“The police only let us drink from the toilet water”

  • Date and time: July 13, 2019 14:00
  • Location: Along the E70 highway, Zagreb, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.7595296818042, 16.23871886236634
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 4 person(s), age: 17,18,19,25 , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: no violence used
  • Police involved: 2 Croatian Police, 2 police cars, 1 police van
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, personal information taken, papers signed, denial of food/water
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

On July 13th, four young men from Afghanistan aged 17, 18, 19 and 25 travelling inside of a commercial vehicle, crossed into Croatia through the Serbian-Croatian border. Whilst the men were still in the vehicle the driver pulled into a parking spot, opened the back of his truck and found the group of four men. He swiftly reclosed the rear-doors and called the police.

At 2 pm, two police officers came and arrested the men and in two separate cars drove them to a police station in Zagreb. The respondents estimate that their apprehension happened just outside of Zagreb to the east (for approximate location see map below). The police confiscated their bags and phones and at 3 pm took them inside to the police holding cell. During their 24 hours of detainment at the police station, they were housed inside a single cell without beds and were not provided with food. The only water that they were given came from a toilet located outside their cell that was accessed twice.

After the 24 hours, they were taken by police van to the Batrovci border crossing. They were made to add their name and signature to a document that the police retained and did not give a copy to the man. It was only available in English, so he did not understand anything. No translation was made available. Once the document was signed the group of five men were pushed back into Serbia where they were forced to walk back on foot to the nearest village.