“He didn’t control everyone, he choose people because of the appearance and the skin color”

  • Date and time: July 8, 2019 00:00
  • Location: Goražde, Bosnia
  • Coordinates: 43.665289, 18.969416
  • Push-back from: Bosnia
  • Push-back to: Montenegro
  • Demographics: 3 person(s), age: 25 - 29 years old , from: Algeria, Sudan
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: racial profiling
  • Police involved: 5 Bosninan police officers; one police van and one police car
  • Taken to a police station?: unknown
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: fingerprints taken, personal information taken, no translator present
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: Border Violence Monitoring

Original Report

The following report is the third of three reports referring to the pushback of a group of two men from Algeria and one man from Sudan from Bosnia to Montenegro. The first report can be found here and the second report can be found here.

The group members started on the July 8, 2019 at 11:00AM from Podgorica (MNE) to Pljievlja (MNE), where they arrived at 7:00PM. On the next day they started to walk towards Goražde (BiH). After they crossed the border and arrived in Goražde, they went to the bus station and bought a ticket for Sarajevo. But shortly after the bus started, the police stopped the bus and one officer went inside to control it. He didn’t control everybody’s passport, but the respondent described he picked out a few people to check their documents.

He didn’t control everyone, he choose people because of the appearance and the skin color. When he asked people, he wanted to see the passport. When the police officer came to us, he also asked for our documents. We told him that we don’t have any papers. Then he said that we are immigrants/refugees and ordered us to step out of the bus.”

In total they forced fourteen people from Morocco, Algeria and Sudan outside of the bus. An additional five police officers were also involved in this control and waiting for them outside on the street. Then the Bosnian police officers put all fourteen people in a prisoner van and drove them to a police station, however the respondent does not know the location of the place where he was taken.

There all of them were questioned about their name and surname, and nationality. They didn’t take any fingerprints or photos, there was also no translator present. They also asked specific questions about smugglers and routes. The police did not take any of their group members’ possessions.

Then the three group members and one person form Morocco were forced into a car and the Bosnian police drove them to the border crossing in Metaljka (BiH). From there they had to walk back to Pljevlja and took a bus back to Podgorica, being very tired and exhausted.

Now not only Croatian police is bad, also Bosnian police change. The problem is not if you are Muslim or not, the problem is the respect.”

“For example if somebody from Bosnia steals something, the police catch him and puts him to jail. Not everybody goes to jail. But if I want to go to Europe and I don’t want to steal, police catch me and put me in jail. Why is this?”