NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has claimed that 90 per cent of young migrants between the ages of 15 and 25 have been abused by border guards and that Bulgarian guards are particularly violent.
The NGO, who previously operated one of the largest migrant rescue vessels off the Libyan coast ferrying migrants from North Africa to Italy, says that European Union (EU) border guards along the Balkan route have become increasingly abusive. According to MSF, migrants say that Bulgarian guards have subjected them to beatings, pepper spray, and set dogs on them, Der Standard reports.
“Many of the victims were young, teenagers and their faces were bloodstained,” an Afghan migrant told the NGO.
The NGO also claimed that it is very rare for the border guards to be prosecuted for abuse, though in Hungary, following an investigation, two border guards were found guilty of abusing their power.
Since 2015, there have been many violent clashes along various borders, often started by migrants themselves. In the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa, migrants have become increasingly violent, according to Spanish State Secretary for Security José Antonio Nieto.
In August of this year, 1,000 migrants armed with makeshift weapons stormed the border fence at Ceuta injuring three Spanish policemen.
Last year along the border of Greece and Macedonia, the Macedonian government claimed that it was forced to use tear gas and other tactics to counter a mob of 3,000 violent migrants who were trying to tear down the border fence and attack guards with rocks.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 24, 2016
The violence stemmed from the now-defunct makeshift camp at Idomeni in northern Greece in which many pro-migrant activists were trying to help migrants storm the border. In one incident, pro-migrant activists handed out incorrect maps of the border area leading to several people dying after trying to cross a nearby river.