Open letter from the Centre for Peace Studies and the Welcome Initiative to the German Embassy in Croatia

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On behalf of the Centre for Peace Studies and the Welcome Initiative, we would like to express our concerns regarding German Chancellor Angela Merkel's praise of Croatia three days ago at the press conference in Berlin, after her meeting with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, which was also highlighted on the German government website. 

 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's words: "Croatia is not yet part of the Schengen Area, but with its security forces it is doing an excellent job in protecting the EU’s external border" are cause for concern considering the numerous reports by international human rights organizations detailing allegations of police abuse at the border. These statements are also contrary to the conclusions of the independent Ombudsperson of the Republic of Croatia, a Commissioner of the Croatian Parliament responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights and freedoms, which finds that police have acted contrary to the Croatian legal framework, which also includes the illegal application of police powers at the Croatian borders.

 

Therefore, we ask for a response  as to whether you are familiar with the reports about allegations of police violence, as reported by  Human Rights Watch, MSF - Doctors Without Borders, OXFAM, Red Cross, Amnesty International Slovenia, our reports with partner organizations, as well as the media reports by the Guardian (here and here) and Deutsche Welle (here).

 

Furthermore, we would like to know if you are familiar with these reports, does this mean that Germany and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have no objections to the alleged police violence at the borders, and that through these statements, Chancellor Merkel is knowingly giving cover and legitimacy to the questionable conduct of the Croatian border police?


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