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Natalija Miletic

Berlin, Germany
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About Natalija
Working in print, radio, TV and online as author, reporter, researcher, translator and fixer in Germany and Ex-Yugoslavia. Currently a freelancer for numerous German and Balkan media.
Bosnian German Greek
Audio package (Radio / Podcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast) Vox Pop
Politics Current Affairs Arts & Books

In Iran, Afghan refugees tell of dreams of a better life

20 Apr 2023  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the plight of Afghan refugees in Iran, many of whom lack basic human rights and live without proper documentation. It follows the story of Jawad Jafari and his wife Masoomi, Afghan refugees born in Iran, who faced discrimination and eventually fled to Germany. Human Rights Watch has accused Iran of maltreating Afghan refugees, including deportations and physical abuse. The article also touches on the EU's tightening asylum policies and the controversial recruitment of Afghan refugees by Iran to fight in Syria. In Germany, Afghan refugees like Jawad, Masoomi, and others continue to face uncertainty as they await decisions on their asylum applications, while dreaming of a life with human rights and opportunities.

LaGeSo: A Modern Ellis Island for Refugees in Germany

05 Apr 2023  |  Time
The article discusses the role of the Berlin Department of Health and Social Services (LaGeSo) in the lives of refugees arriving in Germany from the Middle East. LaGeSo is where refugees register and receive basic entitlements such as health care, housing, and pocket money. TIME contract photographer Yuri Kozyrev documented the refugees' journey and their final relief upon reaching Germany. The article highlights the welcoming attitude of Berliners and the efforts of volunteer organizations like Volkssolidarität. It also touches on the challenges of integrating refugees into German society, including language and cultural education. The article compares the historical significance of Ellis Island to LaGeSo as symbols of hope and welcome for refugees.

Plagiarism Scandals Shake Serbian Politics and Academia

05 Apr 2023  |  LSE Blogs
The article by Natalija Miletic discusses a series of plagiarism scandals involving Serbian politicians and academics. Three politicians, including the Minister of Interior, the Mayor of Belgrade, and the President of New Belgrade, have been accused of plagiarizing their PhD dissertations. The Rector and owner of Megatrend University, Mr. Mica Jovanovic, was also implicated for falsely claiming a PhD from the London School of Economics. The scandals have highlighted issues with the integrity of Serbian higher education and the lack of institutional response to academic malpractice. Despite the allegations, there has been no significant action from universities or political parties to address the issue transparently. The article compares the situation to plagiarism cases in other countries, noting the swift responses elsewhere, and calls for a more robust institutional and political reaction in Serbia.

Afghan asylum seekers in Germany face deportation

01 Apr 2023  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the plight of Afghan asylum seekers in Germany, focusing on the stories of Zabihullah Karimi and Naser Hashemi, who are facing deportation back to Afghanistan despite the life-threatening conditions there. Germany has tightened its asylum regulations and is expediting deportations, with plans to return 11,900 Afghans. The article highlights the record high civilian casualties in Afghanistan and the criticism from human rights groups and political parties like Die Linke against the German government's policies. It also touches on the EU's Dublin rules and the conditions of refugees in Greece, with advocacy by PRO ASYL for better treatment of refugees.

Afghan refugees stranded in Serbia

05 Jan 2023  |  Al Jazeera
The article describes the harsh conditions faced by refugees and migrants in Belgrade, Serbia, during winter. Many are from Afghanistan and Pakistan, fleeing conflict and threats from groups like the Taliban. They live in abandoned buildings, struggling with cold weather, illness, and smoke inhalation from fires used for warmth. The UNHCR provides some assistance, but the Serbian government has banned NGOs from distributing food, blankets, and clothing to those outside official camps. The refugees aim to reach other EU countries, but closed borders and the Dublin Regulation, which allows deportation back to the first EU country they registered in, hinder their movement. Human rights organizations have reported mistreatment of refugees by Bulgarian authorities, and the Serbian government's response to the crisis is criticized as inadequate.

Concern over EU plans to send refugees back to Greece

11 May 2017  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the living conditions of refugees and migrants, primarily Afghans, in Elliniko, Greece. They are housed in a disused airport hangar and abandoned Olympic sports stadiums on the outskirts of Athens. The piece highlights the lack of control these individuals feel over their lives, leading to increased anger and frustration. Lucy Carrigan from the International Rescue Committee describes the situation as dehumanizing, with people who had various professions before fleeing war now feeling reduced to mere numbers. The Greek Ministry of Migration declined to comment on the conditions in the camps.

Stranded and sick, refugees endure harsh Serbian winter

11 May 2017  |  Al Jazeera
The article reports on the situation at the Serbian-Hungarian border where many refugees and migrants had set up an impromptu camp in hopes of entering the European Union. Serbian police conducted a raid, dismantling tents and transporting those who had not registered to a reception centre. Despite the raid, some asylum-seekers remain in the area, seeking refuge in forests and abandoned buildings. The UNHCR notes over 6,400 individuals are stranded in Serbia due to European border closures. The Serbian government assures shelter availability, especially in harsh winter conditions. Conversely, Hungary's Homeland Security adviser criticizes NGOs for spreading misinformation about border openness and announces Hungary's plan to detain asylum-seekers during application processing.

These Are The Criminals and Corporations That Have Gotten Really, Really Rich Off The Refugee Crisis

11 May 2017  |  www.huffpost.com
The article discusses the severe refugee crisis that has affected various continents, influenced political elections, and contributed to the rise of nativism. It highlights the darker side of the crisis by focusing on individuals and entities that have capitalized on the resulting global instability and human suffering. The piece delves into the lives of various people, including CEOs, criminal leaders, bureaucrats, and opportunists, who have managed to turn a profit from the dire situations faced by refugees. The article aims to shed light on the exploitation and profiteering that occur amidst one of the most significant humanitarian challenges of our time.



TIME's Best Photojournalism of 2015

06 Nov 2016  |  Time
The article reflects on the work of TIME photographers who covered major global events in 2015. These events included the conflict in Ukraine, the earthquake in Nepal, diamond mining in Congo, and the terror attacks in Paris. James Nachtwey, a contract photographer, is mentioned for his coverage of humanitarian crises across Malaysia, Vietnam, Nepal, and Europe. Newsha Tavakolian is noted for her work in Iran, capturing the country's situation post-nuclear deal. Additionally, the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe, which saw over 900,000 people seeking better lives, was documented by six TIME photographers. The article emphasizes the significant role of photography in documenting these critical moments of history.

How one Afghan went from working on an Academy Award-nominated film to a crowded refugee camp in Berlin

06 Nov 2016  |  Al Jazeera
Afghan filmmaker Masih Tajzai's life took a drastic turn from working on the Academy Award-nominated film 'Buzkashi Boys' to becoming a refugee in a crowded camp in Berlin. While filming a documentary in Kunar province, Afghanistan, his crew was targeted by the Taliban, prompting him to flee to Kabul and eventually to Germany, fearing for his life. Masih had previously fled Afghanistan with his family in 1997 due to Taliban attacks, returning in 2001 with hopes of a safer country post-US invasion. He pursued a career in filmmaking, working with international crews and local agencies. However, his work made him a target for the Taliban and ISIL, leading to his decision to leave Afghanistan. Masih's journey to Germany was perilous, involving treks through mountains, arrests by Turkish soldiers, and a dangerous boat trip across the Mediterranean. Now in Berlin, he faces uncertainty as the EU considers deporting Afghan asylum seekers back to Afghanistan, despite ongoing conflict and civilian casualties.

Al Jazeera English: The rise of Germany's anti-refugee right - translator, fixer

Casualties on the rise in Afghan conflict, but EU plans to deport 80,000 refugees back to the wartorn country.

06 Nov 2016  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the European Union's plan to deport 80,000 Afghan refugees back to Afghanistan, a country still embroiled in conflict. It highlights the story of Niloofer, a 17-year-old Afghan refugee in Germany, who fears for her life if forced to return. The Afghan government opposes the EU's plan, but President Ashraf Ghani has urged Afghans to stay in their country. The article notes the record high civilian casualties in Afghanistan and the dangers faced by those who are associated with foreign entities. Human Rights Watch expresses concern over the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan. The article also touches on the political debate in Germany, where right-wing parties like the Alternative for Germany (AfD) are pushing for the deportation of refugees. The story underscores the personal tragedies and fears of refugees like Niloofer and Mohamed, an IT specialist, who both face grave risks if returned to Afghanistan.

Young male refugees in Germany: Protect or pose a threat?

01 Jun 2016  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the situation of young male refugees from Syria, focusing on the dilemma they face between military conscription and seeking asylum in Europe. It highlights the story of Adham, a Syrian marine engineer who fled to avoid being drafted into the army. The article also covers the political rhetoric in Europe, where right-wing parties like Germany's AfD question the legitimacy of granting asylum to young male refugees, suggesting they should stay and fight for their country. The piece touches on the broader European and North American perspectives on this issue, including comments from politicians like Czech President Milos Zeman and former US President Donald Trump. The article also addresses the challenges faced by conscientious objectors like Adham and Samer, who reject the notion of spilling more blood in a war that does not align with their values.

Whose is May Day

21 Mar 2016  |  Nedeljnik Vreme
In Berlin, May Day is marked by various political demonstrations, with left-wing and anarchist groups such as the Black Block advocating against state repression and for the abolition of the state, while also fighting fascism. The NPD, a neonazi party, has announced three marches in Berlin, aiming to present themselves as a non-violent, serious political organization. The left-wing parties and unions focus on workers' rights and social issues, particularly in the context of the global economic crisis. The article suggests that while the left views the political system as an enemy, the right is attempting to change the system from within by infiltrating societal roles. The ultimate victory would be for the German state to declare the death of fascism, similar to the official declaration of Hitler's death on May Day 1945.

Chancellor Angela Merkel: TIME's Person of the Year 2015

09 Dec 2015  |  Time
The article profiles Angela Merkel, detailing her rise from a childhood in East Germany to becoming the Chancellor of Germany and a pivotal figure in European politics. It discusses her handling of the euro crisis, her methodical and cautious approach to governance, and her recent decision to open Germany's doors to refugees, which has been both praised and criticized. Merkel's leadership style, which has been shaped by her upbringing in East Germany and her scientific background, is characterized by patience, a preference for consensus, and a dislike for walls, both literal and metaphorical. The refugee crisis has tested the resilience of the European Union and raised questions about the integration of immigrants and the rise of right-wing parties. Merkel's legacy is tied to her response to the crisis, which is rooted in a rejection of fear and an embrace of tolerance as central to Europe's future.

Refugees celebrate Persian New Year in Berlin church

23 Sep 2015  |  Al Jazeera
The local parish at Herz Jesu church in Berlin organized a special celebration for the Persian New Year, aimed at bringing together the local community and refugees. Katharina Link, a member of the parish, expressed the importance of such events for community cohesion. Sepher, an Iranian refugee, highlighted the role these celebrations play in helping Germans understand refugee cultures and promoting peaceful coexistence. Ghezal, a young Afghan refugee, emphasized the significance of sharing traditions to restore a sense of humanity among refugees. The event reflects efforts to integrate cultural practices and foster mutual understanding between locals and refugees.

Crowd gathered under Brandenburg Gate in Berlin called for removal of Syrian president.

23 Sep 2015  |  Al Jazeera
In Berlin, Germany, approximately 500 Syrian activists and refugees gathered to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Syrian uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. The protest took place under the Brandenburg Gate, with calls for Assad's removal and chants against Russian President Vladimir Putin. The demonstrators then marched to the Russian embassy, highlighting the connection between the refugee crisis and the actions of Assad and Putin. Loay Alhamedi, a Syrian activist, emphasized the ongoing commitment to the revolution and criticized the transformation of the initially peaceful protests into an armed conflict. Despite a recent ceasefire in Syria, Alhamedi and political analyst Sharif Nashashibi expressed skepticism about its durability without diplomatic progress, particularly regarding Assad's presidency. Renewed protests in Syria indicate a persistent desire for regime change among the Syrian people.

Al Jazeera Balkans: Refugees in Heidenau, East Germany - fixer, translator

Al Jazeera Balkans: Refugees in Dresden, East Germany - fixer, translator

Al Jazeera Balkans: Refugees in Berlin, Germany - fixer, translator

Where have all the hackers gone

19 Dec 2014  |  Peščanik
The website Peščanik was taken down in June following the publication of an analysis by three scientists presenting evidence of plagiarism by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Nebojša Stefanović. Despite claims by Stefanović and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić that they were working with international agencies to track down the attackers, the British and Canadian police confirmed they had received no such requests from Serbian police. The Serbian Criminal Police also refused to disclose which foreign services were contacted, citing potential harm to the investigation. Public statements by Stefanović and the head of the High-Tech Crime Unit, Saša Živanović, naming the countries from which the attacks originated, contradict the official stance and could potentially jeopardize the investigation.

Belgrade Mayor Sinisa Mali Accused of Plagiarism

08 Sep 2014  |  Balkanist
Belgrade mayor Sinisa Mali has been accused of plagiarizing his doctoral dissertation, with parts lifted from Wikipedia and other sources. The German publishing house De Gruyter confirmed that an article Mali co-authored, which was part of his dissertation, is plagiarized. This revelation comes after criticism of Mali's handling of the Balkans' catastrophic flooding in May, where he advised residents to stay in their homes, resulting in deaths. The Faculty of Organisational Sciences (FON) and the University of Belgrade have been accused of trying to cover up the plagiarism. The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) is involved in reviewing the case. Questions have been raised about the integrity of Mali's PhD defense process, including potential conflicts of interest. The article suggests that Mali should resign and that the University of Belgrade should revoke his doctoral title, while those who protected him should face consequences.

Potemkin Universities – Megatrend

13 Jun 2014  |  www.dw.com
Megatrend University in Belgrade is embroiled in controversy following accusations that the doctoral dissertation of the current Minister of Internal Affairs, Nebojša Stefanović, which he defended at the university, was rife with plagiarism. Stefanović denied the allegations, and the university's Senate announced that a committee found no basis to challenge the originality of his dissertation. Attention also turned to Stefanović's dissertation mentor, Megatrend's rector Mića Jovanović, after the Minister of Education Srđan Verbić called for his resignation upon discovering that Jovanović's supposed doctoral thesis at the London School of Economics and Political Science did not exist. Investigations revealed that Megatrend's claimed international branches in London, Vienna, and Japan were not accredited and did not exist as legitimate educational institutions. The Ministry of Education of Serbia and the Commission for Accreditation and Quality Assurance of Serbia were involved in the accreditation controversy, with former Minister Žarko Obradović, also a professor and vice-rector at Megatrend, being implicated.

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