Several Hundred Migrants sleep at Bus Station in Tuzla in the Midst of Winter

December 30, 2019 10:30 AM

 

The plateau in front of the bus and train station in Tuzla seems to have become a real migrant settlement.

Several hundred migrants reside under the open sky, surviving only on volunteers and humanitarian organizations.

Low temperatures in the morning and the snow that was falling during the night created new problems for the migrants, and especially disturbing is the photo of two migrants warming covered with blankets while lying on ice concrete, Avaz news portal reports.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have warned that the conditions of migrants stuck on the border in Bosnia are worsening by the day. The organization says migrants there are forced to live in inhumane conditions and that they are reportedly subjected to violence by Croatian police when they try to cross the border.

The situation is getting worse for migrants and asylum seekers in Bosnia, stuck on the border in extremely poor conditions amid temperatures hovering around zero while living in tents, abandoned buildings, and makeshift shelters.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) warned of the situation in a statement issued on November 15. In the statement the organization noted that migrants, including children, say they have been subjected to violence by the Croatian police when they attempt the so-called “game,” which is what they call their attempts to cross the border in to the EU.

Difficulties in Bosnia

MSF reports that about 20,000 people have arrived in Bosnia this year in the hope of continuing their journey northwards in order to seek protection in various EU countries. But ever more restrictive security measures along the Balkan borders; harsh living conditions aggravated by winter on its way and reported violent pushbacks from Croatia, make Bosnia one of the most difficult points on the migration route to Europe, the organization said.

The organization tells the story of Khaan (not his real name) who arrived with 30 other people at a clinic in the village of Zavalje, where MSF provides medical assistance four times a week.

His experience is fairly typical, say MSF. “Two weeks ago I was in ‘the game’ – which is what we call it when we try to cross the border to Croatia,” Khaan told MSF.”But the Croatian police caught me and everyone in the group.They beat us up, they took our jackets, bags, phone, money and shoes. Then they sent us back to Velika Kladusa in Bosnia. In my group there were also children as young as 12. The police beat them also. This is what always happens.”

“The situation is very hard here – I never had to sleep in a tent before,” Muhallil (not his real name) from Pakistan told MSF. “At night the cold passes through the tent, and when it rains the water gets inside the tent. The food is really bad, the toilets are so dirty that we cannot use them, and the water for showers is freezing cold.”

 

 

 

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