““When the police catch, they stripped and take out our clothes, only keep underwear, then [the two policemen tried to] broke my phone [...] broken my phone, take money, 150€, take bag, everything, police hit me and my friends””

  • Date and time: June 13, 2019 00:00
  • Location: pushed back 20 kilometers away from Velika Kladusa
  • Coordinates: 45.22544676292148, 15.968884890684649
  • Push-back from: Croatia
  • Push-back to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 3 person(s), age: 22,24 , from: Iraq
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pushing people to the ground, exposure to air condition and extreme temperature during car ride, threatening with guns, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings, reckless driving
  • Police involved: 2 Regular Croatian policemen , 1 driver with the same uniform, 7 to 8 intervention police officers
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, photos taken, personal information taken, papers signed, no translator present, denial of access to toilets, denial of food/water
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: Border Violence Monitoring

Original Report

The group of three friend left from Bihac by walk aiming to cross the Bosnian/ Croatian border. They took a taxi to go further and continue by walk to cross a river, they keep walking in a mountain amongst “too much animals and insects”. At approximately 9.00 am the group heard firing three times nearby them, two policemen arrested them by beating them with batons to be sure they are not going further. The officers called “their friend, and coming a van”. These two policemen were wearing a “pale blue shirt with short sleeves with a dark blue trouser, as well as the driver coming afterward. One gun on one side of the belt, baton other side with gas spray bottle”

While waiting for the driver and the van,

“When the police catch, they stripped and take out our clothes, only keep underwear, then [the two policemen tried to] broke my phone”

“broken my phone, take money, 150€, take bag, everything, police hit me and my friends”

According to the second interviewee, one of the policemen stole his phone
“Samsung 9, new, very good. They look location and take in pocket, but iPhone 5, not good, just broken“

When the second police team arrived, they almost crashed the van on one of the interviewees, he ran away at the last minutes to avoid it.

“The driver say  ‘I am crazy’ [talking about himself] , only one driver in this van, open the van and drive from left to right”

The two interviewees think that the police station was approximately 15 minutes away from the place where they got caught. The interviewees are thinking about Kutina police station but with doubt, because they never got the information of the location they were taking to.

They were detained the whole day in a room near the police station “no light, no window, all night, a lot of insects in the room and concrete floor, we sleep on the floor, not give me eat, just water”

At one point one of the interviewees needed to go to the restroom, he mimed that that became an emergency, the police shouted at him “you stay here!”.

One by one they were taken out of this room to go and answer questions concerning their name, surname, date of birth, father name. After the interrogation, the officers took a picture of their face. The officers took their registration document from Bosnia and did not give them back. According to the interviewees, they had to sign a paper written in English saying that they got their belongings back, including their phone, but only the broken phone was given back.

At approximately 9.00 pm, a policeman opened the door and make them go into a van. The respondent says that it was very hot inside the van.

“Sometimes slow, sometimes fast, sometimes break fast, I feel daisy, I want to throw up”

The van stopped after approximately three hours driving at the border. Twenty kilometres away from Velika Kladuša.

The door of the van opened, and the two interviewees mimed the scene, the first one did not even have time to stand, a policeman took him from the neck of his t-shirt and pushed him out of the van accompanied by a kick on his bottom, making him falling. Then he tried to run away but they count about seven to eight policemen beating them while running with their baton. The policemen had headtorch blinding the interviewee while he was aggressed by the officers. They were saying “go, go, go”. One by one they got the same treatment.

Then the group of three friends walked back to Velika Kladuša. They had no money anymore to get any food, fortunately, the broken phone is still usable.