The respondent walked with other 21 men from Velika Kladuša (BiH) to Croatia and wanted to cross further to Slovenia. After eight days of walking, the whole group reached the Slovenian border, where they were caught by the Slovenian border officers. The officers talked to the men politely and asked them to go back to Croatia. The men decided to walk back to Bosnia.
When they were passing Route 1, close to Zagreb, they were caught by the Croatian police – five men and one woman. These officers took the men into a big van with the intention to push them back to Bosnia. The men were transported inside of the van for about 3 hours. Inside of the van was no light and a lack of oxygen, so that all of them had problems to breath inside. According to the respondent, the police was driving very fast, and later on, he could smell alcohol from some of the officers, so he assumed that the driver was drunk.
The van stopped on a road, close to the Bosnian border, close to the official border check-point in Velika Kladuša, around 3am. The men were told to get out of the van and they were robbed and attacked:
They stole 1000 euros from all of us, broke our power banks, after they took us on the road and beat us. They were beating us with batons on the shoulders, back, head and to my private parts. We all never know where they hit, in the dark night, they can hit hard, and not only one person. Now, everything is broken. They can hit everywhere, you never know where. One person was torturing us by shining the light into our eyes and the other five were beating us, one by one.
The respondent stated that the police also broke all of their phones (22 in total). After the violent incident, the whole group walked back to the makeshift camp in Velika Kladuša.