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    Migrants wait to cross the border from Slovenia into Spielfeld in Austria, in this February 16, 2016 file photo.

    Amnesty Accuses EU of Systematic Expulsion of Refugees to Third Countries

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The European Union is complicit in the systematic and frequently violent collective expulsions of asylum-seekers seeking entry into Europe back to Bosnia and Herzegovina, a prominent human rights organisation said in a report released on Wednesday.

    "The seemingly well-coordinated and decisive action of EU Member States to reduce irregular entries to the EU results in people being expelled back to Bosnia and Herzegovina, where they have no alternative but to stay in squalid and unsafe temporary camps and without effective access to asylum", the report said.

    According to the report, the European Union failed to provide adequate support and protection for the refugees entering its borders, effectively revealing a major flaw in its asylum policies.

    READ MORE: EU Commission Intensifying Legal Procedure Against Hungary Over Migrant Row

    In addition, the European Union's tightening border security policies that aimed at restricting immigration were "in violation of international and EU law," the report said.

    Amnesty International also urged European governments to halt the expulsions of refugees in order to avoid a humanitarian crisis that could mount from the increasing numbers of refugees being sent to Bosnia and Herzegovina and forced to live in unsanitary conditions.

    Amnesty International's report, based on interviews conducted between June 2018 and January 2019 with 94 refugees living in temporary accommodation camps in the Croatia-bordering towns of Bihac and Velika Kladusa in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina, found that authorities in Croatia, Italy and Slovenia have repeatedly returned third-country refugees seeking asylum in Europe back to the non-EU member state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, often in a violent manner.

    READ MORE: EU Court Wants London to Take Back Migrants Entering Bloc via UK Amid Brexit

    Over 25,530 detected refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants have passed through Bosnia and Herzegovina since January 2018, according to a February report by European Commission's Directorate for EU Civil Protection. An estimated 5,400 are still in-country.

    The country has become a major transit route, through which refugees arriving from countries like Pakistan, Iran, Syria and Afghanistan seek to enter the European Union.

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    migrants, refugees, migration, Amnesty International, European Union, Bosnia and Herzegovina
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