It was late January 2019, when the group of 20 attempted to transit Croatia. They had been walking for two days before they were stopped by officers in a forest near a Croatian motorway. The respondent described that the officers turned off the lights of their car in order to come closer to the group to arrest them. After a short while, two more police cars arrived at the location, one after the other, carrying altogether eight officers.
The respondent himself was sleeping when the police arrived. The officers began to hit the 20 individuals without any warning. They kicked them first, and later used their batons to beat them up, also targeting their heads.
“It was too much”.
All the officers present were part of the attack. The respondent’s shoulder was particularly injured, leaving him in pain for four days after the incident. Upon returning, the respondent consulted a doctor at Principovac camp (SRB) to calm the pain. The officer also destroyed the individual’s cigarettes and energy drinks.
A second episode of violence happened soon after.
“I look in the eyes of one of them, and they start again.”
The officers asked him to sit on the ground, which was wet due to the rain, and pointed with a light directly in his eyes. Parallel, the officers began to hit the individuals once more for close to 30 minutes.
Afterwards, a large vehicle arrived, and the group was brought back to Serbia. The respondent explained, that he didn’t ask for asylum.
“The police was very angry. Nobody can ask for asyle.”
During the 30-minute car ride, the temperature in the vehicle was very cold. When they arrived near Batrovci, the 20 of them had to get off the vehicle one by one.
They then crossed the Serbian border.