On Saturday 16th November 2019, a group of people-in-transit were fired upon by Croatian police with live rounds. The shooting occurred on Tuhobić mountain, Gorski Kotar (HR), an area close to the Slovenian border. One man was shot in the stomach and chest area and remains in a critical condition in a hospital in Rijeka (HR). The Croatian Ministry of Interior have stated this potentially fatal shooting to be an accidental outcome of regular border protection work. However, The Border Violence Monitoring Network are sharing their dataset of firearms incidents, proving the regular and systematic use of guns by the Croatian police during pushback operations. The statistics, drawn from the common database, show:
- 19% of all recorded pushback cases from Croatia involved gun use, affecting 1279 people.
- In October 2019, 17% of recorded pushback cases from Croatia involved the threatening with, or shooting of firearms by police. This firearms use targeted a total of 285 people.
- In 2019, the pushbacks of 770 people from Croatia involved gun use. Of the 54 group cases:
– In 31 cases gunshots were fired by police officers
– In 33 cases guns were used to threaten respondents
- Across the Balkan Region, BVMN has recorded 107 incidents of gun use by police, including: -63 cases where gunshots were fired by police officers -63 cases where guns were used to threaten respondents