“Men in uniform take private footage of nineteen completely naked, abused and wounded people seeking protection”

  • Date and time: May 15, 2022 00:00
  • Location: Near Karlovac, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.166917, 16.060333
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 19 person(s), age: 17-38 years old , from: Pakistan, Bangladesh
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pushing people to the ground, exposure to air condition and extreme temperature during car ride, insulting, sexual assault, threatening with guns, gunshots, forcing to undress, theft of personal belongings, reckless driving, Taking photos of naked bodies
  • Police involved: 3 men in dark blue uniforms, 1 man wearing light blue trousers and a dark blue top, 1 car with "Policija" writings, 1 civilian car, 2 white vans
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: Blindspots

Original Report

On Friday, May 15th, 2022, a group of 19 people from Bangladesh and Pakistan got reportedly pushed back from Croatia to Bosnia.

According to the respondent, the group set off from Velika Kladusa to Croatia at 3 a.m. on May 10th. As the group crossed a bridge (45.567833, 15.641917) over the Kupa River on May 13th, they were startled by two abrupt warning shots. Two people with guns reportedly emerged from their hiding place at the end of the bridge: one was wearing a dark blue uniform with the inscription “Policija”, the other was wearing light blue trousers and a dark blue top. The respondent explained that these 2 people had parked their cars (a grey civilian car and a white car with the inscription “Policija” on blue stripes on the sides) at the end of the bridge.

Reportedly, one of the men yelled, “Police, get down.” The interviewee stated that the group was forced to completely undress and lie on their stomachs on the floor. The men who stopped them pressed some members of the group to the ground with their shoes. As soon as one of the people lying on the ground looked up, they shouted: “Look down“. The respondent added that flashlights were used to examine first the pockets, then also the naked bodies of the group. In the process, according to the interviewee, one of the men took pictures with his personal cell phone. Then, they reportedly began to beat the legs, backs, and heads of the group with batons (see picture of the head wound).

The interviewee exlpained that he could hear the fivefold repetition of the words “India and Bangladesh” during a telephone conversation involving one of the 2 men. After what seemed to the respondent like an hour and a half of lying on the ground, reinforcements arrived in two white vans with barred front windows and a windowless rear. Two men were sitting in the front of the car but did not get out. The group was then reportedly allowed to get dressed again and was distributed among the two vans by the men in uniform, who were armed with batons, pistols, and knives. In the process, some of the people-on-the-move were allegedly hit on the back with a stick and kicked.

During what seemed to the respondent like a 3 hour and a half drive in the overheated, poorly oxygenated car, 3 people reportedly threw up. The respondent explained that then, the group was asked to get out of the van by men in dark blue uniforms.  They were now on the Croatian-Bosnian border (45.166917, 16.060333) near the Bosnian town of Vrnograč. The group in the other van was apparently taken to another location. According to the interviewee, the men in uniform kicked some people in the back and shouted “Go Bosnia!“. After about 4 hours of walking, the group reportedly reached the bus stop of Velika Kladusa and was found injured and given emergency care by an aid organization based there.