The Croatian Ministry of the Interior has „rejected“ allegations of illegal collective deportation of refugees. The actions of the Croatian police directly on the green border are about refusal of entry under the Schengen Borders Code, the ministry said yesterday.
„Lawful acts of the police“
In this case, it was not „deportations of hundreds of migrants to Bosnia-Herzegovina,“ said the Interior Ministry. The Institute of Refusal of Entry is required by Article 13 of the Schengen Borders Code. „This is a legitimate measure available to the border police in EU countries and is being used against those trying to enter a country far from border crossings,“ it said.
The Ministry of the Interior had checked the place where the video recordings were made, as well as police action, the statement said. „It was found that these are legitimate acts of the police on the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina,“ it said. It was emphasized that the Croatian police acted „strictly in accordance with the highest standards of human rights“.
Video recordings caused a stir
Zagreb responded to the allegations of the NGO „Border Violence Monitoring“, which has released video footage of suspected collective deportations from Croatia to Bosnia in the fall of 2018. According to the report, at least 350 people seeking protection were sent back to Bosnia with the „push-backs“ within a period of just under two weeks.