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Migrants: Amnesty, new evidence of violence in Croatia

"Police abuse and torture" at Croatian-Bosnia border

11 June, 19:17
(ANSA) - BELGRADE, JUNE 11 - Amnesty International (AI) accused the Croatian police today of using violence, torture and to humiliate migrants and refugees irregularly crossing from Bosnia-Herzegovina to Croatia.

"In a horrifying escalation of police human rights violations at the Croatian border with Bosnia, a group of migrants and asylum seekers was recently bound, brutally beaten and tortured by officers who mocked their injuries and smeared food on their bleeding heads to humiliate them," Amnesty International claimed in a statement seen by ANSA. Pictures of the incident were made public by Amnesty.

According to AI, the incident allegedly took place on the night between 26 and 27 May near Lake Plitvice, when 16 Pakistani and Afghan asylum-seekers were apprehended by the Croatian police while crossing from Bosnia to Croatia. "Between eight and ten people wearing black uniforms and balaclavas identical to those used by Croatia's Special Police, fired their weapons in the air, kicked and repeatedly hit the restrained men with metal sticks, batons and pistol grips. They then rubbed ketchup, mayonnaise and sugar that they found in one of the backpacks on migrants' bleeding heads and hair and their trousers," Amnesty International said.

"While only the latest in the series, the incident points to a new level of brutality and abuse by the Croatian police," Amnesty noted, recalling that over the past three years NGOs and activists have repeatedly spoke about similar cases of violence against migrants and refugees, while Croatia always dismissed all allegations. (ANSA).

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