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Belgrade, September 18, 2023– In the RTS show called Uhvati dan, the guest was Radoš Đurović from Asylum Protection Center.
Đurović explains that due to pushbacks from the Hungarian side, enormous smuggling is also increasing, and in order for all these people to continue further, they use the services of smugglers which are offered them with the high cost, and these groups are getting empowered so much that in the middle of the last year, and intensively this year, conflicts are occuring between them. Those conflicts have existed before, he says, but these conflicts now involve the use of firearms.
He also points out that migrant criminals are only the lowest layer in those complex structures of smuggling, and they are both regional and national. Those groups are fighting for territory. In those cases, there is an escalation, especially in the border areas, in the north, and according to our data, over 10 people died, migrant criminals, they are directed at each other, so our citizens are not in the focus of their attention, as Đurović says.
He also emphasizes that smuggling has existed since 2015 and that it is connected with the Hungarian fence, or wall. When the Hungarians built a wall towards Serbia, along the entire length of our border, and since they have started returning those people who want to seek asylum in their country, back to Serbia, those refugees need someone to transfer them further, and then smuggling is occuring and strengthening, resulting in its peak at the end of the last year and this year, says Đurović.
Đurović states that the legal procedures, that is, the readmission agreement that our country has with Hungary, as well as the EU, are not respected at all. The Hungarians simply push back people with the use of force into the Serbian territory.
He believes that this kind of behavior is something unacceptable for Europe in the 21st century.
Đurović explains that smugglers make huge money, because one person can be smuggled unlimitedly, unlike drugs or weapons.
Sometimes our people are involved in this smuggling as drivers, logistics or they provide accommodation. The inclusion of our citizens due to the amount of money they can get, creates an additional problem for our institutions and law enforcement, Đurović believes.
He also emphasizes that the migration border can never be controlled from only one side, which is the golden rule. There must be cross-border cooperation and solidarity, respecting procedures.
What shows all the illusion of the Hungarian fence, which is being promoted as a successful concept throughout Europe, is that not a single person has been stuck here. Sooner or later, with the help of smugglers, they all end up somewhere further, says Đurović.
Đurović states that if accommodation capacity is provided for people, it means that we took them away from the hands of smugglers and established control. He adds that without this, there is no control on the field.
He also emphasizes that refugees want to be visible and registered, because everyone wants to be protected, as Asylum Protection Center can see on the field.
There is an alarming situation in the south in the form of smuggler violence, says Đurović. As he explains, armed criminal gangs intercept refugees going on foot and force them to comply. Anyone who resists them is exposed to violence, and there are even minors among them.
The state must react and allocate funds for this issue, increase capacities, as well as seek a solution in talks with the EU, Đurović believes.
Complete radio show talk available here: