Croatia Slams MEPs’ Visit to Bosnia Border as Provocation

Croatia's Interior Minister, Davor Bozinovic, condemned a failed visit by a group of Italian MEPs to the Croatia-Bosnia border as having "the obvious intention to damage Croatia's reputation".

He spoke out after the MEPs and accompanied reporters tried to reach the Croatian border with Bosnia and Herzegovina to check allegations that Croatian police routinely mistreat migrants and refugees trying to enter the EU member state.

The delegation was thwarted in its mission by Croatian police officers.

"This is another in a series of provocations related to the actions of the Croatian police in fulfilling their tasks, and that is the protection of the state border," Bozinovic told the media on Sunday.

The Italian media outlet Avvenire reported on Saturday that four MEPs, Pietro Bartolo, Alessandra Moretti, Pierfrancesco Majorino and Brando Benefei, tried to reach the border area, where human rights groups have reported physical abuse of migrants and refugees at the hands of Croatia's police. But it said that Croatian police had prevented them from reaching their goal.

"The police probably have something to hide: if we have been treated like this, imagine how migrants and potential asylum seekers could be treated," the MEPs told Avvenire.

The Italian President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, expressed "astonishment" after the incident.

Fermati dalla polizia croata ben prima del confine con la Bosnia. Ispezione il confine è un nostro diritto, è un nostro dovere. #rottabalcanica #restiamoumani

— Pietro Bartolo (@bartolopietro1) January 30, 2021

"We always hope for friendly cooperation. We call for their requests to be met," Sassoli wrote on...

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