“We asked the asylum, for the asyl, they just say ‘be quiet, don’t talk anything’”

pushback location as indicated by the respondent, rough coordinates
45.212269, 15.928570
  • Date and time: January 20, 2022 02:30
  • Location: Staro Selo Topusko, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.212269, 15.92857
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 9 person(s), age: 23-45 years old , from: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: no violence used
  • Police involved: 8 Croatioan Intervention police officers in dark blue or black uniforms, 1 of them with black facemask, 1 patrol van (larger white car, with a blue stripe), 1 patrol car, 1 prisoner transport van (big white van, whith a metalgrid at the front part of the car)
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: no translator present
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

On the night of Wednesday, the 19th of January 2022 to Thursday the 20th of January 2022 between 2 and 3 am a group of 3 men, all from the region of Balochistan (3 from the Balochistan region in Afghanistan and one from the Balochistan region in Iran) was pushed back from Croatian territory to Bosnian territory [approximate coordinates of the pushback-site: 45.212269, 15.928570]

The respondent is a 24-year-old man from Baluchistan, Afghanistan. He, his cousin (from Afghanistan, 28 years old), and another man (from Iran, 32 years old) started walking from the town Velika Kladusa in Bosnia at 5.30 pm. They related that they crossed the border to Croatia at 9 pm on a small road. From there they continued their journey by foot to the small town of Glina, where they planned to take a bus to Zagreb the next morning at 9 am. They said that they reached the outskirts of Glina between 0.30 am and 1.00 am.

The respondent stated being apprehended by 6 men in dark blue uniforms, some wearing hats, right after they crossed the Glina-River (45.340682, 16.084773).

Location of apprehension

The respondent’s description of the uniforms matches uniforms worn by the Croatian border police and potentially the Croatian Intervention police. The respondent was not able to fully describe the uniforms but assures that it was Croatian police. They had arrived in one larger white car, with a blue stripe, which seems to be similar to a patrol van used to transport officers. Reportedly they asked the group in transit how many people they were. Knowing from his previous f transit attempt they did not try to run and instead stopped directly and told the police that it was only the 3 of them.

After ensuring the officers that they were only three people, 4 police officers left with the car, and two male officers stayed with the group. The officers accompanied them to a garage very close to the location of apprehension (one officer walking in front, the other walking behind the group).  The respondent was able to point at the exact location of the building, where they were escorted to (45.338739, 16.085792).

Location of the place of detention

In the room, without furniture, windows, or heating they were asked to put all of their belongings in a pile next to the police officer. In the respondents case his phone and his power bank: „Just sit over there, bring your phone, power bank“. This was the moment when the group tried to ask for asylum: “We asked the asylum, for the asyl, they just say ‘be quiet, don’t talk anything’“

According to the respondent they waited for approximately 30 minutes in the room, but he was not sure, because at this time he already had handed his phone over to the officers. At that time another transit group of 6 me, aged between 23 and 45 from Pakistan were put in the same room. Similar to the original group, they were also asked to hand over their personal belongings. In that room, the two police officers did not register the group members.

The respondent affirms that after some time the whole group, now consisting of 9 people (2 transit-groups) was told to enter in the back of a white van, bigger than the car before, with a metal grid in front of the only windows at the front part of the car. The description of this vehicle matches with the prisoner transport van used by Croatian border police. After driving for what felt like 30 minutes to the respondent, the car stopped and they were asked to get out of the van. In this location, there were 6 more officers waiting in dark blue or black uniforms, 1 of them wearing a black mask covering the main parts of his face, which fits the description of the Croatian Intervention police. There were two cars, one smaller one and another van (but without metal grids), parked nearby. Again the description of the cars matched with a patrol car and a patrol van used by Croatian authorities.

They reached the actual pushback site at the Croatian-Bosnian (45.212269, 15.928570) border around 2 or 3 am. After leaving the van everybody was given back his personal belongings and ordered to walk in the outpointed direction: “Go fast, faster! “ From here the two transit-groups walked about 3 to 4 hours until the respondent reached the Miral camp, the local camp in Velika Kladusa, again at around 5 or 6 am.

“We just start walking again, come here, camp of kladusa“.

Location of actual pushback site