“"Everybody stop!", followed by a gunshot in the air”

  • Date and time: December 30, 2022 05:30
  • Location: Border near Glinica
  • Coordinates: 45.220198873576, 15.829810187058
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 8 person(s), age: 17, 20, 25, 27, 28, 30 years old , from: Pakistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other)
  • Police involved: 2 officers (unknown); 1 Croatian Border Police officer; 1 Croatian Intervention Police officer; 3 small police cars; one 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?: No
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

The respondent is a 20-year-old man from Pakistan. He explained that on the 30th of December 2022, he tried to cross the border from Bosnia into Croatia with 7 other people. Everybody came from from Pakistan, and they were aged 17 to 30 years old. There were 3 minors in the group.

The young man reported that the group left Glinica at 5pm in the evening of the 30th of December and walked for one hour before crossing the border and entering Croatian territory. After crossing the border, the group kept on walking for a full night and arrived around 5.30am in Karlovac, Croatia. The respondent reported that it was still dark when, all of a sudden, some people he identified as police officers pointed a flashlight towards them. The respondent explained that one officer shouted: “Everybody stop!”, followed by a gunshot in the air. Immediately, everyone threw themselves on the groundout of terror, the respondent recalled.

Reportedly, the transit group was apprehended by 4 men. 2 men were described as wearing civil clothes, 1 man in a dark blue uniform with a gun and another man with dark blue clothes, a face mask and a weapon identified as a M416 gun. The description of the uniforms matches the uniforms usually worn by 2 different Croatian police units: the Croatian border police and the Croatian Intervention police. The respondent further reported that the officers told them to sit next to each other in a row with their hands on their head. “Where are you from? Give me all your phones, all your money and all the bags, and do it fast”: that’s what the officers told them, according to the respondent.

The respondent stated that everybody laid all their belongings in front of them. The officers took everything. They took 7 phones, they broke one phone smashing it with their boots. They took the following amounts of money: €250, €210, €150, €150, €150, €200, €150, €315, from different people and they took their backpacks.

Afterwards, the respondent describes that they were taken into a big van. Besides the van there were 3 other small police cars. Everybody took place in the van, and they were driven for around 1,5 hours back to the border, reportedly close to Glinica, Bosnia. The transit group got off the van there, and each person was hit by police officers with their batons. The police only gave them back their backpacks, the respondent stated. No phones, no money.

Eventually, the respondent recalled that the transit group walked back four about 3 hours until they reached Velika Kladuša.