Child beaten at EU Border: Brutal Push-backs continue in Bulgaria

On April 21st, 2014 Border Monitoring Bulgaria (BMB) recorded yet another case of a push-back of a single Syrian mother with her four children (10, 17, 22, 24 years old) accompanied by severe police violence. Relatives reported that in their attempt to receive protection in Bulgaria, the family was forcefully returned to Turkey. After a day spent in Bulgaria, the family now finds itself in Turkey without their request for asylum having been respected, heard, or evaluated. BMB spoke to the victims who are now in a Turkish hospital treating their broken limbs and ribs.

The mother reported:

At first the police sat with us, they received us, they told me they were taking me to the camp. They gave us water, they were so nice to us. But then when they loaded us into the car, returned us to the border and started beating us. Even the 10-year-old boy was not spared; they hit him while he was screaming ‘my brother, my brother.’ They threw me onto the ground while I was fainted and no one picked me up. At the border they increased [in numbers]… they are catching people from the villages, a lot. And they return them [across the border].

This is by far not the only such case: violence against refugees involving beatings, humiliation and disregard of human dignity continuously takes place at the border, in detention camps and on the streets throughout the country. BMB calls for Dublin deportations to Bulgaria to be stopped until the country ensures the international community that human rights violations do not occur and that national and international institutions thoroughly investigate this and other cases of push-backs and police brutality taking place at the Bulgarian border.

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