“Don't think about opening the borders, just be smart and cross them”

  • Date and time: June 29, 2021 07:00
  • Location: Tovarnik, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.147544512802, 19.163979857111
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 6 person(s), age: 28-31 years old , from: Iran
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: kicking, insulting
  • Police involved: 5 Croatian police officers in dark blue uniforms, 1 police van
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

At about 5:30 am on the 29th of June, a group of 6 Iranian people on the move were discovered in a train at the train station in Tovarnik, Croatia, just after the train had crossed the Serbian-Croatian border. There were 2 women and 4 men in the group, who were all hiding in the train.

The train was searched by a police dog, but according to the respondent, it did not detect the people from his group. Then police officers searched the train themselves and discovered the people hiding. They made the people on the move leave the wagon and step on the platform. There were 3 police officers wearing blue uniforms with “police” written on the back. According to the respondent, they behaved nicely towards them. He assumed this was due to the security cameras on the train station which were recording the platform. The people on the move were asked to show their documents and interrogated about where they came from, where they were heading to, and how they crossed the border. After about 20 minutes a blue and white police van arrived at the station and the whole group was locked in the back and escorted along the train tracks back to the Serbian border.

On the border, there were 2 more police officers dressed in the same blue uniforms, those officers had “border police” written in Croatian on the back. As the respondent reports, these officers behaved much more violently than the ones at the train station with the security cameras.

“And when they want to push us back to Serbia, one angry policeman said something bad, like you know, something shit said to us: ‘Why are you coming? Don’t come back again!’ We say: ‘ok’. He said: ‘What is ok?’ And he start to kick me. With some shoes from policemen, the front of the shoes is iron and he starts to kick my leg and say something bad to me. And I just say: ‘Ok, we go’, but he again started to kick us. I don’t show reaction, because they are police and they can do anything and nobody no have camera, nothing, we don’t have the proof, you know.”

Then, the group was forced to cross the border and walk along the train tracks towards the nearest Serbian town – Sid. After the kicks onto his legs, the respondent had problems walking for the next 4 or 5 days.

Towards the end of the interview, the respondent shared his opinion about the closed borders policy of the European Union:

“I think they will never open the borders. I want to tell, who listens to this voice, don’t think about opening the borders, just be smart and cross them.”