“When you go in Croatia you cannot turn back, you should continue also if you break something.”

  • Date and time: April 28, 2022 16:00
  • Location: In the Una Sana park, close to Racic
  • Coordinates: 44.739186198473, 15.962747850324
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 4 person(s), age: 20, 22, 24, 26 , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings, deprivation of sleep
  • Police involved: 5 men in dark blue uniform, 5-6 men in other uniform, 4 cars.
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, no translator present, denial of access to toilets, denial of food/water
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

On Thursday 28th April 4 men from Afghanistan, aged 20, 22, 24 and 26, were reportedly deported from Croatia to Bosnian territory.

The respondent explained that the transit group left Velika Kladusa on Monday 25th April at 10 pm and walked for an hour and a half towards the border. At the point where they had planned to pass, however, they saw men accompanied by dogs and so they decided to change direction.

“And then we walked again for like one hour and went a little bit downstair to another way and we passed from there. We were scared a lot ’cause there were lot of cameras and electric cables, if you touch the fence or the cables they record you “.

He reported that they crossed the border south of Velika Kladusa in an area where there were numerous electrical cables. They crawled under cables or skipped over them.

“We are not able to break the cables. If we break the cables they are going to record us and if after the police catch us they beat us even more cause they understand that we broke the cables. But we didn’t break the cables. “

The interviewee explained to us that, walking exclusively at night to take advantage of the darkness and thus be less traceable, near the border they walked bent down to see the cables.

“Always near the border we have to try to do like this. It’s very hard, very slow, you cannot speak. It very hard to pass the border “.

After crossing the border they reportedly walked for 4 consecutive days in the forest, moving only at night and sleeping only 5 hours a day.

“Lot of dangerous things in the forest. It’s very hard, it’s very busy the forest “. The four people have cuts on their hands due to the very tangled forest. “I fell down and I hurt my knee but I didn’t know where I eas putting my feet!”.

In fact, halfway through the trip the interviewee reported that he felt twisting his knee but had to continue. During the interview, the knee was very swollen and he struggled to walk, presenting a lot of pain.

“When you go in Croatia you cannot turn back, you should continue also if you break something. You cannot also bring lot of things because it is too heavy “.

“You are not allowed to put the light or the fire cause you are always scared from the police, you have to go to dark”.

The destination was a Croatian city (which they could not remember the name) from which to take the train to Riejka. Just 20 minutes from their destination they were reportedly caught by men in uniform. The interviewee said they were probably detected by the cameras or microphones that are often positioned at the edge of the forest.

At 4 am on Thursday 28th, 5 men in black uniforms arrived. They then allegledly called other people in uniform, who took them to what was described as a police station. Here, one man told them to sleep in the car but soon he started moving the car, in order, according to the respondent, to prevent them from resting : “after ten minutes he arrived and started to move the car to not let us sleep”. He stated that from 4 to 8 am, they were subjected to the continuous movement of the car after which they were taken to the building described as a police station, where they were reportedly searched.

The interviewee recounted that people in uniform seized phones and money and prevented the people-on-the-move from changing even though they were still wet. After a while, they returned the change of clothes and were locked in a tiny and very dirty room with a bottle as a toilet.

“If we had the phones we should take some photos but we didn’t have anything. It was a very bad situation there “.

He added that the transit group was very hungry and asked for some water and food but was not listened to. They were reporteldy kept inside this room until 1 pm, after which at 2 pm they were loaded into a car and taken to Bosnian territory about 4 hours walking from Bihac.