Authorities Must Prosecute People Spreading Fake News about Migrants

Total Croatia News

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ZAGREB, November 10, 2018 – Human rights ombudswoman Lora Vidović said on Saturday the authorities must do much more to prosecute those spreading fake news about migrants and to create a feeling of security by giving citizens true and objective information.

“Fake news about violence committed by migrants and their conflicts with the local population show how important it is to communicate with citizens in a timely manner. I believe the authorities have missed many opportunities there,” Vidović said on Croatian Radio.

She said the security of citizens was very important and wondered in whose interest it was “to spread fear in the media without any arguments, in which some politicians are participating too.” “The information in question can often be checked and once one checks it, one can see that it’s not true,” she added.

Speaking of the Global Compact for Migration, Vidović said the document was about migrants and not refugees, that it was not legally binding or signed, and that it gave countries political commitments.

“In terms of human rights, it is a very good and welcome document… which answers many questions and can help a lot in protecting migrants’ rights, while at the same time not encroaching on any country’s sovereignty. It recognises and confirms the countries’ right to regulate this matter themselves, even what is called irregular migration,” Vidović said, adding that she was glad the Croatian government supported the Global Compact.

She reiterated that security was very important but that it was imperative to manage migration by respecting the human rights of all migrants.

She also reiterated that there was no effective investigation of migrants’ complaints about police brutality and that it was worrisome that the Interior Ministry was nor giving concrete answers. “The answers we have received from the ministry aren’t convincing and we haven’t been told what exactly happened to a specific person in a specific place at a specific time. The ministry only replies that it respects human rights and that police are trained, but there’s been no concrete answer.”

For more on human rights in Croatia, click here.


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