Pushed Back at the Door

Denial of Access to Asylum in Eastern EU Member States

pushed_back Hungarian Helsinki Committee, 2017 | The most serious concerns regarding difficult access were a result of the often-used practice by authorities of indiscriminately pushing back migrants, among whom there are potential asylum-seekers. Various groups of asylum-seekers reported throughout the year that the Bulgarian border police, including the mixed patrols deployed for state border protection, pushed them back into the Turkish territory not only from the border line but also from inland border areas. The majority of received reports (80 percent) concerned the seizing of cash, valuables or even the food they carried without preparing a protocol upon the detention of asylum-seekers by the Bulgarian police authorities. There were individual reports about inappropriate treatment by the police: using rude language, setting personal belongings on fire and strip searches.