EU Parliament members demand interrogation of Croatia’s treatment of migrants

Twenty-two Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have submitted a request for a parliamentary interrogation on migrants’ living conditions in Croatia after reports from the media and NGOs. Some 22 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from 11 member states have submitted a request for a parliamentary interrogation on a serious situation as concerns the living conditions of migrants, as reported by several NGOs and media outlets. ”The situation is serious. We are asking the European Commission what initiatives it plans to take to monitor the dramatic conditions of migrants on the border between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and to ensure that their fundamental rights are respected,” Italian MEP Elly Schlein said.

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UNHCR criticizes Croatia for migrant push-backs

The UNHCR reports that thousands of migrants have been pushed back from Croatia this year or denied the possibility of requesting asylum in the country, an accusation that the Croatian government has rejected. About 2,500 migrants trying to reach Western Europe have been pushed back by Croatia since the beginning of the year, including about 1,500 who have been denied the right to request asylum and international protection, according to a UNHCR report entitled Desperate Journeys. The accusation has been firmly rejected by the Croatia interior ministry.

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Push-backs, violence and inadequate conditions at the Balkan route’s new frontier

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, a crisis is looming if the pace of coordinated humanitarian response does not pick up before temperatures begin to drop. More than 4,000 migrants and refugees are currently sheltering in informal camps and squats along Bosnia’s border with Croatia. This is a new situation for Bosnia, which before this year had not seen significant numbers of people transiting through the country as part of the so-called Balkan route. Although the stream of people arriving in the country has been rising for months, basic humanitarian conditions in the two largest points of congregation along the border remain alarmingly inadequate.

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“We Too Were Refugees” – in a Bosnian Field, a Helping Hand

An hour’s drive from the Croatian town of Karlovac, down a side road lined with tombstones and houses pocked with bullet holes, there is a desolate border crossing between Croatia and Bosnia. Beyond lays Velika Kladusa, a place that seems to exist only on the map. Between 1993 and 1995 it was the capital of the self-declared Autonomous Republic of Western Bosnia, the fiefdom of Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) businessman Fikret Abdic, known for the pacts he made with the Serbs and Croats against his fellow Bosniaks in Sarajevo during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war. Today, it is a transit point for thousands of migrants and refugees from the Middle East, Africa and Asia trying to enter the European Union via Croatia en route to Western Europe.

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Refugees crossing from Bosnia ‘beaten and robbed by Croatian police’

The lucky ones escaped with only their mobile phones smashed. Those less fortunate say they were beaten with sticks, taunted or attacked with dogs. Many allege they had large sums of money stolen. According to the testimony of migrants and monitoring groups, the Croatian police force is engaging in a systematic campaign of violence and theft against migrants and refugees attempting to find a route to western Europe through the country.

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critical reports and analysis about serbia as a country of transit and origin