An Italian journalist identified as Paola L. who accompanied a delegation of Italian MEPs during a visit to Croatia was linked to an attempt to orchestrate the illegal crossing of some migrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Croatian border, the Border Patrol confirmed. BiH for HINA on Tuesday.
The journalist was arrested on January 30th during a police patrol on the BiH side of the border near the village of Bosanska Bojna.
According to Svevlad Hoffmann, advisor to the director of the BiH Border Police, police had confirmed that the journalist had permission to stay in BiH and said she was in contact with her Italian colleagues who were covering the Italian MPs’ visit to Croatia and the border area.
“The journalist asked the BiH Border Patrol to allow a group of illegal migrants to enter Croatia so that MEPs could see how the Croatian police treat them,” Hoffmann said.
The BiH Border Patrol denied the request and warned the journalist that she was breaking the rules while in the border region and demanded that she leave, which she did only to later return to the company of 11 illegal migrants from Afghanistan who were registered in BiH.
Police prevented them from crossing the border and took them back to the migrant reception center in Velika Kladusa.
Hoffmann explained that an investigation was still ongoing and did not rule out the possibility that the journalist could be charged after the meeting.
Four Italian Socialist and Social Democrat MEPs, Pietro Bartolo, Brando Benifei, Pierfrancesco Majorino and Alessandra Moretti, accompanied by a group of reporters, traveled to the Croatia-BiH border area last week, claiming they wanted to see how they were being treated illegally. Croatian police migrants who tried to cross the border.
The Croatian Border Patrol stopped them when they tried to cross the border illegally.