Croatia police accused of abusing refugees

International aid organizations have reported that Croatian police are using violence to push refugees back into neighboring Bosnia-Herzegovina. Croatian authorities deny the accusations.

A middle-aged man steps out of a line of refugees. They are waiting for food at a makeshift camp in the northwest of Bosnia-Herzegovina. He removes his t-shirt to reveal welts and dried blood across his back. It is becoming a familiar image, one similar to those shared on social media several days ago, which also blame Croatian police.

The refugees near the Bosnian village of Velika Kladusa have tried to reach Croatia, an EU member state; the border is not far from here. Of the 10 refugees speaking to journalists, nine reported abuse by Croatian police; violence and insults, stolen money and damaged phones. Their efforts to apply for asylum have also been thwarted, they said, including being forced to walk back to Bosnia through dense forests.

“Show Europe what’s happening here,” a few refugees said, baring their wounds.

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