The organization has released a video recorded inside the Principovac camp, located on the border between Serbia and Croatia, which shows the dire conditions that the people living there endure.
Day after day, thousands of people are forced to leave their countries of origin due to multiple causes, such as fleeing armed conflicts, escaping from authoritarian governments, or leaving behind situations of violence, discrimination, or poverty, among many others.
These people make the always difficult decision to leave their homes with the hope of finding refuge where fundamental human rights and peace are respected in order to build a better future. However, the majority encounters a harsh reality: the impossibility of accessing legal and safe routes that guarantee their right to migrate.
During their transit, many people seeking a better future in Europe are forced to live in the so-called refugee camps that have been built to contain migration flows. Thus, the perverse European model of border fortification has given rise to spaces that can well be considered as prisons for refugees.
The European Union (EU), as part of this containment strategy, finances with public funds the construction and maintenance of these facilities, where thousands of people gather in conditions of absolute precariousness.
One of these places, an icon of Fortress Europe, is the refugee camp in Principovac, in Sid (Serbia), very close to the border with Croatia. At the end of 2022, the inhabitants of the camp began a strike to denounce the dire conditions they are subjected to. This is also reported by the entity No Name Kitchen, which has been working for over six years to support people in transit who suffer the violent consequences of border policies designed in the EU offices.
The complaints about the deplorable situation at the Principovac camp reached the No Name Kitchen team operating in northern Serbia. The strike by the people living there shed some light on a reality full of darkness and violence, sponsored by the EU. "The protest broke a false balance that existed between violence and silence towards this violence," the organization stated in a statement.
In addition, a video recorded inside the camp by a person outside the organization shows in all its rawness the terrible conditions that the residents of Principovac have to endure.
"The differences compared to a prison are invisible," verbalize the testimonies collected in the video, which reveal the inhumane conditions of the camp. The images speak for themselves. Very low-quality food in ridiculous quantities, nonexistent medical attention, poor hygiene conditions, as well as the psychological violence exercised by the people who hold authority in the camp are just some of the penalties that the people who live there suffer daily.
As an example, and as proof of the lack of respect for the people who reside in the camp and their cultures, some witnesses explain that the people guarding the facility distributed pork to eat, despite being fully aware that the majority of the people living there are Muslim.
In fact, they add, this fact was one of the triggers for the strike. In addition, several people are convinced that the food offered at the camp hides some kind of tranquilizer with the purpose of sedating them.
"The feeling we have is of punishment, without any apparent reason or justification," express the residents of the Principovac camp. An unjustified punitive treatment, remember from No Name Kitchen, which is directly financed by the EU with public funds and which people who have only fled from countries in war, conflict, or authoritarian governments have to endure.