“It is about expulsion, about unlawful deterring migrants from the border”- Collective statement as response to the Croatian Ministry of the Interior

After the publication of video footage by Border Violence Monitoring on 16th December 2018 showing illegal collective expulsions of people on the move at the EU external border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, more serious allegations were raised against Croatian police officers from several sides. Save the Children published a report that gathered testimonies of more than 1,350 cases of children being pushed back across European Union borders between January and November 2018. Almost one third of these cases reportedly involved violence inflicted by police or guards at borders. Most of the cases occurred at the Croatian border to Serbia, but they also mention violent practices at the Croatian-Bosnian border. No Name Kitchen Kladusa, in cooperation with Balkan Info Van, states in their recently published overview report on border violence to have observed “an increase in the deployment of police forces and violent practices, making legal and safe transit to Europe impossible”, to have “received consistent reports from men, women and children, of abuses that remain either uncovered or denied, leading to no prosecution of the perpetrators and continued border violence.” Following these further allegations which are still being denied by the Croatian Ministry of the Interior (MOI) in a statement published after the publication of the video footage, Border Violence Monitoring wants to take a position reacting on some of their points. A well-grounded counteropinion should be voiced through a collection of views expressed by a number of actors who deal on a daily basis with the illegal practices at the Bosnian-Croatian border.

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