Half a year after the publication of our first article on the torture garage for migrants, and almost a year after the first testimony about the garage was documented by organisations, fearsome testimonies of inhumane detention of refugees and migrants continue to arrive. According to the descriptions, the garage in question is still the one in the police station in Korenica.
In another one in a series of cases of mistreatments and beatings of migrants that are being pushed back from the border, officials of the Croatian border police brutally attacked K.S., a minor from Afghanistan, according to the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration of the Republic of Serbia. The boy, who survived severe physical and psychological torture, was first separated from a group of 16 migrants and beaten up at the border. After that he was detained in a dark room where he was beaten by four border police officers and subjected to electroshock torture.
There are new witnesses reporting police violence against refugees and migrants, and they are coming from the very Ministry of the Interior. In an anonymous letter sent to the Ombudswoman Lora Vidović, a police officer writes about the violent and illegal practices perpetrated at the border on refugees and migrants. "We have no more will nor power to look at what is being done to these humans", the officer writes. We publish the letter in its entirety.
H-Alter received a letter from a hiker who witnessed police violence against migrants on Risnjak. We publish the letter in its entirety. "When we got to the living room of the hut, I saw an automatic rifle on the table and two special forces officers talking to the home manager. Around 11 in the evening, migrants came. They were asking for water. The officers came out with batons and started to hit them, and one (or more) officers started shooting. In a situation where you have people who ask for water, and on the other side those who respond with gunfire and batons, with the approval of the majority of people present, you really have to wonder if you are in this situation on the side of the people or the beasts",
Jehan Bseiso, Palestinian poet and aid worker (Médecins sans Frontières): "The media is reporting about refugee fatigue and compassion fatigue. I find the notion that compassion can be finite truly terrifying. I’m haunted by the refugee crisis, and it’s a global one. I’m haunted at my work, by the images of bodies clinging to orange life vests, and I’m haunted at night when I think of how random it is, that it’s not me, not my family. My poetry is now a site of intersection that displays the explosive choices I’ve been making as an aid worker and a writer."
Yazan Halwani, one of the most famous Arab street artists: "I focus on painting the figures of people that connect us, instead of all these signs of separation. I want to show that these streets belong to all of us. In all art disciplines, there are certain things that are still done but there's no longer justification for doing them. Take Lebanon today – people in power do things ilegally all the time, vandalism is so common, and it doesn't make sense to me to do things that way. It's much more dangerous to try to create a unified sense of identity and do it legally."