Hungarian regime insults Croatia for ‘insufficient’ anti-refugee xenophobia

This video says about itself:

Refugees break through newly-built border fence in Hungary

12 September 2015

A refugee family breaks through a hole in the wire fence on Hungary’s border with Serbia. Report by Sarah Kerr.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Hungary sends arrested Croat police officers back

Today, 09:41

Hungary has returned to their own country 36 Croatian police officers who were arrested yesterday for accompanying refugees in Hungary. The Croats were arrested because they were armed and because they had brought refugees ‘illegally’ into Hungary.

Also the driver of the train bringing more than a thousand refugees on their way to Austria was arrested.


The majority of the approximately 14,000 refugees who yesterday were left by Croatia at the border with Hungary, has arrived in Austria, says correspondent Marcel van der Steen from Croatia. Last night the first buses with refugees arrived in Austria.

Hungary on Monday closed its borders to refugees, but now they seem to work with Croatia to make travel for the continued flow of asylum seekers to Austria possible. Croatia speaks of a coordinated approach with Hungary, where people at the Croatian border may change from Croatian buses to Hungarian buses and are brought directly to Austria.

But the Hungarian authorities call that a “lie” and announce that they will vote against Croatia’s accession to the Schengen area.

The fuss about the refugee train with Croatian supervisors should be seen according to Van der Steen as a political statement by Budapest underscoring their harsh clampdown on the refugee crisis.

A woman and child use a blanket to keep warm as refugees gather on the tracks at the train station in Tovarnik, Croatia. Photograph: Antonio Bronic/Reuters

Slovenian police said on Saturday that 1,287 had arrived as of midnight Friday, of which 483 were from Afghanistan, 470 from Syria and 126 from Iraq: here.

Good refugee news, from The Bike Comes First:

Marco Polo Cycling Team to relaunch as a team for refugees

Sep 17, 2015

The Marco Polo Cycling Team issued a press release today stating their intention to start racing again next year, with a team comprised of refugees, mainly from Eritrea.

NEW EU figures on asylum have spectacularly exploded the lies perpetuated by the Tories and the right-wing media that Britain is being besieged by “swarms” of refugees. Statistics published yesterday by the EU data agency Eurostat show that Britain received just one in 30 of the total number of the asylum claims made by new applicants in EU countries between April and June: here.

Refugees’ plight continues

Hungary, barbed wire and refugees

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

More than 2,000 refugees stranded at Croatian border town

Train that was due to take people west from first town after Serbian border is sitting at station, as Croatia also closes all but one of its road border crossings

Patrick Kingsley in Tovarnik

Friday 18 September 2015 08.07 BST

More than 2,000 refugees were left stranded overnight in a border town near Croatia’s border with Serbia, as Slovenia prevented hundreds of others from leaving north-west Croatia, leading to fears that the latest refugee route into the European Union may turn out to be a dead-end.

Early on Friday morning Croatia also closed seven of its eight road border crossings with Serbia after complaining of being overwhelmed by the arrival of more than 11,000 migrants and refugees.

Refugees began entering Croatia in large numbers on Wednesday, after Hungary closed its borders. Croatia’s prime minister initially said his country was ready to provide a safe passage for people trying to reach Slovenia, and the stability of northern Europe beyond.

But within hours it became clear that Croatia had underestimated the scale of the challenge it had taken on, failing to provide enough transport to speed thousands of newcomers away from Serbia and towards Slovenia. A logjam stretching west to east across northern Croatia was created after Slovenia blocked the onwards transit of refugees, stopping about 150 people from crossing in by train. On Thursday, Slovenia had said it was ready to provide immediate shelter and humanitarian care for 5,000 refugees.

At least 2,000 people were stuck in Tovarnik, the first Croatian town after the border with Serbia. While a specially commissioned train arrived to pick many of them up at about midnight, the train was still waiting in the station at 7am, its 10 carriages packed with about 1,000 restless refugees largely from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

More than 1,000 others were left sleeping on the station platforms, and in the streets of Tovarnik, a small and sleepy rural town that has no hotels. Small children slept on cold stone slabs, and a baby was placed inside a small suitcase to keep it warm. …

As Croatia considered whether to close its border with Serbia entirely, Hungary began building a fence and deploying hundreds of soldiers and police on its border with Croatia. Its prime minister, Viktor Orbán, said the fence would be finished on the 26 miles (41km) stretch of the border not divided by a river by the end of Friday.

Hundreds more refugees arrived at Tovarnik during the night, after being bussed straight from Macedonia to the Croatian border by the Serbian government. Several were not quite sure where they were. “What’s the name of this country?” asked Ali Sadoun, a 40-year-old baker who fled Iraq after receiving a death threat from the militia.

Sitting next to the train-tracks at 4am, one of the night-time arrivals, Syrian undergraduate Zahraa Daoud, spoke out at yet another obstacle being placed in her path. “They don’t want us to pass,” said Daoud, who is travelling with her mother. “Why? We are humans. We are Syrians, and there is a war in our country that even we don’t really understand.”

Zahraa Daoud

But despite her frustration, Daoud also said that she was determined to carry on, whatever the challenges Europe places in front of her – a view often expressed by the protagonists of the continent’s biggest wave of mass-migration since the second world war.

“I don’t have anything to lose, so I fear nothing,” said Daoud, a 23-year-old literature student who asked to be described as from the Ismaili faith.

Daoud added: “I’ve been thinking about leaving for two years. But for a long time I thought: there is still hope [of peace], I will wait. But when you leave home every day and you don’t know whether you’ll see your mum again at night, because you might be killed by a bomb or taken [by a militia], you have to run. So I will not go back. I will run, run, run. Even if they will not allow me to, I will keep on running.”

This video says about itself

Refugees enraged at inhumane treatment as Croatia prepares to close border

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.

12 pictures that capture the chaos of Europe’s refugee crisis: here.

TURKEY HAS SPENT ALMOST $8 BILLION ON REFUGEES A Turkish deputy prime minister said the country, which has an “open-door policy” for Syrian refugees, has spent $7.6 billion on over 2.2 million refugees. [Reuters]

Refugee news update

An injured refugee carries a child during clashes with Hungarian riot police at the border crossing with Serbia in Roszke. Photo by Reuters

This photo shows an injured refugee carrying a child during clashes with Hungarian riot police at the border crossing with Serbia in Roszke.

The US journalist Richard Engel ran to the aid of a pregnant woman who collapsed in front of him as he reported on the refugee crisis at the Hungarian border. … Engel then supported her head to keep her breathing and joined aid workers who rushed her off to a makeshift tent for treatment, which was then attacked with tear gas: here.

Refugees seeking new route to safety in Europe could be forced through Croatia minefields: here.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Refugees in Croatia: Hundreds break through police lines after ‘horrendous’ crush at border

‘Everywhere you look children are crying, women are crying’

Adam Withnall

Thursday 17 September 2015

Hundreds of refugees have forced their way through a barricade into Croatia after a desperate standoff with border police.

Just a few dozen police officers had held back an estimated 2,000 refugees in blazing heat at the border town of Tovarnik on Thursday, letting in only handfuls to board buses and trains onwards.

TV news crews reported an increasingly desperate situation, with children pushed to the front of the crowd being crushed against a low metal barricade.

Sky News Stuart Ramsay reported live: “They are getting crushed, it’s a pretty horrendous scene actually now.

Read more:
Refugee crisis timeline: How the crisis has grown
Divisions leave Europe paralysed as borders close to refugees
Refugee crisis: Hunger strike starts at closed Hungarian border

“A very little girl is crying her eyes out being passed over the fence to a riot police officer, and he’s passing her down to her mother.

“Everywhere you look children are crying, women are crying, men are crying, they are all finding this very emotional.”

Moments later, reports came through that the police line had been breached and people were rushing through to heat into Croatia on foot.

People trampled and fell over each other in their rush to get through, according to the Associated Press. A photographer described seeing a man collapse on the ground and dozens injured in the melee.

“This is exactly what Croatia did not want to happen,” Ramsay said. “They just can’t cope, they simply cannot cope with this.”

Croatia has become the new route of choice for refugees desperate to reach the welcome offered to them in western Europe, after Hungary closed its borders and began prosecuting anyone who entered the country “illegally”.

But there remains a great deal of uncertainty surrounding what will happen to refugees inside Croatia itself.

The Croatian government has officially said that any who enter the country must apply for asylum there or be considered illegal immigrants.

But Croatia’s own Prime Minister, Zoran Milanovic, has said it would allow refugees to continue onwards.

“Croatia is entirely ready to receive or direct those people where they want to go, which is obviously Germany or Scandinavian countries,” he said.

Germany’s economy will grow faster because of the million refugees it is helping, study finds. Research published today suggests a 0.6 per cent GDP boost by 2020 and lower inflation: here.

The [British] government has quietly cut money to house and educate orphan child refugees living here.

Demonstrators against arms trade fair in London, England

This photo shows demonstrators against the arms trade fair DSEI in London, England. The second sign from the left points out that, apart from weapons, and torture gear, at the DSEI fair also tear gas is sold, including to the Hungarian goverrnment.

Croatian neo-nazi swastika vandalism on international football pitch

This 12 June 2015 football video is called Nazi swastika pattern seen on the field during Croatia vs. Italy Euro qualifier.

From weekly The Observer in Britain:

Croatian president calls for swastika perpetrators to be punished

• Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic: ‘This act has inflicted immeasurable damage’
• Large symbol appeared in the turf before Euro 2016 qualifier with Italy

Saturday 13 June 2015 13.18 BST

The president of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, has called for a swift investigation and punishment for the people who imprinted a swastika cross on the pitch in Split, where Croatia drew 1-1 with Italy in a Euro 2016 qualifier on Friday.

“This act has inflicted immeasurable damage on the reputation of Croatian citizens and their homeland all over the world. Therefore, we must finally put a stop to such things,” Grabar-Kitarovic said in a statement released on Saturday. “I condemn in the strongest possible terms the swastika on the pitch. I demand an urgent investigation and a decisive response from the relevant institutions to find and process the perpetrators.”

Croatia played Italy behind closed doors at Split’s Stadion Poljud having been handed a one-match ban for racist chants by their fans in March’s 5-1 home win against Norway in Zagreb. That followed incidents during a 1-1 draw against Italy in Milan last November when flares were hurled on to the pitch.

The swastika sign impregnated in the grass through a chemical agent days earlier became visible during the match. The incident left Croatia players and the national governing body, the HNS, fearing drastic punishment from the Uefa.

“This is a clear attack on football and we will without a doubt be severely punished,” the HNS’s secretary-general, Damir Vrbanovic, said on Saturday. “We have all been slapped in the face by hooligans and it was not an accident, it was a calculated move. The cameras will identify the perpetrators, but the shame will stay,” he said.

The result against Italy left Croatia top of Group H with 14 points from six games, two ahead of Italy and four clear of Norway.

Singer Bob Dylan, a racist?

This Bob Dylan music video says about itself:

The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll (Live 1965)

Live Manchester, England, May 1965

By Norman Markovitz in the USA:

Tuesday 10th December 2013

Is Bob Dylan a racist?

NORMAN MARKOWITZ says recent claims by the so-called Council of Croats in France are not what they seem

I recently circulated a petition calling for Fifa to suspend the Croatian football team from upcoming World Cup games in Brazil because of its use of World War II Croat fascist slogans.

There’s another story relating to Croatia’s wartime role which has received greater international attention, however – people claiming to be representative of the Croatian community in France have sued Bob Dylan.

Their accusation is that this great singer, whose songs of social criticism such as Masters of War, Blowin’ In the Wind and The Times They Are A’Changin’ have made him one of the best-known and most admired US artists of the last 50 years, has made offensive and even racist remarks about Croats in Rolling Stone magazine.

Dylan’s attackers share one thing with the defenders of the Croatian football team – a desire to celebrate or deny a barbarous past.

Vlatko Maric, the secretary-general of something called the Council of Croats in France, tells Croatian daily Vecernji List that the council has decided to “file criminal charges against Robert Allen Zimmerman, aka Bob Dylan, and the French publisher of Rolling Stone magazine for inciting racism and hatred against Croats and the Croatian people.”

Dylan ruffled feathers in a discourse on US politics, in which he remarked as an aside while commenting on still tense relations between African-Americans and white people: “If you’ve got a slave master or the [Ku Klux] Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that, just like Jews can sense nazi blood and Serbs can sense Croatian blood.”

The comments have seen some radio stations in Croatia such as Radio Split banning Dylan’s songs from their playlists. And Maric says they “without any doubt incite hatred against Croatians.”

But do they?

Dylan’s use of the term “blood” is clearly very inappropriate. All human blood is the same. He would have been wiser too to refer to the Ustasha or Croatian fascists rather than Croatians in general.

But there are reasons to be sceptical about his critics. The reference to “Robert Allen Zimmerman, aka Bob Dylan” is reminiscent of nazi, Ku Klux Klan and House Un-American Activities Committee language when dealing with public figures of Jewish background who had changed their names.

The nazis, for example, referred to the prominent Jewish-German writer Emil Ludwig as Emil Ludwig “Cohen.”

Segregationists and racists in the US would traditionally refer to prominent Jewish figures in the arts as “Melvin Hesselberg, aka Melvin Douglas,” “Julius Garfinkle, aka John Garfield” and “David Kaminski, aka Danny Kaye,” as if simply citing a Jewish name was enough to discredit an individual.

And the crimes committed by German fascists and their allies – among whom the Croatian Ustasha was one of the most notorious – became the basis for the anti-racist laws that right-wing Croats are hypocritically seeking to invoke.

Actually similar suits have been launched in a number of countries by “rehabilitated” organisations such as Waffen-SS veteran groups in the Baltic countries against critics including Holocaust survivors.

In Germany nazi symbols, Hitlerite tracts and films such as Jud Suss and The Eternal Jew remain banned.

In the US even right-wing “tea party” Republicans do not celebrate the Klan as it was once celebrated in DW Griffiths’s silent film Birth of a Nation.

There are of course Holocaust deniers throughout the world. But Franjo Tudjman, the anti-communist Thatcher ally who became first president of Croatia when it broke away from Yugoslavia and who was implicated in many of the war crimes against Bosniaks during the ensuing conflict, is one of only two heads of state worldwide who openly joined the Holocaust deniers.

The other was former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose statements were far more widely publicised and condemned.

Bans on Dylan’s music are very much in the tradition of the US House Un-American Activities Committee which highlighted Jews, African-Americans and people born abroad in attacks on cultural figures. The committee played a role in blacklisting Pete Seeger, the Weavers and other artists who inspired Dylan’s early work, though it had lost most of its power by the time Dylan’s career took off.

Dylan doesn’t have much to worry about from this suit, or from the establishment of any Un-Croatian Activities Committee which might go after him as well as former partisans and anti-fascists while celebrating the football team.

It would be nice, though, if those who have brought this suit against him would repudiate the mass murder carried out against Serbs, Jews, Roma and anti-fascist resistance fighters at the Jasenovac death camp, run by the Ustasha as a human slaughterhouse during the second world war.

Then perhaps Dylan might clarify his statement. Then it would be easier to separate the wartime fascist regime from modern Croatian nationalism.

Until the Croatian government faces up to this ugly chapter in the country’s history it will continue to be associated with it.

Bob Dylan talked to AARP Magazine for one of his first interviews in years.