On August 14th at approximately 7.30 AM, a group of seven Kashmiri people were caught by Croatian authorities in the forest near the A23 highway.
The respondent explained that they were walking when they encountered seven officers who ordered them to stop. The officers were described as wearing blue shirts and possibly were members of either the Croatian regular or Croatian border police.
The respondent recalled that even though all group members obeyed the officer’s order and stopped and sat down, one police officer proceeded to question them repeatedly about the presence of further group members. “He say where is your other friend, where is your other friend. I say, only we are seven”. This interrogation was accompanied by the use of physical violence. “When he say stop, we sit and stop, everyone. But why hit him? When he sit and stop.” The police officer reportedly beat all seven group members with a baton. One group member reportedly sustained an injury to his leg due to the beating.
Then, according to the respondent, the police checked their bags and took their personal belongings, including money, mobile phones and the shoes of one group member. “After he check everything, our bag and everything and take mobile, anything take.”
The respondent reported that they were not taken in any car, but were ordered to turn around and walk back to Bosnia. “He say go border Bosnia again. Go Lipa, Bihac he say. We walk all the way”. There was again use of physical violence, a beating by the officer “When he deport, he also again hit him”
The group was subsequently pushed back and had to walk approximately 130km back to Lipa.