Wednesday, 7 April 2021

The Guardian: Croatian Police Accused of Sexually Abusing Afghan Woman

ZAGREB, 7 April, 2021 - A woman from Afghanistan claims that she was sexually abused by Croatian border police, and even held at knifepoint, after crossing the border, the Guardian said on Wednesday.

According to a dossier from the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), the incident occurred on 15 February, in Croatian territory, a few kilometres from the Bosnian city of Velika Kladuša, the British newspaper said.

In the report the woman said she tried to cross the border with a group of four others, including two children, but they were stopped by an officer who allegedly pointed a rifle at them.

The Afghans asked for asylum, at which one of the officers laughed, after which the woman was singled out for a search, the Guardian said, quoting her as saying that she insisted that he should not touch her because she was a woman and a Muslim, after which the officer slapped her.

The officer allegedly touched her breasts and behind, and ordered her to remove all her T-shirts, which she refused. The five migrants were then taken away in a police vehicle, after which the police again hit the Afghan woman, ordering her to strip naked and starting to sexually abuse her, at one point putting a knife to her throat.

The police physically assaulted other migrants from the group as well, and ordered them to walk back to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Guardian said.

It added that the European Commission condemned this alleged act and called on the Croatian authorities to investigate all allegations and punish those responsible.

DRC secretary general Charlotte Slente was quoted as saying that despite the Commission’s engagement on the migrant issue on the Croatian border, there had been no progress in recent months either in investigations of reports of brutal treatment by police or in the development of independent border monitoring mechanisms.

According to the Guardian, the Croatian Interior Ministry said there were no recorded dealings with "females from the population of illegal migrants" on the day in question and that Croatian police, by saving the lives of hundreds of migrants from minefields, rivers and snow, showed not only an organised and professional approach in the protection of the state border but humanity as well.

The Interior Ministry says the Croatian police are persistently portrayed as brutal without a single piece of evidence and that illegal migrants, when they fail to cross the border, are ready to falsely accuse those same police of abuse, the Guardian said.

According to the DRC, since May 2019 almost 24,000 migrants have been illegally pushed back to Bosnia, including 547 between January and February 2021.

For more about violence against migrants in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Adrian Chiles Discusses Croatian Words for Genitalia in Guardian Article

Anyone who knows even a little bit of Croatian will know that this is an extremely colourful language. Descriptive, imaginative and above all blunt. There are countless ways to describe your disappointment, dismay or anger, and because of the sheer linguistic scope of Croatian, swearing is often seen as an effective way to showcase the strength of your emotions when speaking and isn't deemed as unintelligent, nor is looked down anywhere near as much as it is in other languages.

We've compiled several lists highlighting the colours of this ''picturesque'' South Slavic language (you can read them here, and here) and learn a few ways in which to swear while you're at it. 

Adrian Chiles, a well known British presenter, has a Croatian mother and as such has ties with the country and its language. In his musings in the popular British publication The Guardian, he has previously written about his desire to get his hands on a Croatian passport, detailing how his Croatian friends used to be jealous of his shiny, burgundy British travel document and how the tables have turned since the shock result of the EU referendum.

In his latest opinion piece for The Guardian, he discusses precisely the character of the Croatian language and just how many words and phrases there are to describe genitalia. Yes. Genitalia. 

As The Guardian/Adrian Chiles writes on the 16th of January, 2020, Chiles asks just why the English language doesn't have as many colourful words for genitalia as Croatian does. In fairness, British English, with all of its regional accents and dialects, most of which differ enormously from each other, there are many terms that could be used to describe genitalia, but is it quite on a par with Croatian?

He details the story of his Croatian friends who, through a twist of fate started by Adrian's innocent mistake, developed a publishing business. The pair are now engaged in translating erotic fiction into Croatian. There, Adrian was met with an array of words such as pimpek, sladostrašće and more. 

Click here to read Adrian's amusing take on the differing linguistic attitudes to sex in the English and the Croatian languages, and try not to blush while you're at it.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

The Guardian Praises Istrian Peninsula: This is Tuscany for Millennials

The respected British newspaper, The Guardian, usually has many fine things to say about all regions of Croatia it discovers, and the gorgeous Istrian peninsula is now taking the limelight, with a journalist from The Guardian referring to it as the Tuscany of the millennials.

As Novac writes on the 6th of November, 2019, the Istrian peninsula, a picturesque and very affordable corner of Croatia, could become the new Tuscany, writes journalist Eva Wiseman, putting the question of whether Istria is the ''perfect holiday'' destination.

Visiting Istrian cities like Rovinj, Pula and Buzet, the British journalist concluded in an article published in The Guardian that this part of Croatia, namely the Istrian peninsula, could become the new Tuscany for millennials.

Eva states the fact that are forbidden there, as the streets are too narrow and the stones are too polished. The food, as the journalist says, is influenced by Italy, but is significantly cheaper. Because of this, it attracts younger tourists for whom neighbouring Italy is much too expensive. The journalist also notes that there aren't that many Britons, despite recently introduced cheap flights from the United Kingdom directly to the Istrian city of Pula.

The Arena in Pula, which once hosted gladiator fights, the author writes, today serves as a stage for numerous concerts and film festivals. In Buzet, however, she met the family behind the “Prodan Tartufi” truffle shop, saying that the forests there had “some of the richest soil in the world with white truffles”.

“Back to Rovinj, where the stone town shines pink as the sun goes down, we jump to the beach to cool off. That night, we eat fresh fish at the edge of a cliff, watching the old men dive in the water below,'' Wiseman writes.

From basic information it states that return flights from London to Pula with Ryanair are a mere 83 British pounds (720 kuna), and double rooms at Rovinj's Grand Park Hotel cost 155 pounds (1350 kuna) with breakfast.

Make sure to follow our dedicated travel page for much more.

Thursday, 24 October 2019

The Guardian: Adrian Chiles Longs for Croatian Passport

October the 24th, 2019 - Who would ever have thought that possessing a Croatian passport would be a desire placed high on the list of a British citizen? A look at how the shock referendum result of 2016 changed minds and hearts.

Brexit is slowly becoming one of those words that drains the life and joy out of you when you say it. This process has now been going on for more than three years with yet another potential extension until the end of January 2020 on the horizon (we'll hopefully know more tomorrow about that).

After Donald Tusk warned the UK not to simply keep kicking the can down the road after the EU granted the last extension (from March to October this year), it seems that Britain is still no closer to sorting out the mess it has created.

With that being said, many Brits have sought out second citizenships following the referendum result of June 2016, in which the British public narrowly voted to leave the economic bloc. The mixing of the Brits and the Irish over many years made it easy for some who have an Irish parent or grandparent to get their hands on Irish citizenship and as such remain citizens of the EU.

Many Brits who have lived abroad in the rest of Europe for several years decided to apply to naturalise in their adopted countries, and countries like Germany even kindly went as far as to alter their laws, albeit temporarily, to allow Brits who apply for German nationality to be able to keep their British citizenship too.

While citizens rights has been decided across the bloc, deal or no deal, some Brits still will simply not feel secure unless they have a new passport, and that's more than understandable given the fact that after Britain ends its 40 year membership of what is now the EU (formerly the European Community), people fear being left in the dark with no EU laws to turn to for help.

However, not all of those seeking a second passport are living in another EU country. Some are resident in Britain and simply feel the need to take advantage of having a foreign parent now more than ever. One such person is British TV presenter Adrian Chiles, known for presenting the popular ''The One Show'' and who currently works as a radio presenter for BBC Radio 5 Live.

Chiles took to The Guardian on October the 24th, 2019 to discuss his longing for a Croatian passport, what with his mother being Croatian, and how he now values the idea more than ever given the utterly dire situation with Brexit.

Chiles cites how he has spent a lot of time in Croatia over the years, both before and after its independence from Yugoslavia. He talks about how ''one of his favourite things to do was to leave his British passport lying around when with friends over there'', before going on to talk about how dramatically that tide has now turned.

''How things have changed'' states Chiles when recalling his friend, Tomislav, tossing his Croatian passport on the floor and being irritated with the fact that such a document would never get him anywhere. Chiles claims that because he once had a Yugoslav passport, he thought obtaining a Croatian one would be simple, but of course, with all things Croatian as we who live here know well - it is anything but that.

Read Adrian's opinion piece in the link to The Guardian provided above.

Are you a foreigner with legal residence living in Croatia? Would you like to try your hand at naturalisation as a foreigner? Click here. Married to a Croat and want that little blue passport? Click here.

If you're worried about Brexit and are a British resident in Croatia, follow our extensive reporting on all things Brexit on our dedicated politics page.