Serbian police removes protesting refugees from border

Serbian police on Tuesday removed some 150 refugees, mostly from the Middle East, who were protesting on the country’s border demanding to be allowed into Croatia on their way to Western Europe, regional N1 media hub reported.

Police escorts refugees to the buses. Photo: No Name Kitchen

On Wednesday, Vladimir Cucic, Serbia’s Commissioner for Refugees and Migration, said the refugees were taken to a refugee center in Bela Palanka, in south-eastern Serbia.

Cucic accused the refugees of abusing Serbia’s hospitality and its visa-free regime, saying the refugees were staging protests with the help of the “anarchists and volunteers”.

“We’re speaking about arrogant people who used the visa-free regime and abused it, came to Serbia and expected that Croatia would bow to them,” he said.

No incidents occurred when the police gathered the refugees in buses and took them away, according to an NGO cooking food for refugees.

Cucic rejected the protesters’ claims about bad accommodation in the refugee center at Principovci, near the Serbian town of Sid, on the border with Croatia.

“If they don’t like it, then they may go wherever they want. There is no picking, one goes where there is place, and Serbia is not obliged to … fulfil their wishes. Whoever wants and has the ability, may go,” he concluded.