“Dogs attack and violence: HR - BIH Border”

  • Date and time: August 11, 2020 11:00
  • Location: In Croatia 5 km before the Bosnian border near Kulen Vakuf
  • Coordinates: 44.553940753123, 16.028319313281
  • Push-back from: Croatia
  • Push-back to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 15 person(s), age: unknow, all > 18 , from: Pakistan
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: dog attacks, destruction of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 2 police officers (blue uniforms) + 6 police officers (1 woman and 5 men, wearing dark clothes and black balaclavas)
  • Taken to a police station?: unknown
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: denial of access to toilets, denial of food/water
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Unknown
  • Reported by: Independent person

Original Report

In the second week of August, a group of 15 people-on-the-move from Pakistan crossed the border between Bosnia Herzegovina and Croatia on foot, next to the Izačić area and progressed into the Croatian interior.

The respondent described that after crossing into Croatia, the group waited for a car that was supposed to drive them to Italy. On August 11th, after four days waiting for the so-called “taxi game”, the group had run out of both food and water and decided to go to the main road to be found by the Croatian police and be deported back to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

According to the respondent, two Croatian police officers (described by the respondent as “the regular ones with blue uniforms”) approached and apprehended the group in the Rudopolje area along the D52 road [44.842672, 15.469452]. After some time, these officers loaded the group into two seperate vans, which they were kept inside for around. four hours and then took them to a police check point, about an hour away from Rudopolje (the group did not know the exact location of the check point as they were locked inside vans without windows).

At the police station the people were not interrogated, and their fingerprints and photos were not taken. They asked if they could have water and food but their request was denied.

After thirty minutes spent at the police check point, 6 police officers (one woman and five men, wearing dark clothes and black masks) with three dogs (German shepherd breed) put the people on the move in a larger van and drove them near the Bosnian border, about two hours of walking from the Kulen Vakuf area.

The two respondents remember the name of one of the policemen, Dino, who was among the two who initially apprehended them near Rudopolje and was the same officer who assisted in pushing them back to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

After being locked up for an hour in the van, the group was ordered to get out of the van. At this point, the respondent described that the police told them to put their belongings in a ditch and then they set these things on fire. The officers then ordered them to line up in front of a tree-lined path (the respondents states that there were tree trunks obstructing the passage and that the path was so narrow that it was impossible for two people to pass) and at yelled at them to run towards BiH one by one. When the last one of them (one of the respondents) was entering the path a policeman unleashed the dogs and the respondent was attacked and bitten from behind by one of the dogs.

The respondent’s backside of being bitten by a Croatian police dog on 11 August

Once arrived in Bihać and obtained access to TRC Bira, the respondent was taken to the hospital to disinfect the wound and then immediately returned to the camp and underwent antibiotic treatment.