“We cannot live in Afghanistan […]. But they said: ‘If I find for another time you, I will kill you’”

  • Date and time: June 19, 2021 02:30
  • Location: Lipovac, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.047920810823, 19.102467298508
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 3 person(s), age: 16, 17, 20 years old , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking
  • Police involved: Six Croatian border police officers in light blue uniforms, one Croatian border police van, two Serbian border police officers
  • 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

The respondent, a 20-year-old man from Afghanistan, was pushed back from Croatia to Serbia on the 19th of June 2021. He was part of a transit group consisting of two other men from Afghanistan, who were minors and aged 16 and 17 years old.

At approximately 2.30 AM on the 19th of June 2021, the transit group were apprehended at the border crossing between Batrovci and Lipovac in Croatia by what the respondent described as five Croatian police officers in light blue uniforms.

The transit group were taken to the side of a truck and reportedly beaten with fists and kicked by the five uniformed men. As described by the respondent:

“They fight me, the Croatian police, they fight with me, fight, fight, fight. I said, I crying, I crying, so much crying, big crying. I said for him to […] don’t fight with us […]. We want to go to a foreign country. We cannot live in Afghanistan […]. But they said: ‘If I find for another time you, I will kill you’. But I said to him: ‘You are police, why you kill me?’. But they said: ‘No speak, don’t speak!’”.

The respondent said he was struck for another five minutes and his two fellow transit members were beaten once again.

After a while, another officer reportedly came and asked the others to stop striking the apprehended people, because there were minors among them. The respondent said he was able to understand this exchange between the officers as he had been stuck in Serbia for several months. However, the respondent recalled that they continued to beat the group members for another minute. The officers then reportedly made the transit group fill out and sign some documents about their personal details, names, nationality and age.

After signing the documents, two of the suspected Croatian officers locked the transit group in the back of a police van and took them to the Serbian side of the border crossing. The transit group were reportedly handed over to what the respondent described as two Serbian border police officers dressed in dark blue uniforms. According to the respondent, the Serbian officers tore up the documents that they had signed on the Croatian side of the border and were told to go away.