Pushbacks in Croatia

Last update : February 2020

Since 2017 Croatian police are conducting illegal and violent push backs from the borders and inside of the territory. The proof of the systematic nature of this practice is the continuation of unlawful pushbacks even though national and international organizations work hard on stopping it.

Illegal push backs firstly started by not allowing people to apply for asylum or subsidiary protection, even though they expressed their need for protection. Croatian police today not only illegally expel migrants back to Bosnia but also beat them, take their money, break their phones, burns their backpacks and clothes, and detains them in garages or police vans. In addition, some migrants report that Croatian police uses weapons while conducting pushbacks.
In November 2019, Croatian police shot two migrants who were well inside of Croatian territory, and the police treated both shootings as ‘’accidents’’.

The police officers do not only do illegal push backs in uniform but also by police officers who look like civilians. Some police officers anonymously talked about the so-called operation ‘’Corridor’’ whose aim is to push back migrants who crossed the border irregularly. They work in groups, as mentioned before they do not wear uniforms, and they operate in civilian vehicles.

These illegal push backs and a significant number of them daily disables the access to the system of international protection. Some migrants have more than ten different experiences with push backs, even when they would reach the Reception Centre in Zagreb. Recently there is a high number of unaccompanied minors who experienced push backs and who were also victims of police violence.