“Stop beating us!”: Migrants in Bosnia protest abuse from Croatian authorities

Hundreds of migrants in one of the overcrowded camps in Bosnia protested on 15 February over conditions at the facility and the abuse they allegedly receive from Croatian authorities at the border.

There was a clash with Bosnian police as migrants tried to break out of the Miral camp, which is located in western Bosnia, just 10 km (six miles) from the Croatian border. Witnesses told Reuters that police scuffled with migrants and detained several people during the protest.

Protesting migrants were reportedly chanting “Freedom”, “Give us our money back” and “Stop beating us.”

Many migrants as well as some humanitarian groups have accused Croatian border authorities of mistreatment. Although Croatia consistently denies these allegations.

“If we go to the border, the Croatian police are burning our jackets and shoes, they take mobile phones,” a man from Pakistan told Reuters.

“The Croatian police are very, very bad. We want the border to be opened. Please don’t hit us anymore. Don’t remove our jackets, shoes and socks. They take it all,” another migrant said.

Only in 2019, about 50,000 migrants mainly from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Morocco and Syria crossed Bosnia, while more than 6,000 of them are stranded in poorly equipped, makeshift shelters.

Meanwhile, Croatia and Bosnia recently agreed to strengthen cooperation in combating irregular migration, including improving coordination and information sharing, according to a statement issued after a meeting between the Croatian Ministry of the Interior and police agencies from Bosnia on 13 February.

TMP – 25/02/2020

Photo credit: BalkansCat

Photo caption: BERKASOVO, SERBIA – SEPTEMBER 27, 2015: Croatian policeman looking at micrants crossing the Serbia Croatia border in Berkasovo Bapska, on the Balkans Route, during the Refugee Crisis