Croatian police took a group of migrants from Bosnia's Velika Kladusa town to Croatia where they physically harassed them up, and then forced them back to Bosnia down a steep cliff, Bosnia's Security Minister told N1 on Thursday, commenting on Wednesday's incident involving 18 injured migrants found on the Bosnian side of the border.
“According to all available indications and information, Croatian police found the migrants in Velika Kladusa, and according to the migrants, they (Croatian police) harassed them physically, used coercion and then brought them to very inaccessible terrain from where they were practically forced to return to Bosnia down a very steep cliff where they sustained various injuries during their falls,” Mektic told N1.
He recalled that he has been warning of this for quite some time, saying that “Croatia and its police” have been violating all international standards, bilateral agreements between Bosnia and Croatia and that these violations finally led to the “Croatian side violating Bosnia's territorial integrity.” Mektic added that his ministry is still establishing all the facts regarding the incident.
“We will compose a comprehensive report, during the day, and submit it to Bosnia's Presidency because I believe the Presidency should deal with this inter-state issue. This situation surpasses our Ministry's competencies,” Mektic said and added:
“This is very strange behaviour by the Croatian side. We have no idea what motivated them to behave in such a way. Earlier, we've also witnessed ample evidence, journalist recordings on Croatian Police's actions and this is a problem which must be brought up to the level of Bosnia's Presidency, as well as the level of the Croatian government and Bosnia's Council of Ministers.”
After the incident was reported, Croatian Border Police said they prevented the said migrants from entering Croatia from the direction of Bosnia's North-western town of Velika Kladusa, which is the closest to the border with Croatia and the EU.