Authorities in Croatia confirm that officers were involved in violent pushbacks of migrants near the Bosnia and Herzegovina border. The day before yesterday, a video of men in uniform pushing back migrants with batons crossed the EU border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Officers hit the refugees.
The chief of police in Croatia says three members of an intervention unit have been removed from office. They can expect more disciplinary action. “Its our duty to get to the bottom of this.”
The pushbacks violate international law. Aid organizations have been protesting it for years. The European Commission called on Croatia and Greece yesterday to investigate the allegations.
Croatian interior minister Bozinovic said yesterday that an investigation team had been appointed. Bozinovic now says he assumes several police officers abused their power. Hes expecting more information soon.
A research collective by Pointer and the French newspaper Libération published the images of masked men crossing migrants across the border to Bosnia and Herzegovina in Croatia. According to Pointer, it is the first time the pushbacks have been filmed in this spot in high quality. Croatia has always denied that illegal pushbacks were taking place so far.
This excerpt from the Pointer programme shows how the masked men use violence against the refugees:
Greece has also announced its investigation into illegal practices. Greece has always said that pushbacks do not take place. Thats where the Coast Guard would be involved in returning refugees.
“Every claim made is being investigated by the judiciary and by our internal committee of inquiry,” said Greek Minister Mitarachi of Migration at an EU meeting in Luxembourg.