“It was like a prison inside.”

  • Date and time: April 1, 2019 04:00
  • Location: Tovarnik, Croatia, on the Croatian side of the Serbian-Croatian border near the spot where the trucks park
  • Coordinates: 45.15698543475, 19.171343365052962
  • Push-back from: Croatia
  • Push-back to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 1 person(s), age: 19 , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, exposure to air condition and extreme temperature during car ride
  • Police involved: Croatian special police (who was hitting the interviewee) with commando boots dressed in dark blue with Croatian flag on the arm. Another policeman was watching
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

The respondent is 19 years old and crossed the border from Serbia into Croatia with a group of nine other people-on-the-move from Šid on March 31, 2019, at 20:00. The group entered Croatia by foot, when the Croatian authorities discovered them in the early morning of the following day (1st April 2020). The officers spoke Croatian and were dressed in blue, wearing special boots and uniforms showing the Croatian flag on the arm. Eight individuals from the transit group managed to escape back to Serbia, but not the respondent.

The respondent was caught at 04:00 by the Croatian officers and beaten up at a parking space in front of parked trucks. At that moment, just one officer was present. The officer crashed the respondent’s head against a wall. Then he beat him with a baton in his ribs and also kicked him in the ribs and continued to beat him all over his body.

After the officer beat him up, he was put in a white van with reinforced glass windows and pushed back to Serbia. He was accompanied only by the policeman who was driving the van and who was not from the same unit as the others. The policeman drove very fast, without light and with no ventilation. He describes the situation:

“It was like a prison inside.”

The respondent didn’t ask for asylum. He didn’t have to give his fingerprints, nor were photos taken. There was also no lawyer or translator present.

At the time of the interview, his forehead, nose and chin showed traces of violence. He couldn’t lie nor sit down. His finger was also injured and he complained about pain in his legs.

Photo of the injuries to the respondents head.