NGO Accuses Croatia of Escalation of Police Violence Against Migrants

By 18 December 2019

ZAGREB, December 18, 2019 - The Centre for Peace Studies said on Wednesday that police violence against migrants passing through Croatia on their way towards other EU member-states had escalated this year, and accused the authorities of doing nothing to prosecute unlawful actions by police.

In this context the NGO pointed out the latest testimony of a police officer who accused the police leadership and some officers of resorting to illegal methods so as to avoid the registration of evidence of unlawful push-backs of migrants. He also cited cases of arbitrary detention in garages, separation of family members and unlawful use of dogs to force migrants back to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The NGO says in its press release issued on 18 December, which is observed as International Day of Migrants, that their rights are being violated along the border on a daily basis as well as in other parts of Croatia's territory.

Beatings, the use of electroshocks, branding, and shooting at migrants are just some of the methods which the police use to deter migrants, according to this nongovernmental association.

The Centre particularly criticised the Croatian authorities for being persistent in non-prosecuting reported violence.

It says that some other associations and international institutions as well as local and foreign media have warned about such conduct of police officers when fending off border crossers.

In this context it mentioned Border Violence Monitoring Network, Are You Syrious, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the UN speical rapporteur for human rights of migrants, the Council of Europe, the Croatian human rights ombudswoman and some members of the European Parliament.

More news about the migrant crisis can be found in the Politics section.