“Sometimes words hurt more than beating”

  • Date and time: February 4, 2022 08:00
  • Location: Near the village of Bogovolja
  • Coordinates: 45.069973, 15.749237
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 5 person(s), age: 29-44 years old , from: Kurdistan
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: insulting, reckless driving
  • Police involved: 8 Croatian officers: 5 in black uniforms, 3 in light blue, 1 van
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • 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 Friday 4th February 2022, circa 06 am, a transit group of 5 people from Kurdistan were apprehended close to the Croatian village of Bogovolja (coordinates 45.069973, 15.749237). They originally started their journey near Šturlić, Bosnia, around 01:30 am, and had walked around five hours on foot. The group consisted of 4 men and 1 woman who was five months pregnant. The group was in their late twenties to early forties.

The transit group was apprehended by three men that the respondent called ‘commandos’. He described that they wore an entirely black uniform, suggesting they were part of the Croatian Intervention Police (Interventna Jednica Policija). The transit group was then joined by 5 police officers described as wearing light blue uniforms, perhaps suggesting Croatian border police or regular police officers.

Upon apprehension, the respondent claimed he and the other group members asked for asylum. ‘We try to ask for asylum, but they don’t give asylum’, he said, ‘just they say…if your wife not pregnant, I beat her. We try to claim asylum but no accept.’ After claiming asylum, the police also purportedly said ‘f**k you’ to the respondent. The respondent confirmed that the police did not use physical force, but he added that ‘sometimes words hurt more than beating’.

The transit group was made to wait around an hour. They were then altogether transported by van. The respondent said that the journey took an hour and a half and was accompanied by 5 police officers. The respondent described the journey in the van as very bumpy and very quick, so it was uncomfortable and potentially dangerous for the pregnant woman. He said, ‘in the car, you stop and go, stop and go, you throw up. It is so hard for us… and for my wife so, so bad.’ They arrived back in Bosnia around 08:00 am Friday 4th February 2022, 1km west of R403b highway (coordinates 45.126231, 15.782139).