Coalition For the Fight Against Hate Speech and Hate Crimes condemns the unworthy treatement of Refugees and Migrants in Bihać, requires the investigation and sanctioning of the use of force against migrants and refugees, as well as the immediate freedom of movement within the territory of BiH for refugees and migrants, guaranteed by the Constitution and the laws of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition, we require the provision of adequate conditions for all migrants and refugees and the urgent termination of the placement of people, especially minors, on the Vučjak site.
The practice of the the Una-Sana Canton MOI, reported by refugees, migrants and charitable workers, is based on the deprivation of freedom of movement and, according to the refugees and migrants, the transfer to the inconvenient location of Vučjak, preventing the movement of people from one canton to another reinforced police controls, and the reported “deportations” from the cantons is an anti-constitutional practice. A written decision by the Government of the Federation of BiH that could authorize such practice has not been published to date. The right to freedom of movement of migrants and refugees on the territory of BiH is ensured by the Law on Asylum of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.
In addition, the UN assessed Vučjak as a place inadequate for life. Toxic evaporation, proximity to minefields, and the lack of basic living conditions make this space unfit to accommodate people, especially for the accommodation of minors. In opposition to the advice of charity workers and the will of the international community, the authorities of the Una-Sana Canton relocated males, including minors. During relocation, cases of physical violence, beating and other forms of inhuman and degrading treatment have been reported. On this occasion, more juveniles without custody were transferred forcibly, which are are in a state of special vulnerability.
We note that all persons who are in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina have the right to freedom of movement within the territory of BiH, unless there is evidence that they have violated criminal laws that can limit their freedom of movement. In addition, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a signatory to international conventions on the prohibition of torture, and according to conventions and according to its own criminal legislation, is obliged to ensure dignified treatment for all persons on its territory, and to prevent and prosecute any violence against refugees and migrants, especially violence committed by officials.
The Coalition gathers ten NGOs that have been active for years in promoting and protecting human rights:
Association for Democratic Initiatives
Youth Centre KVART
Civil Rights Defenders
Foundation Mediacentar Sarajevo
Foundation Truth, Justice, Reconciliation
Youth Initiative for Human Rights Bosnia and Herzegovina
Youth News Association in BiH (ONA)
Sarajevo Open Centre
Association BH Journalists
Press Council BiH
Tuzla Open Centre