A racist act of assault took place last evening (Wednesday, 02.08.2017) against a refugee in Sombor. A young men got badly injured by a group of young local men armed with knifes and a metal punch. I.a. he got hit with a knife close to his eye. At the moment he is in ambulant treatment. Doctors affirm that he will convalesce.
The incident happened when around seven drunken Serbians went on the Sombor Transit center‘s ground (camp’s area is surrounded by a knee-high fence) where outside of the camp’s building at the edge of the terrain some single men are sleeping in big tents.
The camp’s director answered the people who announced the incident to the center’s administration that he is responsible for accommodation and food in the camp but nothing else.
There were already some racist incidents happening to people sleeping outside of the camp‘s terrain like damage of tents, theft of valuables or other assaults by apparently mostly drunken locals. People guess that this are impulsive actions done by people coming out of a pub just a few meters away from the camp. Still this especially cruel and violent physical attack is a new level of force against migrants and xenophobia in Serbia. Besides since several weeks migrants staying in Sombor detail about a small mass of Serbian people protesting every evening close to the TC against the camp and migrants in Serbia generally. Usually accompanied by police, sometimes by journalists they show banners and do not let people supposed being migrants pass the street towards the city center by verbal abusing and aggressive gesture and even pushing.
Many people who stay in Sombor claim that they do not feel safe anymore.
The Transit center (TC) in Sombor (border triangle between Serbia, Croatia and Hungary) was opened in November 2016, according to UNHCR currently accommodates around 150 people, mostly families, and is located outside of the city center in between of fields and wood. There are also quite of lot of people staying without registration outside in the fields in the surrounding mostly because they are afraid of transfers to the camp in Presovo.