At the end of January 2021, the respondent, part of a group of 110 people, left the Bosnian city of Bihac to walk through the mountains towards Croatia. After the group had been walking for seven days, Croatian authorities surrounded them. The respondent remembers that they were coming from all sides. Still, around 30 group-members managed to run away, while the others were apprehended by the authorities.
According to the respondent, about thirty policemen were present at the spot. They pepper-sprayed the remaining group members and in the following started to strike them with batons and their feet. The respondent had been kicked in the face by a policeman using his feet, which left a scratch on his face that was still visible when the testimony was recorded. Reportedly, the authorities also broke the leg and arm of one of his friends using a baton.
Additionally, the money, phones, clothes, backpacks, and shoes of the group-members were taken from them and never returned. After the people-on-the-move were struck, several big police vehicles arrived in which the group members were put like animals, according to the respondent. The respondent described that the vehicles did not have enough oxygen as there were no windows. While they were inside the vehicles there was no possibility to eat or drink anything.
After driving for two hours, the vans stopped somewhere in a forest where the authorities reportedly tried to search for the ones that had escaped before. When they could not find them, they drove further towards the border with Bosnia. After leaving the van, the respondent along with the other group members walked for six to seven hours on bare feet back to Bihac.