From the start of January to the end of November 2017, a total of at least 110 incidents of illegal push-backs were reported. However, since we can only document experiences of the people we meet in person during our activities on the ground, the real number must inevitably be much higher. Also, the following statistics are influenced by dynamics in the documentation and cannot be fully representative of the phenomenon.
In total, a staggering number of at least 857 individuals suffered illegal expulsion and police violence such as beating, kicking, electric shocks and even dog bites, were deprived of their belongings including their clothes, and forced to wait for hours at below-zero temperature.
In at least 52 of cases minors were involved, while 34 reports do not give this information. In a minimum of two thirds of the documented incidents the will to ask for asylum was explicitly expressed – which in every case was answered with the forceful expulsion of the people seeking protection.
Most of the violent acts (76) took place on Croatian territory and were perpetrated by Croatian police, whereas 16 cases were reported from Hungary and 12 from Slovenia. In the latter, Slovenian police usually worked together with their Croatian equivalents to create ‘push-back chains’ in which refugees were handed over to Croatian police which deported them back to Serbia, often beating them again upon release.
While not all reports contain information on the affected person’s nationality, at least 289 people hail from Afghanistan, 116 from Pakistan and 123 from states of the Maghreb. Other nationalities include Bangladesh, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, and Cuba.