The respondent and two other men from Afghanistan got pushed back by Croatian authorities on April 26, 2022.
The group left Velika Kladusa in direction of Glinica, Croatia, where they intended to take a bus towards Zagreb. They walked for 2 hours, first through the forest and then alongside a road. The police surprised the group at the road. When the men passed, the police flashed a light into their faces and demanded them to stop. The men tried to run away, however, the police captured them. They then seized one power bank of the group. The respondent and his friends then had to get in the car and were driven back to the border; it was a 20 minutes drive. 5 meters away from the border the policemen told the group pointing in one direction: ‘This is Bosnia’. The men did not ask for asylum since they think that it is useless and the police always ask for documents, but when asked what kind they cannot specify. They got pushed back at around 11:30 pm and then walked back to Velika Kladusa, where they arrived at around 5 am. The total attempt to try to reach the EU was about 8 hours.
When we talked to the men, they were joking about this game and the pushback, saying it was ‘simple and easy deportation’. This shows how used they are to being pushed back, as well as how somewhat grateful for such a pushback.