Source: Balkan Insight
Human Rights Watch said on Friday that Croatian police have not been respecting the rights of asylum-seekers arriving in the country and have been pushing them back across the border to neighbouring Serbia.
Ten Afghani asylum seekers – including two unaccompanied children – told the campaign group that they were deported to Serbia in November, after not being allowed to file an application for asylum, although they said they wanted to at the border.
Nine of them said that policemen punched and kicked them, and their money and mobile phones were taken from them.
Lydia Gall, a researcher at Human Rights Watch, said that such abusive treatment of asylum-seekers is “unworthy of an EU state”.
“Authorities in Zagreb need to make sure that all officials are doing their duty to protect asylum seekers and not violently forcing them back to Serbia,” Gall said.
“The European Commission should press Zagreb to comply with its obligations under EU and refugee law, investigate alleged abuses and provide meaningful access to asylum and fair procedures for those on its territory and at its borders,” she added.