“We told the police that we want to seek asylum. Without listening to us, they started beating us”

  • Date and time: July 8, 2022 06:00
  • Location: Border near Velika Kladuša
  • Coordinates: 45.195830045643, 15.792560577174
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 3 person(s), age: 17 years old, unknown , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, threatening with guns, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings, reckless driving
  • Police involved: 2 police officers, wearing black uniforms and night-vision glasses; 5 Interventina Jednica Policija officers, 1 police car
  • 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  17 years old young man from Afghanistan, and he was travelling with other two minors from Afghanistan.

The group was apprehended in the jungle (the way people refer to forested areas), in the proximity of the Croatian municipality of Novska, while they were sleeping, around 1:15 am. Here are exact coordinates of where the police stopped the group: 45°17’48.4″N 16°59’57.6″E.

The intention of seeking asylum was immediately expressed by the three boys, but the police did not consider it at all.

We were arrested, we told the police that we want to seek asylum, again in Croatia. Without listening to us, they started beating us”

At first the group was apprehended by  by two police officers, wearing black uniforms and night-vision glasses. Few minutes later, a car carrying 5 more police officers arrived. From the description of their attire and the extreme violence that they inflicted to POMs, we could assume that they were part of the Interventina Jednica Policija (IJP).

The 7 officers involved in the pushback detained the group there for about 1 hour, during which the respondent and his friends got violently beaten up with batons and pistols’ grips.

[…] They have beaten us the entire time, they kicked us and beat us with batons, and the grip of the pistols”

During this time, the police officers were forcing them to “confess” the name of the person they suspected led the guys there. The respondent said that in order to avoid further violence from that person, no one said anything about it to the police.

They beat us for 10 to 20 minutes, and they were asking “who is your leader?” we told them we do not have a leader: […] he would have beaten us too”

The police then took everyone’s money and personal belongings. The respondent reports being stolen 200 euros and 300 Kuna that he was carrying with him for the journey. Clothes, phones, cables, powerbanks and headphones were also taken by the police.

After 1 hour of beating and violence, the police loaded everyone in a van and drove them to the border. The respondent recalls that the driving took around 4 hours. At the border near Velika Kladusa, the officers left the group in a jungle where they kicked and beat them again. For the wholw time, the boys were not given food nor water or any kind of assistance, but just violence and humiliation.

On their way to the closest town, which according to the description  of the respondent probably corresponds to Velika Kladusa, the boy realised that he could not walk properly as his leg was hurting badly. He entered a mosque where some local people allowed him to call Bosnian police to ask for help. When Bosnian police arrived, also the IOM was informed, and the group was transported back to Borici camp in Bihac.

As the respondent was still not able to walk, due to extreme pain with his leg, he was taken to the hospital in Bihac, where doctors informed him that his leg was broken.

As the respondent left Afghanistan three years ago, his search for a better life continues today.