Croatian NGOs Organize Protest Against Closure of Border for Migrants

Total Croatia News

Balkan migrant route should be reopened, say NGOs.

About three hundred protesters gathered at St. Mark’s Square in Zagreb on Friday evening protesting against the closure of the so-called Balkan migrant route. They sent a message to the European Union that the decision to close the borders for refugees means giving the green light to smugglers and threatens human lives, reports on March 12, 2016.

During the peaceful gathering, the protesters expressed their disagreement with the policy of Croatian government and the EU toward refugees. They held numerous banners expressing their views. “Croatia is a country of open doors, which must not support the decisions made in the EU and Turkey, both due to its war and refugee past and due to moral obligations to people whose lives are in danger”, said the protesters.

Emina Bužinkić from the Dobrodošli (Welcome) Initiative, which organized the protest, told reporters that they were convinced that the closure of borders would lead to people being driven to death. “This represents the cowardice of European leaders who have made the decision to close the borders. This is actually a decision that they do not want to address the issue of the war in Syria and the security of the Middle East, as well as further flows of refugee crises in the world”, she said.

Bužinkić added she was opposed to the government’s proposal to amend the Law on State Border Control and the Law on Defence which would allow it to send the army to the borders because, she said, Croatia was not in a state of war.

With the sounds of African drums, the crowd expressed its disapproval of Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković’s statement after the decision to close the borders on the Balkan route, when he said that “zero refugees is a good result for Croatia”. They described it as a shameful statement and added that “the only positive result for Croatia would be to accept all people who need security and protection”.

The protesters carried banners reading “The president and the prime minister were also economic migrants”, “Orešković – foreign ‘buildings’ are also people”, “Cowards, open the borders”, “You delivered people to the smugglers”, “History will remember you by the barbed wire”, “There is no them and us, we are all people”, and others.


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