Croatia: Investigation ordered into police violence against immigrants

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Friday that he had ordered a “comprehensive investigation” into footage of police harassing migrants and returning them across the border to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“We condemn the violence, especially the violence against immigrants. I did not notice that these people threatened anyone, it is a shame. “He added that this was being discussed with a representative of the European Commission.

“We have to find out what happened and what should not happen. It is one thing to appreciate the work of the Croatian police, which guards the green border. For political reasons, Croatia will not raise the bar to BiH, because of its relations with Bosniaks, Serbs, Croats … Each state protects its borders. This is possible, but force could not be used as in this situation in which it was not necessary. Lithuania, Latvia, you have seen what is happening, it is the destabilization of the Baltic countries and the EU, it is difficult for them, their borders are large … Belarusian forces are coming and pushing people across the border. “The issue of illegal migration is a serious issue,” Plenković said.

Earlier, Plenković said he discussed the issue with Interior Minister Davor Božinovi.

“I called on Minister Božinović to ensure that the Ministry and the police take all necessary measures and investigate the matter in order to see what happened and make the right decisions, because Croatia, as a country governed by the rule of law, respects its own laws and international rules. “We do not want any action that could be related to the state and that is not in line with our legal system,” Plenković said.

“We appreciate the role of the Croatian police in protecting the border in recent years as our continent has become a destination for migrations, which are often illegal and are led and organized by smugglers who take advantage of the misfortunes of many people who for various reasons they left their homes, “he added.

The European Commission and other EU institutions have expressed concern about images of violence on the Croatian border. European Commission spokesman Adalbert Jahnz on Thursday “conveyed the Commission’s concern over reports of violent strikes on the external borders of Greece and Croatia,” the state-run Hina news agency reported.

The video footage and reports of violent pushing to the external borders, which were released yesterday, are very disturbing. Violence and ill-treatment of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees are unacceptable and an investigation must be carried out, the spokesman said in Brussels.

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