Why did you decide to start a hunger strike?
“You know, its a global issue, the issue of refugees, there are now 3800 refugees here in Serbia, most of them are in the parks and in the streets, most of them covering somewhere, and many of them they live in camps, they have applied for asylum and they are waiting. In a legal process that is initiated by the Hungarian government on daily bases they receive 15 people from Horgoš camp and 15 people from Kelebija. To the issue of entering is very much slow when looking at the huge number of refugees although there is tough security system in Bulgaria and over here at the Hungarian border as well.
Personally I think that there are certain powerful nations that have turned a blind eye towards them (the refugees), I think they are fleeing their responsibility because whenever there is a crisis there is the responsibility to come forward and address the challenge. The world is sliding towards intolerance, insecurity is on the rise, people are being divided even if the the issue is the same: there is the few ones who want to create chaos, and they are winning the war. They are just few ones, and we are billions. Humans. And if they succeed in creating ruptures, intolerance , hatred, it means that this planet will no more remain a beautiful place and a secure place and in that case we will not be in the position to give a beautiful and peaceful tomorrow for our children.
When I came to Belgrade and saw that the refugees are stuck here, waiting under the sun to pick up some , I asked myself , for how long it will remain like this? There have been many people there, sitting and discussing the situation. It was my first day and I got interested and gave my ideas for what we should do. I thought doing something together is the only way from which we could successfully deliver the message: by creating fences we will not achieve anything in Europe. Its a kind of escape. Why not to stop wars?why not to stop violence? By stopping wars and violence , you can successfully address this issue instead of creating new fences or buying someones loyalty in the sense of “Ok, dont let them enter to your territory” and taking money for that. Turkey and Bulgaria are also having a business with this.The refugee crisis has become an operative sector these days.
So our second objective was: to show to the world, what the real troubles of the refugees are, when they leave their countries of origin and come through the “jungles” walking for days and nights, what we actually go through. They are beaten, jailed, dogs are unleashed on them, their money is snatched, and they are ordered to go back by foot. So this is something , we feel, its totally out of the sight of the world. Because journalists can not go to the jungles , or they have no access, or they are not allowed, I don’t know what is the reason. So because of inaccessibility something was hidden from the eyes of the world.Personally I did not eat anything for 2 days and 2 nights when I was in Bulgaria, only a bottle of water was offered to me. I was not even allowed to go out for urination, I had to urinate inside the prison. Inside my home country I was considered by the security forces a criminal because I had spoken out against the policies of the state. But why a person should be treated like a criminal when he was fleeing violence and war? The third object is: they have to rewrite, rethink, refugee policies. Because by creating just fences you are dividing the beautiful world and this is not a solution.”
Did someone come from the official side to talk to you for negotiations?
“We were told that somebody would come tomorrow, but nobody knows who that man is and what kind of capacities he or she has. Until now we were only in contact with the serbian commissariat and they kept asking us , what is your plan, what is your next step? They just appeared for a few minutes and then left. Millions of dollars are creating fences and tightening security. So we can not just come and say “open the door”. This is not my uncles house. You know, I can not force anybody. I dont want any anger from a third country. When I am in a secure position, lets say I am settled somewhere, working as a journalist, then I am in the position that I can again take the hammer and start to criticize the policies . But given our position, we can just ask to have a second look at your policies. If the people could chose, they would not come this route. They would come by planes. What we need today is unity, solidarity , love and peace.”
The talk happened on 28th of July 2016.