“They don't give me sleeping bag, phone, powerbank, all the sleeping bag on fire in a little place”

  • Date and time: July 5, 2019 04:00
  • Location: 14 kilometers away from Bihać
  • Coordinates: 44.8596674, 15.732346600000028
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 25 person(s), age: 16-35 , from: Afghanistan, Pakistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: threatening with guns, Set on fire their belongings
  • Police involved: 10 to 12 Croatian intervention police, unknown number of croatian special police, 2 police vans, 1 smaller police van
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: Border Violence Monitoring

Original Report

A group of 25 people – aged 16 to 35 from Afghanistan and Pakistan – is walking towards the Slovenian border in Croatia. This group was walking in the forest at about 1am when they heard two gunshots and were asked to stop walking by the police. According to the interviewee, a Afghan men in his 20s, three young policemen were already in the forest, waiting for groups coming. They were wearing grey-blue shirts and dark trousers. This is the same uniform that the other officers, which they meet later, is wearing.

When the group hears the fire in the air, they stop.

“All the group had to sit down and stand up one by one.”

They then empty their pockets and the officers sieze and put all their phones, powerbanks and money in a bag. Then they are frisked by the officers, who also searched their backpacks.

Approximately 25 minutes later, two other officers arrive in a dark blue french-brand van. The first police team gives these new officers the bag of belongings.

The group of 25 people enter into the back of the van and are driven to a police station. There, they are put into a windowless room where approximately 35 other people are already kept waiting. They wait approximately 30 minutes at the police station and are not interviewed. They are not allowed access toilets.

“[At the] police station, no see anyone and again go back to Bosnia.”

“No give asylum for underage, deport Bosnia.”

Three minors are in this group of 25 people. The interviewee states that they observe no difference between how the police treat the minors and how they treat the adults.

The two groups are then put into two dark-blue vans. The interviewee states that the two drivers who pick up the group up in the forest are the same drivers who now drive them to the border.

At the border, there are three vehicles present: the two vehicles transporting the two groups and another police car that is already there.

They arrive at approximately 4.00 am. One officer opens the door to the back of the van and the group has to exit the van one-by-one and walk in a line. There are eight to ten policemen present.

“They don’t give me sleeping bag, phone, powerbank. All the sleeping bag on fire in a little place.”

According to the interviewee, they did not get their belongings back. Instead, the police officers amass all the sleeping bags and set them on fire. The group leaves the location without being beaten by the officers and then walks back to Bihać, which takes them three hours