On approximately the 31st March 2021, a group of 20 people crossed the border from Bosnia Herzegovina to Croatia near the town of Šturlić. The group consisted of several families from Iran and Iraq, including 10 children, the youngest child was 4 years old. The respondent is a 16-year-old boy.
They started walking at 10 pm, they crossed the Korana River and arrived in the Croatian city of Slunj between 4 and 5 am the next morning. Upon arriving in the city, the group called the police on the phone and requested asylum. One police car with two male officers arrived to the location of the group. They were wearing dark blue uniforms, likely the Croatian border police. The group again asked for asylum, they said “We are families, please help us, we want asylum.” The officers made a phone call.
“We said to police, we want asylum, they said ‘if you give the phone and the money we will take you to camp’ They took the things and deported us.”
The officers took two phones, one power bank, and around 100-200 Euros. The group waited for around 1 hour before a windowless van arrived with two more officers, and the whole group was loaded into it. During the 1 hour drive, several people vomited due to the uncomfortable conditions and jerky driving. They were taken to the border near Velika Kladusa where they were told to leave. They then had to walk 25 or more kilometers back to Šturlić.
The respondent, who has been deported in this way many times, pointed out that “sometimes the police fight, but last time no fighting.”