Croatia police say German reporter helped migrants cross

AP , Sunday 21 Nov 2021

Croatian police say that a German reporter was briefly detained and fined for illegally entering the country from Bosnia with a group of migrants.

Bosnia migrant camp
A migrant stands behind a gate at the newly built camp that was inaugurated by European Union and International Organization for Migration officials along with Bosnian authorities near Bihac, northwestern Bosnia, Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. AP

Police said in a statement late Saturday that a court has ordered the 44-year-old German citizen to pay a fine of about 500 euros ($565). The man and seven migrants were caught Saturday in Cetingrad, near Bosnia's border, the statement said.

No other details about the German citizen were immediately known. Croatian police said he told them he was a reporter.

The man was fined for illegal entry but the court dropped police charges accusing him of helping the migrants cross as well, according to the statement. Police will appeal the ruling, they said.

Thousands of migrants remain stuck in Bosnia and other Balkan countries while looking for ways to reach Western Europe. Migrants in Bosnia seek ways to reach European Union neighboring country Croatia before moving on.

Croatia has faced multiple accusations of pushbacks and violence against migrants. Officials have denied systematic abuse, saying police have to protect the border from illegal entry.

The group of migrants caught along with the German citizen included three minors. They have asked to be granted asylum in Croatia, police said.

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