Croatian police anti-refugee violence


This video says about itself:

Refugees enraged at inhumane treatment in Croatia

18 September 2015

Many of the people hoping to travel through Croatia have instead been taken to camps, on buses provided by the Croatian authorities. And as Mohammed Jamjoom reports from Beli Manastir, for some it has been a frustrating journey.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Refugees meet Croatian police: ‘Sticks, fists and kicks’

Today, 19:14

“They hit us with black sticks. On my back, my legs and above my eye, they brought us back to the border.”

Aziz, 23, is sitting on his bed in a Serbian reception center, near the Croatian border. He is from Afghanistan and traveled to Serbia through Turkey and Bulgaria. Here he has been for eight months. Aziz thinks about that morning about a month ago. It was the second time he tried to cross the border to Croatia illegally.

Usually, the violence is against the mobile phones which … refugees use to find their way to the border. Police officers kick or hit the phones to destroy them. But every now and then they are unlucky, says Aziz. Then the people will be maltreated too.

“They said they were private police. They drove in black cars and did not wear uniforms.” Above the eye, the wound has now become a scar. He had a headache for a few days. But after a week he felt better and was again in the woods at the border. …

Almost everyone has a story about the Croatian police. Many have already been maltreated by the Hungarian police when they tried to cross the border. A man shows a deep wound on his lower leg, caused by a stick. Another one had a broken finger and lost a tooth by a fist on his face.

MSF [Doctors Without Borders] in Serbia, which reports regularly on violence against migrants on the Balkan route, has by now treated hundreds of people injured during their flight. “The majority of people who come to us declare that they met with police violence”, said Andrea Constante of MSF. He emphasizes that it is impossible to check the stories of migrants and refugees, but that the injuries they see speak for themselves. “We see blue spots and wounds caused by sticks, fists and kicks.”

Family tablet broken

Families with children who tried to cross have also been subjected to violence, according to a statement from an Afghan woman who wants to remain anonymous. Eight times she walked across with her husband and three young children. They slept in the jungle and walked for a couple of days. Each time they were sent back by the police to the Serbian border with the message: do not come back. This also happened after they said they wanted to apply for asylum in the EU country Croatia.

The last time, two months ago, it went wrong, she tells. “They hit my husband with a piece of wood, grabbed me by the arm and pushed my children.” Her husband could not walk well from the pain for a few days. On her upper arm were bruises. The tablet containing all family photos and important documents was thrown into the ground, breaking it.

She says she will try again soon. “We are desperate”, says the woman. “In Afghanistan, I was a teacher, now I’m in a small room all day long thinking about the future of my children. Three years we’re already on our way, what else can we do?” …

MSF goes further in criticizing Croatia: the country is said to be guilty of human rights violations, because in many cases no asylum application is heard. MSF spokesman Constante calls it worrying that people are denied that basic right. Other human rights organizations also hate this situation. …

Durdana Zazai, a 12-year-old girl from Afghanistan, was also sent back when she applied with family members for asylum in Croatia. Zazai has polio and can not walk anymore. Her nephew carried her back on his back through the woods. When she met the Croatian police, she was told they would be taken to Zagreb. Instead, the police returned them to the Serbian border, says cousin Younis.

Now Durdana is in a shelter in Serbia. She is not treated for polio there. Her parents are in Germany. “We have come to Europe for her treatment,” says Younis. “We are on a list to go to Germany legally, but we have been waiting for eight months. No one helps us.” …

Despite all the stories, new people come to the border every day. They take the train or walk all the way from Belgrade, says Bruno Alvarez Contreras, founder of the small Spanish aid organization No-Name Kitchen. He sees them going every day and getting back injured. “Police in an EU country should know better”, he says. “To abuse these people is incredible.”

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One thought on “Croatian police anti-refugee violence

  1. Pingback: Don’t send refugees to Libyan torture jails, United Nations says | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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