“I am not an animal. Where do you want me to go?”

  • Date and time: July 6, 2022 01:01
  • Location: At the border near Velika Kladuša
  • Coordinates: 45.195620019667, 15.792743772944
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 5 person(s), age: 11, 22, 24, 27, years old, 11 months old , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, exposure to air condition and extreme temperature during car ride, insulting, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings, reckless driving
  • Police involved: 1 dog, 4 Croatian officers in blue uniforms and 2 Croatian officers in black uniforms, 2 blue and white vans
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

The respondent is a 22 year old young man from Afghanistan. He was travelling with two children aged 11 years old and 11 months old, as well as a woman and another man.

The group left from Velika Kladuša and was reportedly apprehended by 6 officers on Croatian territory, after 3 days of walking. The respondent described that the officers had a dog with them, and that two officers were wearing black uniforms, while four of them had blue uniforms on.

The respondent recalled that, when they were apprehended, it was cold and raining. He stated that:

They stopped us, checked our bodies and punched us. They came and kicked me four or five times. They took our mobile phones and our money (365€). They did a full body check, even around our private parts

One of the officers reportedly asked the respondent: “Why do you come to my country?”

He replied that he wanted to apply for asylum in Croatia, and said:”I am deported from everywhere, and back in Afghanistan I will be killed. I am not an animal. Where do you want me to go?

The respondent explained that the officers detained the group for about 1,5 hours. During this period of time, the respondent reported that himself and the other man were violently beaten and kicked by the police officers. Their food was taken away, and so was the baby’s milk: the officers threw it away, according to the respondent. After the search, the officers reportedly threw their used gloves into the man’s backpack and spat into it.

After taking away the respondent’s shoes, the police officers loaded everyone in the van. It was described as blue and white, without windows or benches. It was very hot, but the officers reportedly turned up the heat inside the van anyway, making it unbearable.

The van was very very hot. And they drove very badly. Banging us from side to side.”

The children and two adults threw up. It was hard for them to breathe. While they were feeling sick, the respondent recounted that the group heard the policemen laughing. In the early morning hours, they were let out at the Bosnian border, near to Velika Kladuša. The respondent said that when they got out of the van, the police told them: “If you come back again I will kill you. Go!