“Don't give documents at night”

  • Date and time: June 6, 2022 03:40
  • Location: Gejkovac, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.215996537198, 15.812951997381
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 13 person(s), age: Unknown , from: Nepal
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: no violence used
  • Police involved: 3 Croatian border officiers, 1 police van, 2 police cars
  • Taken to a police station?: unknown
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: Personal belongings taken
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

A Nepalese woman was the victim of a pushback from Gejkovac to Ponikve in Bosnia and Herzegovina on June 6, 2022.
The woman had left Velika Kladuša, Bosnia and Herzegovina on June 5th, walking through the forest around 2 pm. The group she belonged to was made up of 13 people, of which at least half were women and a minor. After walking for a few hours during the afternoon, the group stopped to rest; the plan was to sleep until midnight and then leave and cross the border at night, when darkness guarantees greater safety and less chance of being seen.
So they did and after walking for about 3 hours, around 3.00 am they crossed the border, but in less than an hour they ran into a Croatian police officer, who approached them in a car. The man ordered them to sit in a row at the side of the road, questioned them about where they came from and later forced them to open all bags, from which he took phones, chargers and powerbanks, which were put in plastic bags placed in the middle of the street. The respondent states that she expressed her willingness to seek asylum to the officer, but he replied that it was not possible to provide documents as it was night.
Don’t give documents at night!
Then he made a phone call to ask for reinforcements and after about 15 minutes a van and a car arrived, driven respectively by two Croatian policemen. The group was ordered to get into the van.
The deportation journey lasted only 15 minutes, since the place from which the push-back had originated is relatively close to the border. Once they got out of the vehicle, the officers told them to return to Bosnia across the border and warned them not to try to return again; so that after a few hours of walking in the jungle, in the early morning the respondent and all the others returned to the starting point near Velika Kladuša, tired and exhausted after another failed attempt and with the sun now high in the sky.