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Sun Oct 17, 2021, 07:10 PM

Europe's Violent Shadow Army Unmasked

Europe's Violent Shadow Army Unmasked
Mysterious men wearing balaclavas are beating up refugees at the external EU border or abandoning them at sea. Months of reporting now reveals who is behind the operations.

By Giorgos Christides, Bashar Deeb, Klaas van Dijken, Alexander Epp, Steffen Lüdke, Andrei Popoviciu, Lamia Šabić, Jack Sapoch, Phevos Simeonidis und Nicole Vögele
07.10.2021, 16.44 Uhr

(Der Spiegel) You can hear the blows before you can see them. The noise of blunt objects striking arms, legs and backs filters through the thick shrubbery on the border between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. People screaming in pain, gasping and whimpering.

Powerful men in dark uniforms are standing on the Croatian side of the border on this hot June day. They are battering Afghans and Pakistanis who have come to Europe to apply for asylum.

All of the men are wearing balaclavas; one of them has also donned black sunglasses. Their uniforms bear no insignia to ensure that they are completely unrecognizable. They are completely unaware that just a few meters away, hiding behind just a couple of bushes and trees, two reporters are filming their every move.

The videos document how these masked men chase 22 refugees out of the European Union, forcing them back into Bosnia-Herzegovina. One of the masked men swings again and again with his club, aiming at the legs of the migrants and making them stumble into the chest-deep border river. He then raises his arm in a threatening gesture and yells: "Go! Go to Bosnia!"

Human rights experts refer to such operations as pushbacks, and they are illegal, violating both EU law and the Geneva Refugee Convention. The deportation of migrants must not put them in danger and once they have reached European territory, they must be given the opportunity to apply for asylum. And beating defenseless people is prohibited anyway. ...................(more)


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Reply Europe's Violent Shadow Army Unmasked (Original post)
marmar Oct 17 OP
paleotn Oct 17 #1

Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Oct 17, 2021, 07:37 PM

1. As a general rule...

if you have to hide your identity while doing it, you probably shouldn't be doing it.

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