“Croatian Police Told Us to Run, then Released Dogs”

  • Date and time: June 15, 2020 00:00
  • Location: Unknown
  • Coordinates: 45.1, 15.2000001
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 11 person(s), age: Reporter: 21; others mixed age including one minor , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pushing people to the ground, dog attacks, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: Croatian officers, details unknown
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

A group of 11 young men, including a minor, who had started their journey in Serbia, were violently pushed back to Bosnia around the 15th of June.

The respondent, an Afghan man aged 21 years old, did not know where exactly in Croatia they were apprehended, their phones had died by this time. At around 2 pm they were caught by Croatian police – eight officers in two cars. He did not recall what the officers looked like because they were immediately ordered to lay on the ground after being apprehended and were told to shut up. Anyone who did not lay down or who spoke and, in particular, anyone who spoke English was beaten more severely. The police used their fists, feet and batons; they did not give the group the opportunity to explain that they had come from Serbia rather than Bosnia.

During this initial exchange with the officers, the group-member’s money, phones and clothes were stolen from them. The young man who was the primary respondent for this report lost 250 Euros alone.

In total, the abuse from these officers continued for almost 20 minutes. They were then walked to the Bosnian border – about 2 hours from where they were caught. When they were near the border, the police told them to run and then released dogs to chase them. As the dogs chased the young men, occasionally catching, though not biting, them, the police watched, laughing and shouting. After about 10 minutes they recalled the dogs.