“You are not humans, you are animals”

  • Date and time: August 22, 2022 10:00
  • Location: croatian border near Bihać
  • Coordinates: 44.865929753164, 15.759659376339
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 10 person(s), age: 20-35 years old , from: Pakistan
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: kicking, pushing people to the ground, insulting, theft of personal belongings, reckless driving
  • Police involved: 8 Croatian police officers, 1 police van
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: denial of food/water
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Unknown
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

The group of 10 men from Pakistan, led by the eldest men in the group (35 y.o.), left from a place close to Bihac on foot on August 17th 2022. Having walked for the whole day and the whole night without break, they reached the river Kupa separating the Croatian counties of Karlovac and Zagreb. After crossing the river by boat, they were apprehended by Croatian police. The respondent describes them as 8 police officers wearing dark blue, almost black, clothes, which matches the description of regular or border police’s uniforms.

The police officers identified the respondent as the leader of the group and detained and slapped him as first. They asked him if the group was going to Zagreb, and he confirmed. The respondent reports that the police officers stole all of the group’s mobile phones, power banks, and money. They threw the items in a box and put the box in their car.

The whole group had to lay down on the ground, hands crossed behind the back and face down. They were not allowed to look up. The rerpondent states that the police men kicked the group leader in the head with their shoes. He also mentioned that, while lying on the ground, he asked the police officers to treat them as humans, but the officers answered that they were not humans, but animals.

While they were there, the men had to lie on the ground for what they estimated were 30 minutes, before being taken one-by-one into a police van. The respondent describes it as a white and long police van with blue parts, without windows in the back compartment. The group was forced into the van, where they had to wait for around another hour. They said they were suffering from a lack of oxygen and needed water, especially three of them who were totally exhausted and suffered from a break-down inside the van. The police men had water, but threw it out of the van telling them that they were animals and did not need water.

After that, the police drove for estimated 3-4 hours. The men were kicked out of the van close to the  Bosnian border and were told to go back to Bosnia, and not to return to Croatia. After crossing the border near Bihac, they were stopped by Bosnian police officers who took them to Lipa  camp by force, even though they expressed the will not to go there. After the registration in the camp the group left Lipa and walked back to Bihac.