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Selective measures such are decision of EU to close the borders for all but refugees from war torn countries – Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and newest decision of several EU member states to close borders for refugees coming from Afghanistan, are breaking international legislation on human rights and refugee rights. Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia have introduced new identification and registration measures that can contribute to selective and illegal restriction of right of individual refugees seeking international protection. Those measures go against international law and against responsibilities taken by those countries as members of Council of Europe to implement non-discriminatory control of immigration. Introducing nationality as criterion for seeking asylum is discriminatory and it endangers right of individual to seek asylum as guaranteed by Universal declaration of Human Rights. This basic document in domain of Human Rights is regulating individual right to seek and fulfil the right of asylum in other countries. Particularly worrying is behaviour of certain EU member states such is Austria which has introduced quotas, that European Commission has found contravening International and European Law; or Bulgaria and Hungary from which there are more frequent reports on abuse and illegal treatment of refugees.

Even without such measures, situation is difficult enough and degrading as it is for people that are forced to seek international protection as refugees. Inhumane treatment and inadequate conditions are particularly alarming in regards to children, women, elderly and persons with disabilities, who are lately in larger numbers spending nights without any shelter while waiting on border crossings.

That is why, as citizens and human rights activists, we remind on responsibility of all to protect those that are most endangered. We call upon European Commission and Governments of EU member states to act urgently and abolish selective and discriminatory measures and create conditions for full implementation of International Humanitarian Law.

Having in mind process of negotiation for membership in EU, we call upon Government of Montenegro and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integrations, to express critical attitude towards such dealing with refugees and to demand full implementation of International Humanitarian Law in all communication with EU member states and with European Commission.

We believe that also as citizens we can all contribute to resolving the problem, specially having in mind experience from nineties, thus we call upon Red Cross to initiate action which would help to mitigate inhuman conditions on border crossing and village of Idomeni and other critical points.

Ajša Hadžibegović
President of Management Board
NF „Civic Alliance”