According to Bulgarian authorities 18 dead Afghans were found yesterday in an abandoned truck in the area of Sofia, near the village of Lokorsko. A child is also among the victims. In total more than 50 people were on board. Many of the survivors were taken care of in clinics. According to the Bulgarian Ministry of Health they are in a very bad condition. Some of them are in intensive care. The truck came from the Turkish-Bulgarian border and was probably on its way to the Bulgarian-Serbian border. According to the examinations of the dead bodies, the 18 people died as “a result of suffocation due to being squeezed and pushed into the hiding place of the truck.“
There is already a fence covering most parts of the Turkish-Bulgarian land border, which is almost 270 km long. Refugees have no possibilities to ask for asylum at Bulgarian border checkpoints, because they cannot legally enter the Bulgarian territory from Turkey. In the last years several people perished on the illegal routes to and through Bulgaria. Furthermore, Afghan nationals are a “subject to unfair and discriminatory treatment“ in Bulgaria, with very low asylum recognition rates, namely 10%.
Lately the EU-Commission decided on a pilot project, which will offer Bulgaria and Romania an “integrated package of mobile and stationary infrastructure, from cars to cameras and watchtowers to electronic surveillance,“ for their external borders, which is funded by the EU budget and national budgets“. But such inhumane politics will unfortunately not reduce these kind of deadly incidents. As already seen in the examples cases of the Spanish exclaves of Melilla and Ceuta, fences are not stopping people from crossing it. To the contrary, they will cause more likely more cases of death.