The situation at the border crossings Gevgelija and Kumanovo for the period 13.02.2017 - 19.02.2017 22 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.
Available facilities and conditions
The number of refugees in the camp dropped from 73 to 54 by the end of the week, as several refugees left the camp.
Due to the decrease in the number of refugees accommodated the camp, several cabins have been emptied out.
There have been no changes to the camp infrastructure.
The refugees, at their own request, accompanied by officials from the camp, go on organized visits to the town, along with regular medical check-ups and visits to dentists.
Due to the hopeless situation that the refugees in the camp are facing, they increasingly express interest in going back to Greece.
A group of 8 refugees originating from Iraq have been transported to the Vizbegovo Shelter Center for Asylum Seekers, while 8 refugees originating from Syria who had submitted asylum requests, gave up on the requests by means of written statements.
A family from Palestine (a mother with 3 juvenile children and her nephew) who were kept during the past week due the poor health of one of the children were sent back to Greek territory at their own will.
On 15.02. 2017, a five-member family originating from Syria who has been residing in the camp for nearly one year, was transported to Greece. On the next day, a refugee originating from Iraq who had resided in the camp for some time, asked to be transported to Greek territory. Thus, the number of refugees in the camp decreased to 54.
On 16. 02. 2017, one person originating from Albania that the police had caught in the vicinity of Dojran, came to the camp. The person did not possess documents for personal identification, whereby he was registered and had his fingerprints taken by the police.
On 17.02.2017, two men aged 25 and 32, originating from Syria and Pakistan, were brought by the police who caught them at the railway station in Gevgelija, where they had arrived by train from Tabanovce. They both possessed Greek registration documents, and this was not their first attempt to cross over the Republic of Macedonia. They were provided by medical and humanitarian aid by the Red Cross, whereby they were immediately transported to Greece. On the same day, a person originating from Morocco who had crossed the border on a cargo train, was brought to the camp. He was given medical aid due to a leg injury. The person did not possess documents, and according to his statements, he had not been in touch with smugglers, but tried to cross on his own. After the security checks, the person was transported to Greek territory.
Available facilities and conditions
The number of refugees in the camp amounts to 49, after the re-admission of 50 refugees in Greece over the past week. At present, most of the refugees in the camp originate from Morocco and Algeria. Among them there are 3 women and 13 children, 7 of whom are unaccompanied juveniles aged 15 to 17, who have been assigned custodians with a decision of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy.
Due to the relocation of the refugees to Greece, the educational activities for the children conducted by NGOs have been canceled.
The police have intensified the security measures in the camp. Each of the employees is bound to present an identity card and a pass in order to be admitted to the camp. According to unknown criteria, the police selectively (does not) prevent new groups of refugees arriving to the camp from entering it. In these past few days, increased presence of refugees was observed around the camp, which were not admitted. A group of 20 refugees that were not allowed to get in lit a fire in the vicinity of the camp, in order to get warm.
In 14.02.2017, 11 refugees arrived to the camp, who were allowed to briefly stay in order to get food, clothes and first aid. They were not allowed to stay longer than that.
There are no asylum seekers among the refugees who are accommodated in the camp at present.
The situation at the Shelter Centers in the Republic of Macedonia
The number of refugees in the Shelter Centers is not available.
In its bulletin, the Ministry of Interior registered a single criminal-legal event related to migrant-smuggling. The event took place on 12.02.2017, after midnight, when police officers attempted to stop a vehicle on the motorway in the vicinity of Demir Kapija to Negotino. The driver took a turn on a side-road, losing control of the vehicle that went off the road and then he fled the scene. 11 refugees were discovered in the vehicle and in its vicinity, 8 of whom were from Bangladesh and one from Syria, Iraq and Pakistan each. After the check-up, it was found that on the previous day, the vehicle was stopped during a routine control procedure, whereby the person who was driving it and his companion were identified. The police proceeded to take measures to identify the perpetrators, while the refugees were taken to SC Negotivo, in anticipation of further action.
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.