“They made us line up to get beaten”

  • Date and time: August 14, 2020 00:00
  • Location: Border area outside of Velika Kladusa
  • Coordinates: 45.23355916153901, 15.957904111718753
  • Push-back from: Croatia
  • Push-back to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 100 person(s), age: Two reporters in their 20s; others unknown , from: Afghanistan, Pakistan
  • Minors involved? Unknown
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), insulting, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 10 Croatian officers (possibly intervention)
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

In the early morning of August 14th, a group of around 100 single males from Afghanistan and Pakistan were violently pushed back from Croatia to Serbia near the A1 road. The young men who were the primary respondents for this report were in their early 20s. They believed there may have been some minors present in their group, but they could not be sure.

The respondents described that in the previous hour the group had crossed into Croatia from Bosnia and made their way into the Croatian interior. Along the way, they were initially apprehended by group of ten Croatian officers, including one woman, wearing all black, including balaclavas (possibly indicating a membership of an intervention police unit).

According to the respondents, the group-members were made to kneel and put their heads down. Anyone who looked up was hit. The officers asked who spoke English, and the respondent explained that none of the men in his group volunteered because they were afraid of being seen as “bosses” and receiving even worse “punishment.” After this, according to the respondent, several of the officers took pictures and videos with their personal phones and laughed at the group during this time.

After this, each of the young men had their bodies and physical belongings checked for valuables such as money, electronics, and phones. The respondent described that he had hidden his phone in the waistband of his pants and during the search the officers found it and confiscated the device. The officers were also described as having taken the bags and shoes of the group-members. The young men did not see what was done with their belongings, they were not destroyed while they were watching.

After searching them, each young man was made to walk between two officers who beat him with batons. They described being beaten everywhere: Limbs, head, face, shoulders, torso. Then they were made to jump in the river to cross back into Bosnia near Velika Kladusa.

One of the respondents had a severely swollen bruise on his arm; the other had a bandaged foot from walking back barefoot.

Swollen bruise on the arm of one of the respondents, a result of violence from Croatian authorities
Swollen bruise on the arm of one of the respondents, a result of violence from Croatian authorities