“Nights are very very cold, and my arms were without sleeves and I was shaking my hands”

  • Date and time: August 19, 2021 00:00
  • Location: near Bunić, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 44.694089669298, 15.54345253368
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 13 person(s), age: unknown , from: Pakistan, Bangladesh
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: water immersion, destruction of personal belongings, reckless driving
  • Police involved: Three civilian Croatian officers, two Croatian officers wearing uniforms consistent with the Croatian border police
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Unknown
  • Reported by: Anonymous Partner

Original Report

A group of 13 people from Pakistan and Bangladesh were reportedly apprehended in the afternoon of August 18th by Croatian authorities.

The transit group were located in Croatia, approximately 50 kilometres from the Bosnian border when they reportedly encountered a police car on a street near the A25 highway. The respondent explained that they had been walking for five days from the Lipa camp and said “It was undercover police, they were without uniform but having the tags of the police and the guns with them”. Three officers in civilian clothes, which the respondent presumed to be either the regular Croatian or border police, told the group members to sit down on the road and wait, “we waited for the general police with the uniform, 30 minutes to one hour.”

According to the respondent, a police van with two officers described as wearing sky-blue shirts resembling that of the Croatian Border Police arrived. The transit group were subsequently escorted in the same van and brought to a nearby police station “we were all of the guys in one car, which was very small.” The respondent estimated that the drive to the police station took less than one hour, and added that “they drive very very hard and very fast.”

“They left us in the car in the police station. Around 30 minutes, one hour. Then we were in another car, three hours maybe driving to border.”

According to the respondent, the officers drove them to the Bosnian border and inflicted violence upon them – “they are using anonymous violence. Smashing our bags, clothes, foods and let us go through the water.”.

The group was subsequently pushed back to Bosnia on the night of August 19th and had to walk an estimated six to seven hours without warm clothes before they reached the camp in Lipa at approximately 5 AM. “Nights are very very cold, and my arms were without sleeves and I was shaking my hands. Finally a Red Cross team stopped and provided us with food, water and blankets. Final deporting was very very hard and painful.”

“I have a few questions to authorities or people who can give information. how can we do better? In which way can we continue or should we move, that can be non-stressful or having smaller quantities of pain?”