Migrants staying at the infamous camp ‘Vucjak’ in the northwestern Una-Sana Canton (USK) complained to N1 that police “treat them like animals,” and the local Red Cross said that it can barely meet the demands since more and more migrants keep arriving.
“They asked one of us, Abas, whether he needs to go to the toilet. They took him, and when he returned he was crying. I asked what happened, and he said they beat him,” said Said, from Iraq, adding that another migrant was forced to clean up trash from the police station and was also beaten.
N1 also spoke to Abas.
“The police treats these people as if they were animals. Today we sat in front of the police station for hours, we sleep outside, they arrive, they pick us up and take us to the police station,” the migrant from Pakistan told N1.
He accused the police of beating the migrants.
“Some even laugh, they play with us,” he said. “We are not criminals, we have not killed anyone, we are just refugees because we have problems in our country,” he said.
Abas said the migrants try to reach Croatia but authorities there turn them back.
“We walk for kilometres, without anybody or anything, people laugh at us, they humiliate us.”
The USK Interior Affairs Ministry denied the allegations, saying officers are acting responsibly.
The Red Cross can barely meet the demands since more and more migrants are flooding Vucjak by the minute.
“We distributed daily lunch packages to all migrants, however, we today have an influx of a large number of migrants the USK Interior Ministry is sending to Vucijak again,” said Salem Midzic, from the Bihac Red Cross.
He pointed out that the system produces a large amount of trash in the vicinity of the camp, arguing that “something must be done to engage people who will maintain the hygiene.”
Bosnia’s Border Police registered 17,666 migrants this year and caught 6,570 illegally crossing the border. It also denied entry to 11,000 of them.
Last year 15.300 were prevented from entering the country illegally.
The service is suffering staff shortages and infrastructure to efficiently guard the border which is how some 40,000 migrants crossed into the country over the past two years.
In Croatia, one officer is securing every kilometre of the border, which is in accordance with the EU standard. In Bosnia, one officer secures 33 kilometres of the border and the country would need to employ another 1,000 officers to fill the gaps.
According to UN data, there are currently more than 7,300 migrants in Bosnia, placed in two official migrant centres and another five temporary centres. Many still sleep outside, as capacities are filled to the brim.
More than 90 percent of the migrants have said they intend to apply for asylum in Bosnia, but only about 5,4 percent of them have done so.