The transit group went from Nikšić (ME) to Bileća (BiH), crossing the border on small mountain paths near the road border crossing. They then walked 28 km into the interior, to the town of Stolac (BiH).
After the transit group had crossed the border into BiH, they took a small hillside road in order to look down into Bileća and check if there were any Bosnian Police stationed near the bus terminal. When the group were sure there were no police they walked down into Bileća to buy a bus ticket to Mostar.
They payed the regular price of 7€ per ticket. However, after payment the ticket vendors then told the group members that they had to pay 40€ each for a ticket, or they would not be able to board the bus. The transit group did not have enough money and told the staff that they wanted the ticket or a refund. An argument followed, resulting in the ticket vendor keeping the transit groups money and calling the Bosnian Police.
“He stole our money. We felt a lot of racism in this office, just because he saw the dark skin color of our friend, he wanted to make profit out of this and didn’t accept him. He said to us, that we can go but for this black man, he cannot give a ticket. Everyone tries to make profit out of refugees. But we didn’t want to leave our friend behind, so we went away, not buying the ticket.”
After the staff of the bus station called the police. The respondent described the officers as four Bosnian Police, wearing polo shirts and blue uniforms with the Bosnian flag on the shoulder. The officers came and put the group members in handcuffs.
The officers told them that they should try crossing the border by another route, not via Bileća. Afterwards the four initial officers called the what the respondent believed was the Bosnian Border Police in order to carry out the pushback. The police put the transit group in a large car that the respondent described as a Toyota and drove them to a gas station in Trebinje (BiH). There, another car was waiting and the group members were forced by the Bosnian Police directly from one car into the other van, identified by the respondent as a Volkswagen. In this van, there were three Bosnian police that the respondent believes were border police officers wearing light blue shirts. The police drove them to the border crossing of Klobuk (BiH) and put them in a wire detention cell for three hours. The respondent described how the cell consisted of a wire cage made of steel and resembled a dog pound.
“If you go by car to that border crossing point of Bosnia, you see at the right side of the street this cage.”
After three hours the Bosnian Border Police asked the transit group if they had money and the three group members showed them what they had. They waited a another hour for the next bus to Montenegro, which had a Bosnian license plate and upon entry to the bus the Bosnian Police forced the transit group to pay for a ticket on this bus. The respondent described how they did not receive a regular ticket and he believed that they had to pay more than the normal price. The bus driver said he wanted 20€, and the respondent stated that the police witnessed how the transit group were sold overpriced travel without receipt.
“I asked them, why we don’t get a ticket. I said, they are a normal bus, they have to give us a ticket. But nothing.”
Afterwards they went back to Montenegro:
“If you don’t have any money and police bring you to this border crossing in Klobuk, you have to walk by foot all the way back.”