“We decided you walk, you get tired and then we catch you.”

  • Date and time: April 27, 2022 08:00
  • Location: close to Gradina, Velika Kladuša
  • Coordinates: 45.180268348981, 16.046443514005
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 4 person(s), age: 25, 25, 28 and 32 years old , from: Afghanistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkey
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings, reckless driving, constant exposure to bad smell in a car, threatening with batons
  • Police involved: 6 men wearing black uniform ; one big van ; men in grey military uniforms, driving a quadbike.
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Unknown
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

The respondent and three other men got reportedly pushed back from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina on 27th April, 2022.

He explained that the group started their “game” in Velika Kladuša and walked 25km, about 7 hours, towards Gradina, Velika Kladuša, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where they wanted to cross the border to Croatia. He added that however, it started to rain, thus the group decided to stay in an abandoned house close to the border and wait for the rain to stop.

The group allegledly stayed in the abandoned house for about one day until the rain finally stopped. This was at night time, so they could directly start their attempt to continue their journey. After walking for about 2km after crossing the border, the respondent spotted a camera in the trees.

Nevertheless, they continued walking for another 25km inside Croatia towards Zagreb. The respondent explained that they were then caught by men, described as wearing black uniforms, masks, hand guns and batons. The uniformed men reportedly told them that they saw the men crossing the border, but did not catch them in that moment because they wanted them to get tired.

We decided you walk, get tired and then we catch you.

The respondent explained that they did not leave any possibility for the men to speak, as soon as they started speaking they raised their batons as a threat. Four more men in uniform reportedly arrived. The respondent explained that all members of his group were searched by the uniformed men, who tried breaking the charging port with screwdrivers, but did not succeed. They instead reportedly only took the power banks. The interviewee stated that the men in uniform then forced the group to enter in a big van, called by him a “deportation car”. He described that inside theis vans there was no window or seat, but there was a fan which was releasing a bad smell. This smell additional to the driving style described by the respondent as “crazy”, a continuous stop and go and using a lot of winding roads, reportedly made the respondent throw up in the car. The interviewee explained that once the men in uniform opened the doors, they said something in Croatian, which none of the group members understood, and threatened them with their batons by holding them up in the air. The group was then force to walk back to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He added that they then decided to go back to the abandoned house and rest a bit to try again to enter in Croatia later the same day. They reportedly started at around 4 to 5 pm. However, the respondent was still wondering how the men in uniform could have seem them crossing the border the first time, so he was on the lookout for hidden cameras. He spotted a camera right at the border.

The respondent recounted that two kilometers further he saw men with grey military uniform driving a quadbike. When he spotted them he directly started running. During the first push back the men in uniform allegedly told the group that if they come back, everything would be taken from them. The interviewee explained that with this thought in mind, he decided to run back to Bosnia and Herzegovina. While he was running, he lost his shoes in the forest and had to continue without shoes. The group was reportedly very tired and thus decided to not try a third time.