On Thursday, 22 November 2018, we received an e-mail from the spokesperson of the Police Directorate Novo Mesto, Slovenia, which they have asked us to publish on our website. We welcome this approach by the Slovenian Police, interpreting it as a sign of taking of responsibility. We believe this discussion can and should be of interest to the public and therefore decided to publish their e-mail. However, we could not refrain from adding some comments of our own. Here is the e-mail in full length, followed by the reply of the team behind Border Violence Monitoring:
We’re looking back at our approaches to bring Border Violence Monitoring to the European Parliament: In June 2018, a request was submitted by Dietmar Köster (MoP, S&D) in a meeting of the Committee of Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament. Köster questioned the role of Frontex in the context of human rights violations at the borders of Hungary, Croatia and Serbia. (See https://www.borderviolence.eu/border-violence-monitoring-goes-european-parliament/) We worked together with him preparing the request that was based on our database as well as material collected by other NGOs.
Foto: Steffen Kugler
For months we have been working on the compilation and publication of reports on border violence, cooperating with international NGOs, calling for statements from political actors* and using our network to exert pressure on those responsible. Yet the meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković in Berlin on 28 August 2018 was accompanied by a sobering message: According to the press release (in German), Germany was satisfied with Croatia’s role in securing the EU’s external borders.
In August, our team in Bosnia and Herzegovina (mainly NoNameKitchen and Balkan Info Van) reported 260 cases of illegal push-backs from EU territory (Croatia and Slovenia) to Bosnia. However, there are most likely many others cases that remain unreported by our organizations.
Push-backs and police violence are still daily fare: We keep receiving reports pointing to collective expulsions and police violence in Croatia and Hungary.
On the Croatian border, violence exacerbated recently, when Croatian police shot and injured two 12-year-olds, as AYS reports.
“Last night’s incident is just one of many recent examples of police brutality along the Croatian border. Vulnerable people are targeted, criminals often avoid any legal consequences, and police officers involved in deaths or injuries of refugees on Croatian borders also avoid any penalties. Officers remain on duty, further endangering people who are trying to find safety in Croatia and other EU countries.” Continue reading “Border Violence Monitoring goes European Parliament”