Croatian Ministry of Interior said that accusations that the Croatian Police humiliated migrants on a religious basis are “completely absurd as well as dangerous if we take into consideration that they were published in the month of Ramadan”.
In a statement, MoI recalls that the British news portal The Guardian published an article, yet another in a series full of factually unfounded accusations made at the expense of the Croatian Police concerning their treatment of illegal migrants.
“The unfounded accusations went a step further this time; the article states that Croatian police officers used spray paint to colour the heads of migrants who attempted to illegally enter Croatian territory with the intent to mark, humiliate and traumatise them because their heads were painted in the shape of a cross, whereas the migrant population is predominantly Muslim.
Croatian police officers are accused of xenophobia in a tendentious manner, by sensationalist articles that lack objectivity and it is especially absurd that such accusations are imputed onto police officers of a state that has excellent and friendly relations with the Islamic community,” reads the statement.
The publication of such an article during the month of Ramadan, which incites religious intolerance, is “especially worrisome and warrants scathing denunciation”.
The fabrication that migrants are marked with the sign of the cross because of their faith demonstrates the author’s ignorance and a premeditated attack against Croatia without any knowledge of the basic facts. It is well-known that the Croatian authorities have excellent relations with the Muslim religious community which is greatly valued in Croatian society and which the worldwide public recognises as an exemplary cooperation between religious communities. “We would also like to bring attention to the conference “Muslim Communities in Europe – Rights and Duties”, where it was pointed out that the Muslim community in Croatia has been promoting for years the idea that could serve as a model to address the question of the integration of Muslim communities throughout Europe, but also of Christian minorities in the Muslim world”.
“The Croatian Ministry of Interior has already received various accusations regarding the manner in which it conducts state border surveillance; however, in this case we are especially appalled by how far the authors of the article is willing to go with his fabrications”.
As a collocutor to the author of the article, noted MoI, a certain activist of the association No Name Kitchen and the association Border Violence Monitoring is mentioned. These two organisations have been the most active for years when it comes to accusing the Croatian Police for their treatment of illegal migrants.
“We would like to point out that the association No Name Kitchen was a ringleader, according to the information at our disposal, in the attempt of a violent breakthrough of hundreds of migrants into the Republic of Croatia across the border with Serbia in December of 2018, which was prevented in coordination with the police of the Republic of Serbia. As stated in the article, No Name Kitchen now implements its activities in the migrant camp in Velika Kladuša”, MoI said.
The organisation Border Violence Monitoring regularly publishes accusations against the Croatian Police and the Republic of Croatia on its news portal because of the treatment of migrants, but it does this also against all other countries on the Balkan Migration Route. The accusations they publish contain almost no information and data that could be investigated, as in the case of the article published by The Guardian./ibna