Monday, 12 November 2018

NGO Claims It Has Been Banned from Asylum Seekers Centres

ZAGREB, November 12, 2018 - The Centre for Peace Studies (CMS) said on Monday that as of September the Interior Ministry was preventing it from entering the reception centres for asylum seekers in Zagreb and Kutina, refusing to extend a cooperation agreement with CMS, which has been working in such centres for 15 years and pointing to the ministry's unlawful conduct.

The ministry's explanation is that there is no space for CMS activities and that enough organisations are active in the reception centres, representatives of CMS and the Human Rights House told reporters.

CMS said other organisations were not available to all refugees, notably those in the Kutina centre. This is a "political decision aimed at intimidating, marginalising and distancing organisations which are publicly speaking about problems faced by refugees and the unlawful treatment of refugees by Interior Ministry staff," said Julija Kranjec of CMS.

"A few months ago, the ministry asked in court that the Are You Syrious? organisation be banned and now it's trying to obstruct the work of CMS and organisations which are warning about human rights violations," said Ivan Novosel of the Human Rights House.

CMS and Are You Syrious? are pushing for prosecuting those responsible in last year's death of Afghan migrant girl Madine Hosseini, whose case is currently before the European Court of Human Rights, said Kranjec.

CMS has been supporting refugees for 15 years, facilitating the integration of people in the reception centres and thus far over 1,000 asylum seekers have participated in CMS activities.

Its representatives said CMS was participating in the Interior Ministry's Integration Action Plan and its implementation was now in question.

The plan's education measures are necessary to build a better society and prevent hysteria and fact manipulation against migrants, said Kranjec.

Croatia, the Interior Ministry and the police have the duty to respect the rights of human rights organisations and defenders, added Novosel.

CMS demands that the ministry extend the agreement allowing them access to the reception centres.

For more on migrant crisis, click here.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Authorities Must Prosecute People Spreading Fake News about Migrants

ZAGREB, November 10, 2018 - Human rights ombudswoman Lora Vidović said on Saturday the authorities must do much more to prosecute those spreading fake news about migrants and to create a feeling of security by giving citizens true and objective information.

"Fake news about violence committed by migrants and their conflicts with the local population show how important it is to communicate with citizens in a timely manner. I believe the authorities have missed many opportunities there," Vidović said on Croatian Radio.

She said the security of citizens was very important and wondered in whose interest it was "to spread fear in the media without any arguments, in which some politicians are participating too." "The information in question can often be checked and once one checks it, one can see that it's not true," she added.

Speaking of the Global Compact for Migration, Vidović said the document was about migrants and not refugees, that it was not legally binding or signed, and that it gave countries political commitments.

"In terms of human rights, it is a very good and welcome document... which answers many questions and can help a lot in protecting migrants' rights, while at the same time not encroaching on any country's sovereignty. It recognises and confirms the countries' right to regulate this matter themselves, even what is called irregular migration," Vidović said, adding that she was glad the Croatian government supported the Global Compact.

She reiterated that security was very important but that it was imperative to manage migration by respecting the human rights of all migrants.

She also reiterated that there was no effective investigation of migrants' complaints about police brutality and that it was worrisome that the Interior Ministry was nor giving concrete answers. "The answers we have received from the ministry aren't convincing and we haven't been told what exactly happened to a specific person in a specific place at a specific time. The ministry only replies that it respects human rights and that police are trained, but there's been no concrete answer."

For more on human rights in Croatia, click here.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Police Dismiss Claims about Denying Access to Migrant Treatment Info

ZAGREB, October 19, 2018 - Responding to claims by human rights ombudsman Lora Vidović that police were preventing access to information on the treatment of migrants, the Interior Ministry on Thursday said it was in constant communication with her as well as with other institutions which requested more detailed information or explanations on how the Croatian police treat migrants.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Ombudsman Denied Access to Information on Migrant Mistreatment

ZAGREB, October 18, 2018 - Croatian police have continued to violate migrants' human rights, Ombudsman Lora Vidović warned on Thursday, emphasising that the Ministry of the Interior has repeatedly denied her access to information on the police treatment of migrants.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Plenković Attends World Economic Forum Dialogue in Geneva

ZAGREB, October 2, 2018 - Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Monday that the meeting about the Western Balkan countries in Geneva would be an opportunity for talks about the consequences of the referendum in Macedonia, the security situation, negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo and a chance to analyse the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina ahead of the elections scheduled to take place next weekend.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Croatia Shares Some of EU’s Concerns about Hungary

ZAGREB, September 13, 2018 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said in Pula on Thursday that Croatia shared some concerns about Hungary mentioned in a report on the situation in that country adopted in Strasbourg yesterday, but added that this issue should have been resolved through the European Commission and not the European Parliament, which is why MEPs from the ranks of his Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) voted against the report.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Ethnic Minorities Worried About Position in Society

ZAGREB, August 26, 2018 - Ethnic minorities do not deprive the Croatian state or the majority ethnic group of anything, they rather enrich them, minority representatives said at a roundtable discussion on ethnic minorities in the context of migrations and security in democratic societies, held as part of the Lipovljanski Susreti event, taking place in Lipovljani in Sisak-Moslavina County on August 24-26.

Friday, 17 August 2018

TV Satirist Receives Death Threat

ZAGREB, August 18, 2018 - Domagoj Zovak, satirist and editor of the satirical TV Show "News Bar Prime Time", has received a death threat via Facebook and reported them, police said on Friday.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Journalists Condemn Authorities’ Decision Not to Prosecute Death Threats

The state attorney’s office in Split has decided not to launch proceedings for death threats issued against journalists.

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Kurdish Refugee Still Awaiting Release from Prison in Croatia

ZAGREB, July 21, 2018 - Nurettin Oral, a Turkish Kurd who has been granted asylum in Switzerland, expects to be released from custody in Croatia after the Constitutional Court recently upheld his complaint and quashed an earlier ruling by Vukovar County Court and the Supreme Court regarding an extradition request filed by Turkey.

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