“The police officers told them to run and threatened them with police batons”

  • Date and time: June 21, 2021 00:00
  • Location: In a forest near the border with Bosnia 30 minutes away by foot from Velika Kladusa, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.193331930082, 15.785465290419
  • Pushback from: Croatia, Slovenia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia, Croatia
  • Demographics: 2 person(s), age: 23, 23 years old , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: no violence used
  • Police involved: 9 Slovenian police officers in blue shirts and black trousers, 2 Croatian border police officers in light blue uniforms, 2 Croatian police officers in black uniforms, 1 small Croatian police car, 1 Croatian police van
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, fingerprints taken, photos taken, personal information taken, papers signed, no translator present
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

At 9 am, on the 21st of June, 2 men from Afghanistan, both 23 years old, were found in a truck on the Slovenian side of a border crossing with Croatia. As the two men had gotten on a truck secretly they did not know where it was heading. Therefore the respondent was unable to recall the exact location. There were about 9 border police officers wearing uniforms with blue shirts, saying “policija” on the back, and black trousers. They made the 2 men from Afghanistan leave the truck. They took their pictures and fingerprints and made them sign papers with their personal details. The police officers also took their personal belongings like mobile phones, watches, and money and packed them in some plastic bags.

After about 3 hours on the Slovenian side of the border 1 Croatian police officer arrived in a small car to take the Afghan men to a police station in Croatia. There, the men were put in a prison cell for about 9 hours. After that, the police officer who brought them there together with another officer, both wearing light blue uniforms, took their pictures and made them fill and sign documents with their personal details. The men asked for asylum, but the police officers did not pay attention to that. After that, the men were locked in the back of a police van and the police officers drove them for 2 hours towards the border with Bosnia.

They were let out of the van in a forest near the border with Bosnia. There were 2 more police officers wearing black uniforms. Those officers were wearing balaclavas to cover their faces and big black boots. This is in line with the uniform normally worn by members of the Croatian Intervention police. It was about midnight when they arrived at the location. The officers who brought the men there returned the belongings which had previously been taken away by the Slovenian police. Then, the officers in the black uniforms told the Afghan men to run over the border by threatening them with their police batons. The men run across the border and waited in the forest for a couple of hours for the sunlight. Then they walked for about 30 minutes and arrived back in the area of Velika Kladusa.

The respondent stated that they were pushed back to Bosnia, even though they had crossed the Croatian border from Serbia initially. He suspects it is because driving to Bosnia was a shorter distance for the Croatian police who picked them up from the Slovenian border.