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The EU Should Sanction Croatia for Violence Against Migrants

Recent reports by humanitarian groups and the media paint a gruesome picture of abuse on Croatia’s border with Bosnia-Herzegovina. Photos show injuries consistent with beatings by police batons. Testimonies from migrants and asylum seekers speak of sexual…
A migrant sustained severe head injury and a broken arm following a brutal beating by, what he stated was, six Croatian police officers during a pushback on October 16, 2020. 
News

Abuses Should Rule Out Schengen Accession

 (Budapest) – The European Commission’s October 22, 2019 conclusion that Croatia is ready to join the Schengen Area wilfully brushes over evidence of violent pushbacks of migrants at its borders, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing a video…
A migrant who claims he was beaten by Croatian police while attempting to cross the border to Croatia shows his injury at a factory hall turned migrants facility in Bihac, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Wednesday, March 13, 2019.
News

Relocate Migrants to Decent Accommodation Elsewhere

Over a year after Human Rights Watch first criticized Bosnia’s failure to protect the basic rights of migrants and asylum seekers, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is warning of a fast-developing humanitarian emergency…
Migrants and asylum seekers in camp Vucjak where 2,500 people are now living in inhumane conditions without water, electricity, and medical care, Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina
News

Halt Abusive Operations; Justice Needed

(London) – Croatia should immediately stop summarily returning migrants and asylum seekers to Bosnia and Herzegovina, in some cases with force, Human Rights Watch said today in an open letter to President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic. The …
A migrant who claims he was beaten by Croatian police while attempting to cross the border to Croatia shows his injury at a factory hall turned migrants facility in Bihac, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Wednesday, March 13, 2019.
News

Violence, Abuse; Denied Opportunity to Apply for Asylum

(Budapest) – Croatian police are pushing migrants and asylum seekers back to Bosnia and Herzegovina, in some cases violently, and without giving them the possibility to seek asylum, Human Rights Watch said. Human Rights Watch interviewed…
Migrants including asylum seekers in a dilapidated building in Borici camp, Bihac, Bosnia Herzegovina. November 19, 2018.
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Central European University Suspends Program for Asylum Seekers

An education program aimed at giving asylum seekers and refugees in Hungary a new start is the first casualty of the government’s most recent anti-immigrant measures. This week, the Central European University (CEU) suspended…
People in Budapest protest a draft law targeting Central European University, Hungary, April 4, 2017.
News
With independent media largely silenced or taken over, the courts increasingly curbed, and a parliament firmly under the control of the newly re-elected Fidesz ruling party, Hungary’s nongovernmental groups are the most effective…
Protesters attend a rally against Hungarian government's clampdown on a top foreign university and non-government organisations in Budapest, Hungary, May 21, 2017.
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The London summit this week could kick-start the revival of the stalled reform process in the region – but won’t if human rights and the rule of law stay off the agenda

  Western Balkan and European Union leaders meet in London this week for a summit that could be a chance to revive stalled reforms and focus attention on critical issues. Unfortunately, there is every chance it will turn out to be full of hot…
Migrants are seen in front of a dorm destroyed during Bosnian 1992-1995 war, in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina May 11, 2018.
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Law Could Jail People Who Provide Services, Advice to Migrants

Hungary’s Parliament passed a law that not only makes it almost impossible to seek asylum in Hungary, but also makes it a crime to help migrants and refugees. If signed into law by Hungarian President Janos Ader, starting…
Members of the Hungarian government vote on the 'Stop Soros' package of bills that criminalises some help given to illegal immigrants, at the Parliament in Budapest, Hungary, June 20, 2018.
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Last week, the European People's Party (EPP) had a chance to stand up for its values and those of the European Union. But instead, it ducked the issue. The umbrella group of center-right and Christian democrat parties in European…
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban before a photo at the European Union Tallinn Digital Summit in Tallinn, Estonia, September 29, 2017.
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Proposed Constitutional Amendment Limits Asylum Access

(Budapest) – A revised draft bill published by the Hungarian government on May 29, 2018, would criminalize efforts to help migrants and asylum seekers and curb their access to protection, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill the…
An anti-immigration poster by Viktor Orban's Fidesz party during Hungary's April 2018 elections, April 8, 2018, Gyongyos, Hungary.
News

Withdraw ‘Stop Soros’ Measures; Halt Curbs on Rights Groups

(Budapest) – The Hungarian government submitted three bills to parliament on February 13, 2018 that would penalize and restrict groups working on asylum and migration issues, Human Rights Watch said today. The bills cast helping a person…
People protest in Heroes’ square against a new law that would undermine Central European University, a liberal graduate school of social sciences founded by U.S. financier George Soros in Budapest, Hungary, April 12, 2017.
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EU Commission’s Silence Undermining the Rights of Migrants

Migration was high on the agenda when the EU’s migration commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, visited Budapest last week. But, after lengthy discussions with Hungary’s justice and interior ministers, his public remarks after the meeting on 28 March…
Migrants walk along Hungary's border fence on the Serbian side of the border near Morahalom, Hungary, February 22, 2016
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EU Should Seek To Halt Plan to Hold Asylum Seekers in Transit Zones

Update: On March 7, 2017, the Hungarian parliament approved the law, 138 to 6 with 22 abstentions. The law will come into force 8 days after it is signed by the Hungarian president. (Budapest) – A draft bill proposed by the Hungarian government…
A refugee washes clothes on the Hungary-Serbia border, on the Serbian side of a transit zone set up by Hungarian authorities to filter refugees at Roszke, Hungary, September 2, 2016.
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Dimitris Avramopoulos Commissioner Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship European Commission Rue de La Roi 200 1049 1049 Brussels Belgium dimitris.avramopoulos@ec.europa.eu…
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Asylum Seekers Denied Access to Protection; Subject to Violence

(Budapest) – Croatian police are forcing asylum seekers back to Serbia from inside Croatia, in some cases using violence, without giving them an opportunity to lodge claims for protection, Human Rights Watch said today. Human…
Migrants wait in line to receive free food during a snowfall outside a derelict customs warehouse in Belgrade, Serbia January 9, 2017.
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Serbia, Hungary Leave People Without Adequate Shelter as Winter Hits Hard

While many in Serbia prepare for Orthodox Christmas, others in the country and neighboring Hungary are bedding down in freezing cold weather hoping to survive. Temperatures in Hungary and Serbia have dropped to minus 20 degrees centigrade at night.…
Asylum seekers and migrants living in appalling conditions in abandoned warehouses behind Belgrade train station, Serbia. November 22, 2016.
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Ensure Prompt Asylum Process; Probe Excessive Force Allegations

(Budapest) – Hungary is keeping many of the most vulnerable asylum seekers stranded on its border in poor conditions for weeks while they wait to enter the country and file their claims. Some said that border officials had used…
Migrants rest as a policeman watches them near Hungary's border fence on the Serbian side of the border near Morahalom, Hungary, February 22, 2016.
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“What crime did we commit for 40 police officers to surround us? It’s like they think we are terrorists or criminals,” 48-year old Khatoon, a Yazidi woman from Iraq who had several family members who were murdered or taken hostage by ISIS, told me. For a…