Illegal migrants claim they were beaten and pushed to Bosnia by Croatian police

NEWS 29.08.2019 13:46
Source: Anadolija

Local police discovered on Wednesday 35 illegal migrants in the northwestern Bosnia near the border with Croatia who were, according to the statements they gave, beaten and returned to the Bosnian territory by the Croatian police.

The migrants whom the Una-Sana Canton police found near the town of Bosanska Krupa claimed they were seized the documents which were a proof they had applied for asylum in Bosnia and that they were beaten by the Croatian police who then returned them to Bosnia.

It remains unknown when did two of the migrants, one from Algeria another from Morocco, received a penalty charge notice for crossing the Slovenian border, issued by that country's authorities, which the Bosnian police found with them.

Bosnian Security Minister Dragan Mektic, who discussed the migrant crisis with authorities from the northwestern Bosnia on Thursday, said the behaviour of the Croatian police was unacceptable.

He recalled of recent allegations that Croatia was forcibly returning migrants to Bosnia and violating Bosnia's territorial integrity.

“We have the information to prove this, that they enter our territory armed, and footage showing what they do to migrants who cross into Croatia from Bosnia and Herzegovina, they beat them, take away their money and mobile phones, and return them to us,” Mektic told the Bosnian Faktor news website earlier this month.

Following the Thursday meeting in Sarajevo, the security minister reiterated that the Croatian police even used fire while returning the migrants to Bosnia.

“We informed the Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, they immediately said that the case contained no elements of a criminal offence. I claim that an investigation should have been opened, there was sufficient evidence but this was yet another case that the Prosecutor's Office makes no reaction on the violation of the territorial integrity and we have to seek other ways because we can't observe this any more,” stressed Mektic.

Bosnia has been struggling with this problem for the second year after thousands of illegal migrants from various African and Asian countries took a route through the country to reach their final destinations mostly in western Europe.

But, as Croatia keeps its border closed for illegal migrants, they are stranded in the areas close to the Bosnian border with that country.

International organisations have provided shelter in several temporary migrant centres in the northwestern region Una-Sana Canton but their capacities cannot serve the dramatically increasing number of incoming foreigners.