On April 19th. 2018, a group of 5 people from Afghanistan (including two minors) were caught by Croatian police on the Croatian side of the border crossing of Batrovci – Bajakovo. There were 11 police officers in civilian clothes and 5 uniformed police officers in 10 vehicles. The group asked for asylum but the police did not respond.
When the police officers took them closer to the border they started to beat the men. Three “civilian police officers” beat them more in front of the uniformed police for approximately 20 minutes. The interviewee was beaten hard by the police and multiple times, in the head and on his legs, causing great pain. When the blood started to flow from his mouth one police officer commented that ‘the ketchup was coming from his mouth’. Two times, a police officer beat the interviewee with a stick while the ‘civilian police officers’ were beating the rest of the group. They were beaten especially by one ‘civilian police officer’, whom the others referred to as ‘The Boxer’. When he started to beat them he said “Now you will see my boxing” and he was wearing knuckle dusters.
The police checked all their mobile phones and later on broke them and stole the money they had (ex. 20 euros from the interviewee). Afterwards they were pushed back to Batrovci, and were told not to try and cross the border again, and that the EU was paying them a lot of money to protect the border. The interviewee told the police that he would report to UNHCR what occurred that day. The police answered that they had no problem with him doing this. During the pushback the police said to them ‘Don’t try again or I kill you’.