“They smell out of their mouths from alcohol.”

  • Date and time: April 10, 2019 01:00
  • Location: Lohovo, Croatia, Croatian/Bosnian border next to Lohovo
  • Coordinates: 44.72772, 15.91557
  • Push-back from: Croatia
  • Push-back to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 3 person(s), age: 23, 24, 27 , from: Morocco
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pushing people to the ground, insulting, gunshots, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 6 male Croatian officers, 1 female Croatian officer, all with guns on their belt and batons on their belts or in their hands. Later 4 drunken Croatian police officers with batons and guns in their hands
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: no translator present, denial of access to toilets, denial of food/water
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: Border Violence Monitoring

Original Report

The group of three left Izačić on April 9, 2019. When they spotted a truck with a Slovenian license plate, they crawled under it and clinged to the underside of it. After some hours, they arrived in Zagreb in a big logistic center. When the truck stopped, the three persons ran away, but one of them fell down and four security guards ran towards them, grabbing the one who stumbled. While fixating the individual on the ground, they called the authorities. The two friends of him saw what happened and decided to return to him. 10 minutes later, six male and one female Croatian officer arrived and took the three of them to a van. They drove for one hour inside the city of Zagreb, and then brought them directly to the Bosnian border. They didn’t get any documents to sign, nor did the police take any fingerprints or offer medical treatment or food and water. There was no translator present at any time. In general the police officers didn’t really communicate with them beside laughing at them and insulting them, so the people on the move didn’t really have a chance to express their need for asylum.

When they got off the van at the Bosnian border near Lohovo, one officer took photos with his smartphone of each of their faces and asked them about their country of birth. Then the officers searched their bodies and took everything from them, their phones, money, power banks and cables. Afterwards, four drunken officers without face cover started beating them hard with batons and kicked them while laughing.

“They smell out of their mouths from alcohol.”

The three individuals tried to cover their heads with their hands and arms, scared the officers would kill them.

The most important is to protect your head, because when they hit you on the temple, it can be lethal.”

One of the individuals who tried to protect himself with his hand from the batons, got a bad injury on the wrist (see photo). It felt like almost broken. One officer also had his badge on the chest turned inside out, so that it wasn’t visible anymore. After some time the officers laughed and one of them took out his gun, shot twice in the air and yelled:

Go, march! Run!”

They were able to stand up and run away to the Bosnian side of the border. After, they had to walk about 14 km to Bihać in the middle of the night through the forest, injured on arms, legs and knees.