The respondent left from Velika Kladusa by food with a group of 20 men from Bangladesh. They walked for 5 days until they arrived in Slovenia. The respondent claims that it was freezing, as the temperature outside was subzero and it was snowing.
In the first Slovenian town they went to, the group was approached by 5 local police officers in dark blue uniforms. The officers apprehended the men and brought them to a police station, where they were held for 24 hours before they were brought to the Slovenian border with Croatia.
In Croatia, they were handed over to Croatian authorities that were wearing light blue uniforms. Those officers transferred them to a police station, where their pictures were taken and they had to sign a document. From there, the group was driven back to the border with Bosnia. At the border point, which was north-west and about 8 hours of walking away from Velika Kladusa, the group was received by another police unit. The respondent described this unit as border police as they were all wearing black uniforms and ski masks.
Those officers opened the door to the back of the van, where the group was sitting, and sprayed pepper spray into the vehicle.
“they spray something inside that it hurts in our eyes”
The group was strip-searched and their phones, power banks, and money were taken away from them. The respondent claimed that the officers were putting the belongings of the men into their own pockets. Additionally, the respondent described that the officers had a dog with them which they used to search the mean. Although it was wearing a muzzle, the respondent was still very afraid. The authorities told the group members to leave the van one by one. Once they were outside the officers told them to lay down and started to strike them.
“They beat us brutally! One police stand over my hands, one other police catch my legs, beat with heavy sticks and they kick me here!”
says the respondent, pointing at the left side of his waist. The respondent was also severely injured on his head.
Eventually, the authorities took all the clothes and shoes away from the group members and burned their clothing in front of their eyes so that the men were left wearing only a T-shirt and a pair of trousers. Like this, they had to walk back several kilometers to Velika Kladusa.
“Croatian police please take pity on us, we are going for a bright future for our family because we have so many problems there, ‘cause how come we leave our children, our wifes, our mothers? Its a very dangerous life!”
After they arrived back in Bosnia, the respondent received medical treatment from the Red Cross. He had to undergo surgery because he had broken bones and a scar that is still visible. Reportedly the respondent suffered pain due to these injuries for more than a month. Some of his fellow group members also got injured, one person on his eyes and some others on their fingers, feet, and back.