Two young men from Afghanistan, both between 20 and 25 years old, were pushed back together with a Kurdish family and two men from Pakistan, from Croatia to Bosnia on Tuesday 26th April by Croatian police officers.
The two men left Velika Kladusa at 3 pm on Monday 25th. They reported that they took a bus in the direction of Glinica to reach the border. The ride took about 20 minutes. After getting off the bus they walked for about an hour and crossed the border into Croatia at around 4:30pm. They walked in the forest until 10 pm in the evening when they stopped to rest for about one hour. Then the group continued their journey until 3:30 am. Near Glinica the group stopped to take a rest and change their clothes. At 4:30 am they left their resting place and approached the Glina bus station. They related, that in the city they noticed many police cars driving around the streets. They had to change direction several times trying to avoid the police who they thought were looking for them. The two men wanted to try to take the bus to Zagreb and so they decided to take the risk of exposure to the police and just go to the bus station. Here they were stopped by the police. The respondent described that in total there were four policemen in dark blue uniforms, at least one of them had the word “policija” written on the back They had arrived in two cars.
The respondents were brought to a police station nearby and seated in front the police who started speaking to them in Croatian. The two respondent expressed their intention to apply for asylum but the policemen asked for documents. “What kind of documents? What kind of specific documents, please tell me what documents do you need! After that the police stop to think but a car arrived to deport us”.
The respondent pointed out the fact that beyond the problem of requesting documents that they did not have, the police never explained to them what kind of documents were needed. The respondent said that he was aware that Croatian police also push back people who are in possession of passports. “They could’t answer my question. I’m going to call my family and ask for all the documents in my room cause I don’t know which documents I need. But they don’t know either, it’s just an excuse to deport “.
After that, the two men from Afghanistan were put into the car and taken to the border. A Kurdish family was already in the car. They consisted of 3 children, a woman, and three men, also with them were three young men from Pakistan. The respondent said that the drive was not too bad compared to other pushback experiences, “but I still hate the car, everyone hate the car”.
At the border, they got down from the car and were forced to cross the border back into BiH. The respondent described that the way back was hard for the group. “It was hard cause our shoes were tight, big problem for us. We were also hungry “. They walked 2-3 hours to a gas station where they rested for a while. Here they waited for a bus to get back to Velika Kladusa.