“The behaviour of the police is so dangerous. We all just fear them”

  • Date and time: July 3, 2019 06:30
  • Location: Vrbanja, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.04432521127122, 18.98538661991597
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 16 person(s), age: 13-25 years old. , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 2 Croatian Police, 7 or 8 Croatian Intervention Police, 1 Police Car, 1 Police Van
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: Border Violence Monitoring, No Name Kitchen

Original Report

On Wednesday 3rd July a 15-year-old boy from Afghanistan travelling amongst a group of 16 boys and young men aged 13 to 25 crossed into Croatia from Serbia. Across the border, two police officers described as wearing normal uniforms spotted and stopped the group of people on the move at around 6.30am. With the support of 7 or 8 officers, described as intervention police, that had arrived in two control compact vehicles, the group was arrested and detained. The respondent said the apprehension and attack occurred in the “jungle” parallel E70 shortly after the parking space “Resting Spacva”.

Once the additional officers arrived, both the regular police and the presumed intervention police launched an attack on the group of young men and boys that lasted between 20 to 30 minutes. The police indiscriminately kicked, punched and struck the group of boys and young men with batons. Regardless of the age of the boys, they were all targeted the same, with the police taking little care to avoid their faces or heads during the attack.

Once the attack stopped the Croatian police took everyone’s power banks and mobile phone chargers and broke everyone’s phones. The responded described both “regular police” and “intervention police” as having carried out the attack.

Once the attack stopped, the Croatian police put the group of people on the move into a police van described as white with no windows and drove them to the Serbian border and told them to walk across the border. They crossed the border by foot and arrived at the nearest Serbian village of Ilinci at 8 am.