“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 officers, 1 police van
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Unknown
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

The transit group of 10 men from Pakistan, led by the eldest man in the group (35 years old), left from a place close to Bihać 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, the respondent reported that they were apprehended by Croatian officers. The respondent described them as 8 officers wearing dark blue, almost black, clothes, which matches the description of border police uniforms.

The officers identified the respondent as the leader of the group and reportedly detained and slapped him first. They asked him if the group was going to Zagreb, and he confirmed. The respondent reported that the 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.

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

The respondent explained that the transit group had to lie on the ground for what they estimated were 30 minutes, before being taken one-by-one into a police van. He described it as a white, long police van with blue parts, without windows in the back compartment. The group was forced into the van, where the respondent estimated they had to wait for around another hour. He 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 officers had water, but reportedly threw it out of the van telling them that they were animals and did not need water.

After that, they drove for an estimated 3-4 hours. The transit group were kicked out of the van close to the Bosnian border and were reportedly told to go back to Bosnia, and not to return to Croatia. After crossing the border near Bihać, the respondent explained that they were stopped by Bosnian 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 Bihać.