The group of 11 initially left on December 27, 2018, at around 11 pm from Velika Kladuša (BIH). They crossed the Croatian border and were walking a few meters inside the country when they met a police patrol who asked them gently to go back to Bosnia.
A few hours later, three of this group left again from Bosnia. They were walking around 7 km through the forest, which took them around 1,5 hours, when they were approached by the authorities:
“They light on their car in a curve on a forest way. We’ve looked. [the police said] ‘Stop! Stop! Police! Police!‘ And fired twice.”
“Me I stopped, I try to run a bit, but then I stopped”
There were three officers outside and a fourth one sitting in the car. When the people on the move began to run, the officer in the car turned on the vehicle and began to drive after them. Then one of the other officers fired his gun in the air and they all stopped.
They were frisked in the forest and asked where they came from. The entire group had a power bank with them and only one phone with a broken screen from a previous game, which wasn’t taken. Despite being frisked, the officers did not find their money. A medium-sized police van arrived 10 minutes after. The three of them had to enter it and were brought back through the forest. When they arrived at the border:
“My friend gets out first, he gets off. Then my second friend and me, last. There are three policemen. I think that the boss is a bit fat, not muscular. He has no hair, it is him who beat me. The other they beat my friends. When I want to go away fast, fast, I hit a small rock and the chef he made fun of me. I looked back and he beats my arms. I protect my head with my arms but I have pain in my arm. When the police see the blood, he stopped to beat me. I stand up and I ran away. Alhamdulillah this is not so bad (showing the wound on his head bleeding out of his bandage)”
After being pushed back, the three friends walked back for around 30 minutes to Velika Kladuša. In the morning the respondent went to see a doctor of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and was told that he did not need stitches but needed to be checked again three days after to control for any infection.