“One Croatian officer was joking 'Come on, you arrive France, come on'”

  • Date and time: April 12, 2021 10:30
  • Location: Tovarnik, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.15559703793, 19.173704130385
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 4 person(s), age: 20, 22, 22, 23 , from: Afghanistan, Pakistan
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 8 Croatian officers, 5 Serbian officers, 1 Serbian police van
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: photos taken, no translator present
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

A group of 3 men from Afghanistan and 1 man from Pakistan were traveling on the 12th of April 2021 inside a truck from Serbia through Croatia, when they were apprehended by Croatian police officers at around 10 AM. The respondent is a 23-year-old man from Pakistan. On the Croatian border control station Tovarnik (45.155286, 19.174336) the Croatian police detected the transit group and a Croatian police officer told them to come out of the truck. The respondent recalls one policeman saying in a joking way

“Come on, you arrive France, come on.”

When they exited the truck, the same policeman asked: “Who speaks English?”. The respondent replied “Little, little” and was then ordered to come closer to the police officer. The officer then asked in English:

“Who is your leader?”, “Who takes you in the truck?”, “How you come inside [the truck] and where?”, “Who is the Mafia?”, “How much money you give them?”

The questions were not answered and subsequently, the policeman started hitting the respondent seven to eight times on his shoulder and upper body.

“with stick and torture us.”

Afterward, the other members of the transit group got hit several times with the police baton as well. Meanwhile, another policeman took pictures of the transit group in front of the truck. In total, 7 Croatian policemen and 1 policewoman were present, the respondent describes them as wearing dark grey/blue uniforms. One police officer then took the money, phone, camp card, cigarettes, lighter, and backpack of the respondent.

After around 25 minutes a Croatian officer called the Serbian police to come. In total 5 Serbian policemen arrived and took the transit group into a dark blue/brown police van and they were transported by 2 Serbian policemen back into Serbia. The drive lasted around 50 minutes. When the Serbian officers opened the door of the van, the respondent recalls it was “everywhere jungle, near motorway”. The Serbian officers returned the phone and backpack to the respondent and told the transit group “Go this way, in 20 minutes you will arrive to camp”. Eventually, the group did not reach a camp, instead

“we walk one day and one night, […] around 14 hours in total […], and then took train [from Kukujevci].”