Dozens of human rights activists briefly blocked Croatia’s border with Bosnia in protest against European Union migration policies
MALJEVAC, Croatia – Dozens of human rights defenders briefly blocked Croatia’s border with Bosnia on Saturday in protest against European Union migration policies.
Protesters demanded that the EU’s border agency, Frontex, be dismantled and countries end their pushbacks of migrants trying to reach Western Europe. Waving banners stating “Stop Deportation” or “No Human Is Illegal”, they parked cars at the border and shouted slogans against EU policies.
No incidents were reported as Croatian police were standing nearby.
Croatian officers have been accused of using violence to turn back migrants attempting to enter from Bosnia, which authorities have denied.
Thousands of people remain stranded in Bosnia awaiting a chance to cross through Croatia, an EU member state, and move on to other wealthier EU countries.
Francesco Cibati, of a rights group based in Trieste, Italy, said the protesters had come to demand that everyone be granted the right to seek asylum. He said organizations from Spain, Germany, France, Austria and Slovenia were supporting the protest.
“The European Union is pushing people back violently and the Croatian police are doing it on behalf of the European Union, paid for by the European Union,” he said. “We are therefore here to protest against this situation, which is intolerable.”
Migrants fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa or Asia arrive in the Balkans arriving first in Turkey, then slipping into Greece or Bulgaria before heading to North Macedonia, the Serbia and Bosnia.
Follow all of AP’s stories on global migration at https://apnews.com/hub/migration