The Independent Association of Serbian Journalists (NUNS) on Monday condemned the behaviour of Croatian police towards two reporters, saying that Croatian police lashed out at two journalists on the Berkasovo-Bapska border crossing and seized their equipment.
N1 broadcaster reported that around 1230 hours angry and over-strecthed Croatian police seized the equipment of freelancers and AFP photo-journalist Andrej Isakovic. Isakovic told the press the police were “very rude” and that they “even used profanity”.
Andrej Isakovic, who is working for Agence France-Presse, said Monday that the incident happened while he was covering the migrant backlog at the Serbian-Croatian border.
Isakovic said two Croatian policemen first demanded the camera’s memory cards. When he refused “they stormed at me, pulled me down to the ground, grabbed both of my cameras and threw them in the mud.”
The NUNS said such actions were inappropriate and demanded an investigation and measures against the police officers in question.
The Croatian Interior Ministry reported on its website that two journalists working for foreign news agencies had joined the wave of migrants seeking protection and entered Croatia at an illegal border crossing which, according to the ministry, was unnecessary and represented a violation of legal regulations and disrespect of the crisis code of conduct. The ministry also said that there was no room for criticism of police conduct given that the reporters had been warned and sent back to Serbia, together with their equipment.
Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic announced that Serbia would send a protest note to Croatia over this incident.