Corner Reports

The situation at the border crossings Gevgelija and Kumanovo for the period 23.01.2017 - 29.03.2017 01 February 2017

The weekly report on the situation at the border crossings Gevgelija and Kumanovo includes the following topics: Available facilities and conditions at the camp and Institutional treatment. The report can be downloaded at the following link.

Gevgelija

Available facilities and conditions

The number of refugees remained 69 in the course of the week. Apart from the minimal number of refugees transported to Greece, no other significant changes were observed.

The hygiene in the camp is at a threatening level, with the exception of a few days when the camp was cleaned.

Institutional treatment

A total of 13 refugees were transported to Greek territory in the course of the week, coming from various countries of origin. On 25.01.2017, two adult men originating from Syria who had been caught at the bus station in Gevgelija, were brought to the camp. They came back from Tabanovce to Gevgelija by bus, intending to go back to Greece and seek to be reunited with their relatives in Germany from there. Shortly after they were provided with humanitarian and medical aid and were registered by the police, they were transported to Greek territory. On the next day, five refugees from Morocco were brought to the camp, including a pregnant woman in the fifth month of pregnancy. They were found on the cargo train coming from Greece, and, according to their testimony, this is their first attempt to cross the border. After they were interviewed by the police, they were transported to Greek territory. On 27, six adult men were brought to the camp, all of them originating from Pakistan. They were caught by the police in the vicinity of the Greek-Macedonian border in the village of Bogorodica, after they had been reported by the local residents. They were provided with medical and humanitarian aid by the Red Cross, and the security services interviewed them and did the routine checks, whereby they were transported to Greek territory.

Kumanovo

Available facilities and conditions

The number of refugees in the camp varied from 95 to 105. Groups who are allowed to enter the camp and are given food constantly arrive, but there are also groups that do not stay long and leave the camp soon after they arrive.

The problems with the water supply still occur due to the poor weather. This had led to worsened hygiene in the camp, although the refugees are given clean, new blankets.

Institutional treatment

Many of the refugees warn that they will soon leave the camp in order to head back to Greece. Some of the families have already contacted the police with a request to be sent back to Greece. There has still been no response to their requests.

On 25.01.2017, four refugees originating from Syria were caught on a train coming from Gevgelija. They were accommodated in the camp and allowed to stay there, but only a few days after, they voluntarily left and headed for Preshevo, Serbia. 

The situation in the shelter centers in the Republic of Macedonia

The number of refugees in the shelter centers is not available.

Irregular migration

In the course of this week, the Ministry of Interior did not register any new criminal or legal events related to migrant-smuggling or refugees. The Ministry informed that criminal charges have been filed against a person from Georgia on grounds of suspected “migrant-smuggling”. On 02.02.2016, the person was transporting three people originating from Afghanistan, from Gevgelija to Kumanovo, in a passenger vehicle. When signaled by a police officer to stop in the vicinity of Demir Kapija, the person did not stop, and abandoned the vehicle, leaving the refugees, and fleeing the crime scene on foot.


This report is made possible by the generous support of the Foundation Open Society Institute (FOSI) within the project „Improvement of the rights protection for migrants and asylum seekers in the Republic of Macedonia“. The contents are the responsibility of the Helsinki Committee for Human rights of the Republic of Macedonia and do not necessarily reflect the views of FOSI.

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