“"I think the policewoman was telling him not to hit me. He looked very crazy, like a rabid dog."”

  • Date and time: April 4, 2019 06:00
  • Location: Imotski, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 43.446525, 17.215998
  • Push-back from: Croatia
  • Push-back to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 1 person(s), age: 29 , from: Algeria
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: no violence used, reckless driving, police paid for bus ticket with his money
  • Police involved: One male and one female Croatian police officer in light-blue uniforms. The policeman was tall, bald and strongly built, the policewoman had short black shaved hair on the lower part of the head, with blonde short hair at the top. She was tall and slim. - Unspecified number of Croatian policemen in plain clothes. - Unspecified number of Bosnian policemen. - Darkblue van with white letters "Policija" on the door in Croatia. - 1 police car in Bosnia.
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: denial of food/water
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: [Re:]ports Sarajevo

Original Report

One Algerian man set out on his own from Sarajevo to Tomislavgrad (BiH) by bus at around 11:00 am on the 3rd of April. He then arrived in Posusje (BiH) at 4:00 pm and started walking towards the border at 5:30 pm.

After waiting for the night, he approached the border at 10:30 pm, arriving at Imotski (HR) bus station at 2:30 am. Along the way, a police patrol car slowed down while he walked along the road and looked at him but continued on. He then waited for three and a half hours at the bus station for a bus. Several policemen walked past during this time, none of them disturbing him.

At around 6:00 am on the morning of April 4th, after waiting for so long for a bus that was late, he cursed out loud in Arabic. 15 minutes later, two policemen walked up to him. The policemen were regular Croatian police in light blue uniforms, a woman and a man. The policeman was tall, bald and strongly built, he was very nervous and acted in a slightly crazed way. The policewoman had short black shaved hair on the lower part of the head, with blonde short hair at the top. She was tall and slim and was more calm than her partner.

“They asked: ‘Where are your papers?’, I answered: ‘I don’t have’”

“‘Who’s with you?, they kept asking, and even though I told them I was alone, they continued: ‘You can’t have come here alone, where are your friends?’”

Other policemen in civilian clothes then arrived and started looking for other people as they didn’t believe that he had come alone. At the same time, the first policeman and policewoman searched his backpack, leaving his small shoulder bag. They asked him if he had a knife and after he said no, they didn’t search him.

“‘How long did you stay here?’ and when I told them I had been here for 3.5 hours their answer was: ‘You are not lucky’”.

After this, they took him into the big dark blue van, with tinted windows, that said ‘Policija’ in white on the door. As they were walking to the car he said:

“I need to go to the asylum office, if you can’ and they replied ‘No asylum office, back to Bosnia!’. I insisted that I was feeling sick and they still told me ‘Back to Bosnia!’”

He was inside the van for around 15 to 20 minutes. The policemen drove really fast on a very windy road. He was sitting in the back of the van, which was blacked out. All this time, the policewoman was talking to the policeman a lot, insisting on something.

“I think she was telling him not to hit me. He looked very crazy, like a rabid dog.”

When the van stopped, they opened the door, pointed towards a direction and told him:

“This is Bosnia, go!”

After walking for around 500 meters, he started to be around houses and saw a Bosnian police car just stopped along his way. He said good morning and the Bosnian policemen answered:

“No good morning, get in the car!”

They took him to the police station in Posusje and, once there, they checked his bags, pockets and patted him down. Then they asked:

“Why are you in Croatia? Don’t go cross the border again, it’s a mistake!”

By this time it was already 7:00 am and although he kept asking for food and water, they didn’t even acknowledge his request. By the time he left the station at 7:30 am, he had not been given any food or water even after repeatedly asking for it. They didn’t ask him for papers.

“While I was in the police station, the policemen mocked me, laughed at me, didn’t give me food or water when I asked.”

At 7:30 am they took him from the police station to the bus station and, with his money, bought a bus ticket to Sarajevo and put him on the bus.