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Croatian police accused of sexually abusing asylum seekers | European Union News


A woman from Afghanistan said she was sexually abused, forced to strip naked, held a knife and threatened to be raped by a Croatian officer after crossing the border to Croatia from Bosnia to seek asylum, according to one filing. new (PDF) compiled by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC).

The woman, whose name was dropped out of respect for privacy, said she and three other people, an elderly man and two children, crossed the border to Croatia near Velika Kladusa, Bosnia on the evening of February 15.

Soon after, the group was stopped by a Croatian policeman who continued to point their guns at them until more officers arrived at the scene. When the group said they were applying for asylum, an officer “laughed and insulted them while they asked him to understand,” the woman said.

She said she was sexually abused many times and was forced to strip herself during a search near the border. The policemen beat the group of asylum seekers on their backs and legs when they were forced to walk back to Bosnia, she said.

Police said in a statement Wednesday that they were investigating the reported sexual abuse,
The AP news agency reported.

Police said the initial investigation into the allegations gathered by the Danish Refugee Council team found no police intervention against any of the migrant women on February 15, when the incident took place.

“We are really appalled by such allegations and [that] Such behavior is attributed to a Croatian police, ”the statement said.

“As in all previous cases when Croatian police were charged with violence against migrants, immediate action has been taken to examine the allegations.”

The DRC report provides other testimonies detailing physical abuse and injury to migrants.

The report says a total of 23,853 people have reported opposition to Bosnia as of May 2019.

The Council noted 547 people had been pushed from Croatia in January and February, with 35 percent of mistreatment and mistreatment and 32 percent reporting physical abuse and assault.

One third of the respondents said they have been denied access to the asylum process.

The DRC report notes that objections, violent or otherwise, violating the EU’s refugee status, migrating and acquiring Schengen, are reported daily at the EU’s outer borders.

Charlotte Slente, DRC’s secretary general, said: “The testimony recorded by the DRC was shocking. “Despite the lower number of responses recorded by the DRC in 2021 – most likely due to extreme weather conditions, as happened in early 2020 – patterns of violence and abuse are reported. reports at the Croatia-BiH border remain unchanged. “

“This again emphasizes the urgent need for a systematic investigation of these reports. Although the European Commission has intervened with Croatian authorities in recent months, we have seen little progress, either on the investigation of fact reports, or on the development of mechanisms. Independent border monitoring to prevent violence on the EU’s outer borders.

“It’s time to make the excuses come true – and make sure that truly independent border surveillance is done to prevent these abuses, and ensure that investigations are credible. and transparency can effectively capture perpetrators of violence and abuse.

“Whether they involve violence or not, repulsive actions constitute a violation of international and EU law, and the EU member states must respect the rule of law in managing overdue borders. ages ago long ago.”

Croatia has repeatedly denied allegations that it used violence to repel migrants and asylum seekers to Bosnia.

On January 11, the Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe released the observations to the European Court of Human Rights, noting that all the information points to an established practice of handover. collective, the maltreatment of migrants by Croatian law enforcement officers and the lack of reporting indicate prompt and independent investigations of such treatment.



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