The Minister of Internal Affairs of Croatia, Davor Bozinovic said they had determined that the police officers on footage showing masked men beating migrants and forcing them into Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) were from Croatia.
Although he confirmed that Croatia was forcibly returning migrants to BiH, he tried to downplay the problem.
“It is certainly an individual violation of several police officers. It is unacceptable behavior of police officers and I would not connect it only with the fight against migration,” he stated, Croatian media reported.
Also, he added that the Police Directorate should announce more detail about this incident soon.
He mentioned he did not expect reactions from other states and that it happens in every country that certain police officers commit such offenses.
Speaking about illegal migration, Bozinovic noted that no member state of the European Union (EU) can deal with it alone.
To recall, the video also shows one of the masked men shouting after hitting the migrant with a stick: “Go to Bosnia.”
This was filmed in June during an eight-month journalistic survey in which RTL’s team participated together with colleagues from the investigative journalism network Lighthouse Reports from the Netherlands, Swiss SRF Rundschau, German ARD Studio Vienna, ARD Monitor, French Liberation, Dutch Pointer, Novosti, and der Spiegel.
After a video was released showing intervention police in the forest on the border with BiH beating migrants and forcing them to go back, police officers participating in such activities said they had been ordered to do so.
The operation of returning migrants has its code name “Corridor” and is a common practice in which members of the intervention police participate together with additional units of the Croatian police who know the field better, Klix.ba writes.