The Centre for Peace Studies (CMS) said on Monday it was unacceptable that police shot a migrant in the Gorski Kotar mountainous region, while the police union said the migrant was wounded when a gun accidentally went off and that his life was saved because the officer in question acted in line with the highest principles.
According to media reports, the man underwent urgent surgery due to a gunshot wound in the chest and abdomen area and Rijeka University Hospital doctors are fighting for his life. The use of firearms against refugees and migrants is becoming the rule, and the Interior Ministry and Minister (Davor) Bozinovic are doing their best to justify such conduct instead of preventing it, the CMS said in a press release.
The unofficial police information, although the investigation’s findings have not been disclosed, is unconvincing and even more worrying are Bozinovic’s statements justifying the use of firearms by police towards migrants, this nongovernmental organisation said, adding that this was not the first time that shots were fired at groups of migrants and refugees.
The SPH police union applauded the activity of all police officers protecting the state border in a difficult time when, it said, the number of people trying to illegally enter Croatia is on the rise.
Conscientious and professional police activity is necessary to maintain the state’s integrity and citizens’ security as well as to meet all the commitments Croatia undertook by joining the EU and other international agreements and associations, SPH president Dubravko Jagic said in a press release.
As for the shooting of the migrant in Gorski Kotar, he said all public and official information so far indicated that he was shot when the gun of one of the police officers who came across a group of illegal migrants accidentally went off.
Unfortunately, the wounds were grave and the person is still in serious condition, but his life was saved only because the officer whose gun accidentally went off acted in line with all the highest principles of the police profession and humanity, carrying the migrant, together with a colleague, over three kilometres of inaccessible terrain to a place which an ambulance could reach, Jagic said.
The dedicated work of the police to save the life of a migrant is a deeply humane act, the union concluded.