A girl from Afghanistan says she was sexually abused, compelled to strip bare, held at knifepoint and threatened with rape by a Croatian officer after crossing into Croatia from Bosnia in search of asylum, in accordance with a brand new file (PDF) compiled by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC).
The lady, whose identify is omitted out of respect for privateness, stated that she and three others, an aged man and two kids, crossed the border to Croatia close to Velika Kladusa, Bosnia on the night of February 15.
Shortly afterwards, the group was stopped by a Croatian police officer, who continued to level a rifle at them till extra officers arrived on the scene. When the group stated they have been in search of asylum, an officer “laughed and insulted them while they were asking him to have understanding”, the girl stated.
She stated she was repeatedly subjected to sexual abuse and compelled to strip bare throughout a search close to the border. The officers beat the group of asylum seekers with batons on their backs and legs as they have been compelled to stroll again to Bosnia, she stated.
The police stated in a press release on Wednesday they have been investigating the reported sexual abuse,
The Related Press information company reported.
The police stated an preliminary look into allegations collected by the Danish Refugee Council group discovered no police intervention towards any feminine migrants on February 15, when the incident reportedly happened.
“We are absolutely horrified by such allegations and [that] such behaviour is attributed to a Croatian policeman,” the assertion stated.
“Just like in all previous instances when Croatian police were accused of violence against migrants, immediate actions were taken to check the allegations.”
The DRC report featured different testimonies detailing bodily abuse, inflicting accidents to the migrants.
A complete of 23,853 individuals have reported pushbacks to Bosnia since Might 2019, the report stated.
The council documented 547 individuals being pushed again from Croatia in January and February, with 35 p.c experiencing abusive and degrading therapy and 32 p.c reporting bodily abuse and assault.
A 3rd of respondents stated they have been denied entry to an asylum process.
The DRC report famous that pushbacks, violent or not, violate the EU asylum, migration and Schengen acquis, but they have been reported every day on the EU’s exterior borders.
“The testimonies recorded by DRC are truly shocking,” stated Charlotte Slente, secretary-general on the DRC. “Despite the lower number of pushbacks recorded by DRC in 2021 – which can largely be attributed to harsh weather conditions, as happened at the beginning of 2020 – the patterns of reported violence and abuse at the Croatia-BiH border remain unchanged.”
“This underscores, as soon as once more, the pressing want for systematic investigations of those reviews. Regardless of the European Fee’s engagement with Croatian authorities in latest months, we now have seen just about no progress, neither on investigations of the particular reviews, nor on the event of impartial border monitoring mechanisms to stop violence on the EU’s exterior borders.
“It truly is time to show rhetoric into actuality – and make sure that really impartial border monitoring is put in place to stop these abuses, and make sure that credible and clear investigations can successfully maintain perpetrators of violence and abuse to account.
“Whether they involve violence or not, pushbacks constitute a violation of international and EU law, and it is long-overdue for EU member states to respect the rule of law in border management.”
Croatia has repeatedly denied allegations that it makes use of violence to push again migrants and asylum seekers to Bosnia.
On January 11, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights revealed observations to the European Courtroom of Human Rights, noting that each one info factors to a longtime observe of collective returns, widespread ill-treatment of migrants by Croatian legislation enforcement officers and a scarcity of immediate and impartial investigations into such therapy, the report stated.