“The police said "Why you ran away?" I said "I was afraid you beat me". And then, they started beating me. He said "You ran away, now you are punished".”

  • Date and time: February 12, 2022 02:00
  • Location: On the mountains close to Bihać, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Coordinates: 44.745229225347, 15.811807485385
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 4 person(s), age: 19-25 , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, exposure to air condition and extreme temperature during car ride, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings, reckless driving
  • Police involved: Between 29 and 33 male policemen wearing black uniforms (Croatian Intervention Police). About 4 cars without any emblems
  • 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: Anonymous Partner

Original Report

The respondent is an Afghani person, who was traveling with other three Afghani men. They are all 19 years old, exept one who is 25. They crossed into Croatia from Bihać, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on February 9. After entering Croatia, they walked for three days in the “jungle”, or the forest. 

After two full days of walking, they were so drained that they sat down in the woods to get some rest. At that point, they saw a group of four “Kommandos” (or how he referred to the “Interventna Jednica Policija”, the Croatian Intervention Police). The group started running and kept on running in the forest for about 10 kilometers, as they were terrified of being caught. Nevertheless, they had left their bags behind, thus they had no food and no water. At about 10 PM, they were so hungry and exhausted that they decided to head back to Bihać. In fact, they could not continue on their journey without any food.

As they started walking back, a group of policemen spotted them and turned on the lights of their vehicles in order to stop them. They were in the proximity of road D52, in Croatia.

The police said “Why you ran away?” I said “I was afraid you beat me”. And then, they started beating me. They so beat us. One beat me, he was kicking and boxing with gloves to hurt more. Another beat my friend. My friend is so injured in his feet.

The respondent reports seeing twentynine policemen on the scene, all men and all wearing the black uniforms of the Croatian Intervention Police. He could only spot four cars that looked like normal, personal cars without any particular emblem or flag. He believes Intervention Police had been informed by the group of four policemen they had encountered in the forest about two or three hours before.  The policemen confiscated all of their belongings (bags, sleeping bags, food) and broke their phones. Afterward, a policeman used a baton to force the group of four Afghani men to sit in a car. It was about 11 PM. They were crammed and sat on each other’s laps to fit in the back of the car. Moreover, the policeman on the drive turned on the air-conditioning very high, so they were freezing. 

He was driving so bad and we were so cold. But he said “You ran away, now you are punished”.

The policeman drove for about two or three hours back to Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was about 2 AM when the respondent and his friend were left in the mountains near Bihać. They walked all the way to the town and arrived early on the morning of February 12.