Statement: Croatian interior minister facing evidence of border violence

Dear Ministers,

this is just one testimony out of hundreds your Foreign minister qualified here this house as “fake news” last week. We all know, Croatian law enforcement to be regularly performing beatings, forced undressing, using tasers, pushing people into rivers and stealing/breaking peoples’ phones in order to erase evidence.

Does your presidency have any intention to review its engagement regarding regular illegal pushbacks? As you know, these systematic actions at the EU external border were documented by several human rights watchdogs, the media, the Croatian ombudswoman, revealed by a Croatian police officer and stated by the Commissioner of Human Rights of the European Council, Dunja Mijatovic. They were also admitted on television by the former Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.

This form of violence is in breach of European Convention on Human Rights, the Schengen Border Code and in over 80% of cases to amount to torture.[1]

In 2019, the „Border Violence Monitoring Network“ identified firearms abuse in 25 percent of recorded pushback cases. Does Croatia still intend to use live firearms[2] against one of the most vulnerable groups: asylum seekers?

What importance do you attach during your Presidency to the rule of law when Croatian officials violate laws on a daily basis?


[1] https://www.borderviolence.eu/new-report-on-cases-of-torture-of-asylum-seekers-by-croatian-authorities-at-eu-external-borders/

[2] “Live firearms” sind scharfe Schusswaffen, die zu Schusswaffen mit Platzpatronen umgebaut wurden, z.B. für den Einsatz in Theatern oder im Fernsehen.