“Bright lights, gunshots and shouting, then beaten with a tree branch.”

  • Date and time: April 3, 2021 00:00
  • Location: Junction of roads E65 and 3 likely near the town of Sljeme.
  • Coordinates: 44.712069, 15.929453
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 60 person(s), age: 20-35 , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), gunshots, forcing to undress, destruction of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 20-25 officers in dark dress uniforms (Croatian Special Police), 5-6 officers in blue uniforms (Croatian Border Police)
  • 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

On 3rd April a group of 10 or 11 men from Afghanistan was pushed back from Croatia to Bosnia at the border near the town of Ripac.

The group had started from Bihac with around 60 people whose ages were 20-35. They had traveled on foot across most of the Croatian interior and had reached roads E65 and road 3, approximately near the town of Sljeme. It was around 1 am and the group was around 500 metres across road 3 when they were stopped by officers. 10 officers were in front of them and 5 were on each side. They shone bright lights and fired their guns into the air, shouting “everyone stop!”. The respondent described the officers as “commandos” wearing dark green uniforms. This description matches that of the Croatian Special Police. 

Of 60 people in the group, 5 people were able to escape, whilst the remaining 55 people were loaded into vans. The respondent stated that no violence occurred at this point. 8-10 people were brought into each vehicle. The respondent was in a vehicle with 10 others and reported that the other group members were pushed back at different locations. They drove for around an hour before the van stopped and the drivers changed. The van continued to near the town of Ripac, where 5 or 6 officers in blue uniforms (consistent with the Croatian Border Police) were sitting by a white container. These officers demanded that outer clothes be removed. Bags, coats, and outer layers were burnt. The respondent said: “Police checking, just one [pair of trousers] they say no problem, if you have two they say put one in fire.” The officers in blue beat the group members with a tree branch before telling them to run across the border back to Bosnia.