Joint statement of the Human Rights House Belgrade and Human Rights House Zagreb on the closing of the borders and the refugee crisis
Human Rights House Belgrade and Human Rights House Zagreb invite Serbian and Croatian governments to urgently eliminate all restrictive measures undermining the freedom of movement of the people and the goods, as well as to establish a normal communication in order to solve all problems throughopen dialogues. We invite all governments in Southeast and Eastern Europe to urgently establish cooperation measures and daily communication to jointly assist refugees.
Croatian-Serbian relations are still burdened by the unresolved issues from the past and the historical heritage of the war. Instead of solving those problems, the two governments only create new ones, acting irresponsibly and immaturely. At the same time, the media uses the situation to promote hatred and provoke new conflicts. Governments and other institutions in the region would have to cease mutual recriminations,the application of unilateral measures at the borders as well as the harsh words at the expense of neighbouring states and governments.
House of Human Rights in Belgrade and Zagreb remind the governments of Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia and other countries of Southeast and Eastern Europe that they must apply their regulations in accordance with the highest human rights standards and the ratified international conventions. The safeguard of human rights, including the rights of refugees, represents a fundamental value of each society and must not be the subject to any intentions used for political purposes. The European Union negotiates its measures to help the refugees from Syria and other war-affected countries. Regardless of all efforts, the countries of the region must accept them and assist all refugees, regardless of how many there are, as well as to allow them the freedom of movement and the safe path to Western Europe.
In a crisis situation, caused in the first place by the war in Syria, it is unacceptable that refugees are treated as illegal immigrants, as well as the application of the rules of the European Union and its Member States, which are completely unsuitable for the refugee crisis. For Europe, as a community of values and ideas, but also for every country on its continent, it is much more harmful all the wire fences, armed police and soldiers at the borders, then hundreds of thousands of refugees who fled from one of the most horrific and brutal wars in recent decades.
The House of Human Rights and Democracy in Belgrade: Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights – YUCOM; Belgrade Centre for Human Rights; Civic Initiatives; Policy Center; Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia
The House of Human Rights in Zagreb: B.a.B.e – Be Active Be Emancipated; Centre for Peace Studies; Documents – Centre for Dealing with the Past; Civic Committee for Human Rights; Association for Promotion of Equal Opportunities; Association for protection and promotion of mental health ‘Svitanje’