Iranian Bahman is one 3,500 migrants staying in Bosnia's north-western town Bihac. For local authorities, he is only a number but to Bahman himself this experience is a story of his life. The Iranian escaped injustice, disrespect and fear we was going through in Iran, not even guessing he would find himself in even more difficult situation.
“I listened about humanity in Europe but what I've experienced so far... human rights don't exist here. It is the same everywhere, Croatia, Slovenia...the way they act, how they beat, take money, smash our phones. I thought I would feel safe in these countries. I've seen horrible things on my way. People were dying, we were missing food, water, we were attacked by animals,” Bahman told N1.
The Iranian migrant is accommodated in one of the shelters in the north-west of Bosnia. Along with hundreds of thousands of migrants, he entered the country hoping to cross the border with Croatia and then go further to western Europe.
But, Croatia did not let them in, as the larger part of the migrants are illegal and posses no valid documents proving their origin.
The migrants call their illegal attempts to cross uncontrolled parts of the border “the game” because a chance to succeed and survive is fifty-fifty.
Bahman said that one day he would write a book about this experience.
As he speaks, two migrants are carrying the third one whose feet got frozen in a wood. “The game” did not succeed...
Bosnia's authorities have been struggling with the migrant issue for the whole past year, after dozens of thousands of foreign nationals, coming from various Asian and African countries took to Bosnia, a route to their final destinations in European Union.
Due to weather conditions, the influx of migrants to Bosnia significantly decreased over the winter season and a little more than 1,000 were registered after entering the country since the beginning of the year. Some 4,000 migrants are currently accommodated in Bosnia, in seven shelters – of which most are located in the northwestern Una-Sana region, the region bordering Croatia.
Security Minister Dragan Mektic said Monday in a meeting of the operation group for the migrant issue that a new wave of migrants is possible in spring this year.