Human Rights Watch says Croatia should not join Schengen

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — A leading international human rights body says Croatia should not be allowed into the European Union's border-free travel zone because of its treatment of migrants crossing into the country from neighboring Bosnia.

In a report Friday, Human Rights Watch criticized the EU's executive Commission for saying last month that Croatia is ready to join the so-called Schengen Area.

It said Croatia's "unlawful and violent summary returns of asylum seekers and migrants should disqualify it from joining the Schengen Area" and that the Commission's actions "sends the message that serious human rights abuses are no obstacle to Schengen accession."

There was no immediate reaction from Croatia to the report. Croatian officials have repeatedly denied accusations of abuse from migrants and human rights groups.