“What kind of humanity takes our phones and money?”

  • Date and time: June 1, 2019 00:00
  • Location: Sapna, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Coordinates: 44.4779727961377, 19.016953486103375
  • Push-back from: Bosnia
  • Push-back to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 20 person(s), age: 16, 17, 20-40 years old, 50+ , from: Pakistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 8 Bosnian police officers, all men wearing blue uniforms; 4 police vans, one police boat
  • 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 twenty individuals, all from Pakistan, left Loznica (SRB) on May 31 at 10:00PM and walked thirty minutes from the town center to the Bosnian border. At the border, they crossed the Drina River and entered Bosnian territory. They walked in the forest until they reached the village Supna (BiH). It was raining heavily and all the members of the group were very wet.

Around 6:00AM or 7:00AM, the group walked on a small road in Supna and at this point, the police saw them. There were four police officers, all men wearing blue uniforms. They were driving two white vans. When the police saw the group, they asked how many people were with them. The police officers took everyone’s mobile phones and money, but told the group members that these items would be returned at the border.

The police told the individuals to enter the two vans and they drove the group to what the respondent believed was an “army center.” The four police officers who initially apprehended the group dropped the men off at this center and four new police officers then dealt with the group members in the building.

The officers also ask the men what is their country of origin. After only two or three minutes at the center, the police loaded the group members into two large vans and drove the individuals for one and a half hours to a place on the border that was unfamiliar to the group members.

At the border, the respondent asked the police to return their money, amounting to  about 1,000 Euros, and their mobile phones, but

“[the officer] held his baton in the air and threatened to hit us with it when I asked for our things. Someone told me that Bosnia is a good country; that they wouldn’t take anything from us. What kind of humanity takes our phones and money?”

The police officers brought the group members across the River Drina in a police boat in groups of four and shouted at them,

“Never come to Bosnia again!”

Once across the river, the group members walked for two or three hours to the village Jamena (SRB) and then walked 30 kilometers further to Šid (SRB).