On the night of the 14th July (continuing into the early hours of the 15th July) a group of 4 people (1 from Turkey, 2 from Pakistan, and the respondent from Syria) walked from the Adasevci Refugee Camp, Serbia to a service station “Rastovica” on the highway E70 (municipality of Zupanja, Croatia). (Approximate location: 45.108091, 18.688078). At the service station, two of the groups’ members found a truck, which they entered to hide in there, hoping it would bring them to a country in western Europe.
While the respondent and the other remaining person were still searching for trucks in which they could hide, two officers arrived in a small police vehicle and saw the two men. Due to the inscription on their blue uniforms, the respondent identified them as part of the Croatian Border Police. When they saw the officers approaching, the respondent’s companion started running towards the forest and managed to escape, while the respondent was caught by the officers. He claimed that due to his older age, he could not run as fast as his friend.
At the spot, the two officers questioned the respondent about the whereabouts of his companion and started to beat him on his back and his hands with their batons. Additionally, he claimed that they kicked his legs and torso at the kidney area. The respondent recalled this beating as “unbelievably brutal”. He was crying and trying to simultaneously answer the police officer’s questions.
Even when he stated that the other man ran away into the forest, the officers did not stop the beating. According to the respondent, the beating lasted something between 6 and 10 minutes. After around 30 minutes another 3 officers with the same uniform arrived in a van. Once they joined their colleagues, they also started beating the respondent. The respondent remembered that at one point he was about to lose consciousness because of the pain. After the second striking, the officers took 120 euros and his telephone out of his pockets. He was then loaded into the back of the van and after around 25 minutes of driving, he was left at the Croatian-Serbian border crossing “Batrovci”. At this point, it was around 8:30 am.
At the border, the respondent managed to get a taxi back to the camp, where he had started his journey the day before. Once there, some people saw him and carried him inside. The respondent described how they made him lie down and gave him some sugary drinks. They suggested to call him an ambulance as he was severely injured. At first, the respondent refused but accepted after he was about to lose consciousness again. The Security management of the camp was asked to call the ambulance, which then arrived 30 minutes later and brought the respondent to the city hospital in Šid, where he was hospitalized for 7 days. He was given a checkup appointment after 3 days where he was told his recovery was going as expected.