Corruption alleged as asylum-seekers stuck on Serbia – Bulgaria border

Asylum-seekers, volunteers, and local groups have told Human Rights Watch (HRW) the process for registration of asylum-seekers awaiting registration by Serbia before onward travel towards Western Europe is undermined by corruption.

A dispatch by HRW Eastern Europe and Western Balkanks researcher Lydia Gall on December 7 gave an account of visiting a group of hundreds of men from Afghanistan stuck in the small border town of Dimitrovgrad near the Serbia-Bulgaria border.

The dispatch quoted one of the men, identified as Ahmed (21), as saying, “I have been here for five days already, outside and without a roof over my head. I can’t sleep, it’s too cold, and I have to be awake in case they [police] call my number.”

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(Two Afghan asylum seekers sleeping on the ground outside a registration camp in Dimitrovgrad, Serbia, November 30 2015. Photo: © 2015 Lydia Gall/Human Rights Watch)