Praxis Watch

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Attacks on the Family Evicted from the Informal Settlement “Belvil”

After leaving the reception centre Hostel “Mimi” in Leskovac, a family that had earlier been evicted from the Belgrade informal settlement “Belvil” found accommodation in the abandoned building of a Working Association “Rasadnik” in Donje Stopanje, on the territory of Leskovac. They have been living in a constant fear for their safety ever since. They have been exposed to attacks from unknown persons who have been trying to force them out of the facility they live in temporarily by throwing stones and insulting them every night. The attack was reported to the Police who conducted an investigation, but no action has been taken.

It is impossible that no one can guarantee safety to this family with five underage children. The attackers and the motive can hardly remain unknown because Donje Stopanje has approximately 1,000 inhabitants and the attacks occur every night, as the family state.

With regard to this case, Praxis contacted the President of the Migrations and Permanent Solutions Council within the City Administration of Leskovac, who was in charge of accommodation and assistance to the families evicted from “Belvil”, and acquainted him with the critical situation and fears the family face every night. Upon Praxis insisting that the family be provided minimum safety conditions and that their physical and psychological integrity be protected, the President informed us that he would acquaint the Head of the Police Department in Leskovac so that at least one Police patrol would always be present during night in the place where this family currently lives. He also said that the Police patrol would be on duty over weekends as well, which suggests that the housing solution for the family is still uncertain.

None of the families evicted from “Belvil” that left the reception centre on 1 August 2012 have been taken care of yet, but they have to get along themselves.

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