“We asked asylum to police, and they pointed a gun on us. We are not safe in our country, we just want a better future for our children.”

  • Date and time: January 30, 2022 07:00
  • Location: 35 km from Bihać, in close proximity with the border.
  • Coordinates: 44.886914086468, 15.476239218303
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: Four people person(s), age: 25-35 years old , from: Cuba
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), threatening with guns, dog attacks, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: Five suspected Granicna Policija officers, one prisoner van, two suspected Interventna Jednica Policija officers in a police car.
  • 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: Anonymous Partner

Original Report

On January 30th, a transit group of four people from Cuba between the ages of 25-35 were pushed back from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The respondents explained that on January 29th, they left Bihać and crossed the border into Croatia passing through the mountains. On January 30th at approximately 7 AM, the group was caught by one officer they believed was a member of Granicna Policija. This officer reportedly called for reinforcement and another two officers from Granicna Policija arrived with what the respondents described as a prisoner van, in which they were loaded inside.

According to the respondents, the two officers drove for a few minutes and arrived at a spot where a further two officers who they also believed to be with Granicina Policija were there and replaced the first two officers. The two new officers reportedly drove them closer to the border for another few minutes.

The respondents further explained that at that point, they saw one police car with two officers inside. When they exited the vehicle, the respondent said there was a female and male officer, who was wearing a black mask and believed them to be members of Interventna Jednica Policija (Police Intervention Unit).

The suspected Interventna Jednica Policija officers reportedly searched the transit group and stole their phones, money, clothes and shoes. The respondents added that the male officer with the black mask beat them:

“We noticed they changed their mind as soon as they saw our money. They were ok before, but after they changed their behaviour and started to treat us very bad.”

“We asked them to give our things back, but the police officer with the mask pointed a gun on us and said ‘just go’. We started to walk and then he released the dog, so we had to run.”

The transit group explained that they returned to Bihać on foot without shoes but luckily some people helped them.

“We asked asylum to police, and then we were deported. We showed them our passport, we are not safe in our country. We just want a better future for our children.”