from Afghanistan who are in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Most of them are currently stuck on the border with Croatia and the European Union. Many families and other people from Afghanistan have been trying for years to reach a country that would provide them with refuge, but each time they have faced violent push-backs.
We invite you to sign the call addressed to the governments of the EU states on this link, and then to immediately send the appeal to the government of the country of your residence. By doing so, you will be demanding refuge and dignified life for families from Afghanistan that are located on the fringes of the European Union, on the border of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Please also send this appeal to Ylvi Johansson, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and then to other bodies that can make a change in your local, national, and transnational context.
Between 200 and 300 people, families with children, are stuck and forced to live outside in the open area of Velika Kladuša, a part of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) near the border with Croatia and the European Union (EU). The families are forced to stay in improvised shelters assembled from big black garbage bags. This improvised settlement has no access to electricity, water, anyway for people to warm up, nor do people have access to food other than what the locals bring them. Tents were set up on the swampy ground, which soaks with a little more rain, while mud surrounds the makeshift shelters. When the temperature drops below zero, which is expected soon, there will be no chance to stay there.
They are part of several hundred people from Afghanistan who are stuck in BiH where they arrived after not receiving refuge and humane treatment in Greece, or in the other countries in the region. They do not have access to asylum in BiH, nor the possibility of a dignified life. They just want the opportunity to go further in search of safe and dignified refuge.
For these people, Velika Kladuša and BiH have become an open-air prison. Any attempt to continue their journey to a dignified life means that they have to walk for days over the mountains and through the forests, fearing the moment when the guards of the EU borders in Croatia will discover them, and violently push them back. At the same time they cannot stay in BiH, nor can they go back to Afghanistan.
International organizations such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which is funded by both the EU and some Western governments, are doing their best to dissuade Afghan refugees stuck in BiH from going any further. At the same time, they are not doing anything to possibly ensure a dignified stay in BiH. Yet those organisations are willing participants in encouraging local authorities to destroy the makeshift camp from time to time and take people to appalling collection centers built by the EU. BiH itself was destroyed by the interventions of the same organizations and the peace industry. Now, that peace industry is just expanding to “migration management” while establishing and running the concentration camps in the Balkans.
No matter what Afghan refugees are faced with, when you go to the makeshift settlement as a privileged intruder to eventually bring them some food and clothes, even though they are worried and tired, they will willingly offer what little they have. They will share with you both their worries and their hopes. Playful children will greet you cheerfully and with a smile. You will realize that they are better friends to you than many of those you call friends.
These families from Afghanistan have been trying for many years to find a safe place for a dignified life. They cannot return to Afghanistan, thanks to the imperialist endeavors of our countries. We are all accomplices in their persecution and suffering, both because of our unconditional adherence to the imperialism of our governments and because of our insatiable egoistic consumerism that makes us blind to everything else.
The persecuted and disenfranchised, no country in Europe wants to receive them and give them refuge.
It is an urgent time to awaken in us at least a shred of responsibility. Before people freeze either trying to cross the borders or sleeping in makeshift tents, we need to find a way to help them and enable them to live in dignity.
We call on all governments of the European Union to open their doors and provide international protection to these families with access to all social rights from which they have been unjustly cut off. Those same governments are responsible for what is happening to them and it is time to take responsibility. While boasting of “successful” evacuations from Afghanistan, they do not see the people on their doorstep. Providing protection and ensuring a dignified life to these families is not a big logistical undertaking. No need for a corridor. A few planes and humane treatment are all it takes.
anamarija amlica levak, mala otočka biblioteka
Antun Debak // SAWA Zupanja
Boucka Koffi ( TWMF-Voice for the Voiceless Immigration Detainees-Yorkshire)
branko popovic / samouprava
Comitato per i Diritti Civili delle Prostitute onlus, Trieste Italy
Duska Andric-Ruzicic, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Elizabeta Jačov – volunter of Are you Syrious?
Emina Hadzic, Institute Circle
Grupa za nenasije i ženska prava – Nepokorne
Humanitas – Centre for Global Learning and Cooperation
Ivana Franović (CNA)
Jasmina Božić, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb
Laura Azorín Latorre / Social Hackers Academy
Lina Rydén Reynols
Lisa Marie Stoiber
Lysfest for Humanisme
Manca Šetinc Vernik
Marija Marić Cafuta
Metka Bahlen Okoli
Nynne roberta Pedersen
Open Cultural Center
POU Korak po korak
Rada Boric, member of the City Assembly Zagreb
Rehabilitacijski centar za stres i traumu
Savez nacionalnih manjina Kantona Sarajevo
Simona Getova, Kolektiv Z
Slovak Academy of Sciences
Srećko Pulig, novinar tjednika Novosti iz Zagreba
U DOBROJ VERI