On June 18, 2021, at 1:00 p.m., two men, one from Pakistan and the other from Afghanistan, were found in the back of a truck by the driver of that truck in a Croatian town. The two men were on their way from Serbia to Western Europe. One of them was 26, the other 28 years old. The men had secretly entered the truck in Serbia without the driver’s knowledge. When the driver discovered them in his truck during a break, the men tried to flee, but Croatian police apprehended them about half an hour later in the same town. They, therefore, suspect that the driver must have alerted the police. They also told that the town was quite small, which made it easy for the police to find them. The respondent could not remember the name of the town. He could only remember that it was somewhere on the way between the Serbian-Croatian border and Zagreb.
The 2 police officers who arrived to apprehend the two people on the move were driving a police van and were dressed in light blue uniforms and most likely belong to the regular Croatian police. They locked the men in the back of the police van and drove them to a police station.
When they arrived at the station the men remained locked in the van for 5 to 6 hours until they were released. Eventually, they were taken into a room inside the station. They were given some food and water and were allowed to use the toilet. Inside the police station were 3 more police officers wearing the same light blue-grey uniforms. They made the apprehended men fill out and sign forms about their personal details and took their pictures. The forms were available in Pashto and Urdu, the mother tongues of the men, but there was no translator present. So, the conversation between the people on the move and the officers took place in English.
The respondent related that they tried to ask for asylum in Croatia, but the police officers said that they could not accept this request, as there was no refugee camp near that town.
After filling the documents the same 2 police officers that had first stopped the men took them back to the van and drove them back to the border with Serbia. They were let out near a small white building on a dirt road that crosses the Serbian-Croatian border a few meters south of the Bosut river. The police officers told the men to follow the road and cross the border back to Serbia.
The respondent said that he was quite surprised that the Croatian police officers neither used physical violence against him and his companion nor stole anything from them.
“First time I see the Croatian police behavior is really good”.