“Tomorrow you go to [Velika] Kladusa, go to doctor”

  • Date and time: January 20, 2020 11:00
  • Location: near Katinovac, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.2104524, 15.9289446
  • Push-back from: Croatia
  • Push-back to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 2 person(s), age: 29, 44 years old , from: Algeria
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), forcing to undress, reckless driving
  • Police involved: 2 policemen with black uniform and police emblem, 1 police car; 2 policemen with black uniforms and official emblem, 1 police van; 5 police officers, of which 1 female and 2 male officers with black uniforms and 1 female and 1 male officers with blue uniforms and Croatian emblems; 2 male police officers with black uniform and ski mask, 1 police van
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, fingerprints taken, personal information taken, denial of food/water, medical aid denied
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

The respondents in this case, two men from Algeria aged 29 and 44, were near Glina (HR) when they decided to leave a wooded area and reach a main street to ask for help. This call for assistance occured on the 19th of January 2020. The older of the two respondents was feeling very sick and had severe pain due to kidney stones which impeded his mobility and made walking very uncomfortable. The younger respondent tried to stop several cars, approximately four, asking the passengers to call an ambulance since his friend urgently needed to go to hospital.

The older respondent was lying on the side of the street unable to move. After one hour, a police car arrived at the location of the two respondents. Two policemen wearing black uniform with the police emblem were in the car. The younger respondent asked the police to help his friend since he was “malad grave” [badly sick], but the police laughed at him, saying that his friend was just pretending to be sick. The police told the respondents that in ten minutes an ambulance would come to bring the older man to hospital, but no ambulance arrived.

After one hour a police van arrived, and officers loaded the two respondents and drove them to the police station of Glina (HR). The younger respondent remained in the police van while the older respondent was put into a cell in the police station. Prior to this he was ordered to remove his jacket by officers. After roughly 20 minutes, another police van with two policemen wearing black uniforms with official emblem arrived and brought the sick respondent out of the station and drove him to a hospital. At the hospital he was refused treatment. The police then drove him to a second hospital in which doctors treated the respondent. However, the respondent said he was treated “with racism” and medical staff showed “no respect”.

The respondent had no chance to directly speak with the doctor, who only addressed the police officers and spoke in Croatian language. Blood and urine analysis and ultrasound were made as well as [the respondent suggests was] an injection “for pain”. The respondent did not know what medication the doctors gave him since no translator was present to facilitate between doctors and respondent. The doctors denied the respondent further pain relief when he asked. The analysis results and medical report were handed over to police and not to the respondent. The respondent asked the officers to give him his medical report and the police refused. From the hospital, the respondent was driven back to the police station in Glina.

While the older respondent was in the hospital, the younger respondent stayed in the van for a period of time he perceived as one hour long, after which he was taken into the police station. Five police officers dealt with the respondent. There were three officers officers wearing black uniforms (one woman, two men) and two officers wearing blue uniforms with Croatian emblems (one man one woman). Allegedly, the police told the younger respondent:

 “we will bring you to Zagreb for asylum”

The police gave what the respondent refers to as “papers for asylum” to fill with personal information. The respondent was asked for personal information and and questions such as:  how long he was on the move? Which country he had crossed to arrive to Croatia? Whether he had transited Bosnia-Herzegovina or another country. The respondent had fingerprints taken and  was told a second time that he would be brought to Zagreb to apply for asylum. 

After three hours in the cell, the younger respondent was joined again by the older man who had been returned from the hospital. The older respondent arrived at the police station and underwent the same process. He was asked for personal information such as name, surname, country of origin, age and had his fingerprints taken. The second respondent was promised by police officers to be brought to Zagreb the day after to ask for asylum and was put in the same cell with his younger companion.

The two respondents spent one night in the police station and did not receive anything else other than a little water and, for the older sick respondent one blanket for sleeping. The respondents were just wearing t-shirts and underpants since they were ordered to take all the clothes off before entering the cell. The telephones of the respondents remained in the clothes that had been confiscated. The police told the sick respondent to call in case of need, but during the night he asked for help due to the strong pain and the police answered him:

 “tomorrow you go to (Velika) Kladusa, go to doctor”

The day after (20th January 2020), at 10.00 in the morning, the respondents were loaded into a police van with two male police officers wearing black uniforms and ski mask. The van was driven to the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina (approximate coordinates 45.2104524, 15.9289446). The respondents could not see out of the van, nor were they told where they were going. The respondents traveled for roughly 30 minutes and report the police driving recklessly. The older sick respondent threw up during this half hour journey. At the border, the same police officers who drove the van beat the younger respondent using batons and hands. The officers also kicked him with their boots. Then, the officers gave the respondents their backpacks and phones back and told them to go back to Bosnia. 

Observations and Treatments: 

Once they arrived in the city of Velika Kladusa (BiH), the older respondent was brought urgently to the hospital by volunteers due to the immense pain which he was suffering (at which point he could barely walk). At the hospital, the respondent was roughly treated and given some tablets for gastrointestinal pain.