Croatia Police Say German Reporter Helped Migrants Cross Illegally

Illegal migrants line-up for lunch distribution, on November 20, 2019, at "Vucjak" camp, in the outskirt of the city of Bihac, in northern Bosnia. - Caught in the "limbo" between local and international politics, migrants remain stuck at this improvised camp, in inadequate living conditions, between attempts to illegally enter …
ELVIS BARUKCIC/AFP via Getty Images

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) – Croatian police say that a German reporter was briefly detained and fined for illegally entering the country from Bosnia with a group of migrants.

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 (£420/$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 neighbouring 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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