“Croatian police officers 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: 45.218717774541, 15.836915324219
  • 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: 4 Bosnia regular police officers, 1 police car, 1 civilian car, 2 prisoner 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 15, 2022, a group of 19 people from Bangladesh and Pakistan got 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 10. Half an hour later, the group reached the Bosnian-Croatian border. Special difficulties during the “game” were caused by the rainfall, swollen and wounded feet, and the constant fear of wild animals. The group hardly got any sleep and had nothing to eat for 2 days.

As the group crossed a bridge (45°34’04.2″N 15°38’30.9″E) over the Kupa River on May 13, they were startled by two abrupt warning shots. Two people with guns 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. This indicates that they were Regular Croatian police officers (one of them partly dressed in civilian clothes). The two police officers had parked their cars (a gray 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 officers yelled, “Police, get down.” The group was forced to completely undress and lie on their stomachs on the floor. The policemen 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“. 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 police officers took pictures with his personal cell phone. Then the officers began to beat the legs, backs, and heads of the group with batons (see picture of the head wound).

According to the interviewee, he could hear the fivefold repetition of the words “India and Bangladesh” during a telephone conversation with one police officer. After about an hour and a half of lying on the ground, reinforcements arrived in two white prison vans with barred front windows and a windowless rear. Two officers sat in the front of the car but did not get out. The group was then allowed to get dressed again and was distributed among the two vans by the police officers, who were armed with batons, pistols, and knives. In the process, some of the people seeking protection were apparently hit on the back with a stick and kicked.

During the 3.5-hour drive in the overheated, poorly oxygenated car, 3 people threw up. Then the group was asked to get out of the van by two officers in dark blue uniforms (most likely Regular police officers).  They were now on the Croatian-Bosnian border near the Bosnian town of Vrnograč (45°10’00.9 “N 16°03’37.2 “E). The group in the other car was apparently taken to another location. According to the person concerned, the police officers kicked some people in the back and shouted “Go Bosnia!”. After about 4 hours of walking, the group reached the bus stop of Velika Kladusa and was found injured and given emergency care by an aid organization based there.