“Women were pushed across EU borders”: Croatia justifies pushback

"Women were pushed across EU borders": Croatia justifies pushback

“Women were pushed across the borders of the European Union”
Croatia justifies pushback

An international research network films the Croatian Border Police during the deportations of women and children in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The government in Zagreb does not deny the rejections, but calls them legal. The events in Brussels could have consequences.

Croatian police are allegedly sending vulnerable refugees to Bosnia and Herzegovina without a chance to apply for asylum. In any case, it is the result of a joint research of “Spiegel”, Lighthouse Reports, SRF Rundschau, ARD Studio Vienna and the Croatian newspaper “Novosti”.

The researchers succeeded in filming the so-called pushback for the first time. According to his own statements, he documented the illegal deportation of about 65 asylum seekers, including pregnant women and young children, some disabled children, within a week. The Croatian border guards are clearly recognizable in the pictures.

The so-called pushbacks violate Croatian, European and international law. At the request of the magazine, the Croatian Interior Ministry announced that the action included a legal refusal to enter the country directly across the border. It is not necessary to determine the “needs of migrants” here. The newspaper reported that the interior ministry ignored the fact that security seekers said they had already penetrated deep into Croatian territory before being deported. In this case, EU law prohibits deportation across the green border and also stipulates that the asylum process should be made possible upon request.

EU commissioners agree to probe

After watching the video, EU MPs fear for the credibility of the EU, the magazine continued. Dutch MEP Tineke Strike said the EU Commission should force Croatia to provide asylum seekers. The Croatian government is also at risk of trouble because of a report by the Council of Europe’s Anti-Atrocities Committee. Behind the scenes it is said that the full but not yet published report corroborates the allegations against the border guards. The Croatian government is against a publication. The Croatian Interior Ministry denies what it says in the “Spiegel” report.

The EU commissioner, Ylva Johansson, admitted upon request that he had received several similar reports in the past and that each allegation had to be investigated. However, during her visits, Croatian Prime Minister Ledi Plenkovi had shown understanding and promised to establish an independent mechanism to monitor human rights at the border.

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