On the 24th of February 2019, two Albanian men crossed the border to Croatia near Velika Kladusa. When they were around five kilometers far from Maljevac (HRV), they encountered two male officers in Croatian police uniforms.
The two officers were running towards them with their flashlights and the two individuals put their hands in the air. The officers told them to put their hands on each others shoulders and to walk down the mountain for around 150 meters until they reached the police car.
During they were walking, one of the officers hit one of them with his flashlight on the head. At the car, four other officers were waiting. As soon as the two of them arrived, the now six officers began to punch and kick them. They didn’t hit their heads, but targeted their ribs in particular as the respondent recounted. One of them got three broken rips after he had fallen to the ground and was being kicked on his body and head. Nobody talked to them, the respondent asserted. They begged them to end the violence:
“Please, please, stop!”
When they finally stopped, the officers checked their bags and documents. When they saw their passports, they continued to treat them harshly, however less violent, according to the respondents. They were then taken to a van with ten other people-on-the-move inside.
They were driven around ten minutes to a river and then told to cross it in order to reach Bosnia.
When they were already close to the riverbank, the officers hit them once more with their batons. The group was forced to wait in a row, and they were hit and forced into the river one-by-one. The river was around three or four meters wide and waist-deep and the respondent lost one shoe when he was crossing the river.
Also his phone was taken and never returned.