“This is Germany”

  • Date and time: December 4, 2021 01:00
  • Location: Near motorway E71, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 44.699047698144, 15.396659202654
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 6 person(s), age: 18-30 years old , from: Afghanistan, Pakistan
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 7 Croatian officers consistent with special police, 7 officers referred to by the respondent as "police", 2 dogs, 3 police cars 4x4, 2 police vans
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

On December 3rd, six people were stopped and then pushed back from Croatia to Bosnia-Herzegovina by Croatian officers. The group consisted of three people from Afghanistan and three people from Pakistan, aged 18-19 and 30 years.

The respondent affirms that the group had left the city of Bihać (BiH) eight days before, on November 24th, and that they had walked along Croatian roads during all this time. Before the encounter with the officers, the group had only walked a short distance because of the heavy rainfall and, sometimes, snowfall. The respondent described the journey as harsh and dangerous, especially during the night, when the temperatures would drop below 0 degrees. Additionally, the group was carrying wet sleeping bags, clothes, and tents. After eight days of walking, the six men arrived at a path just above a tunnel passing through a mountain. Beneath the hill, in the tunnel, was road E71, and the group had decided to climb the mountain because they thought crossing the tunnel was too dangerous.

The respondent described that at around 3 pm the group was climbing the high ground when they saw seven officers dressed in green uniforms (consistent with the special police), with rifles and guns, waiting for them. One of them also had a dog, but the group stopped immediately, so the officer did not use the dog against them.

The respondent noticed that some trees had cut branches. Therefore, the police could easily see them through the forest. The seven officers were probably already waiting for them, which made the respondent think that they had used sensors, drones, or cameras to stalk them.

After stopping the group, the commandos brought the group to a path where three cars, like Jeep 4x4s, were parked. Then, one officer called for reinforcements, and after what seemed like a long hour, an officer arrived alone in a blue van.  When the vehicle came, the group was forced into it and then driven to a police station. During the trip, they couldn’t see outside because of the lack of windshields and the van did not have handles or other supports. After reaching the police station, they were made to wait for one hour and a half inside the van without being allowed to talk to anyone or ask for clarification.

They then swapped the van, got into a new one and were driven back to the border by another officer. After one hour (around probably 9 or 10 pm), they reached the border with Bosnia. There were other six or seven officers with a dog who confiscated the group’s belongings, including one telephone, two power banks and some backpacks. The respondent describes the officers as wearing blue uniforms, but he doesn’t remember if they had special patches or distinguishable features; it was too dark to see them.

The respondent also confirms that they asked several times for help and tried to ask for asylum. The officers in green to wait and ask the police, but when they reached the police station, nobody showed up, and they couldn’t ask because they didn’t get out of the vehicle for all the time there. They were just brought to the border; nobody talked to them. Finally, at 1 am, they were released. The respondent says that it was so dark they couldn’t see anything.

When they asked the police where they were, the patrol laughed at them, replied, “This is Germany”, and then released them.

The only thing they could do was walk back again and after three hours, at 4 am, they reached Bihać.