“They did not speak a word to me - They did not even look at me. ”

  • Date and time: March 1, 2022 10:00
  • Location: Glinica, Velika Kladusa
  • Coordinates: 45.214420889536, 15.948302855078
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 1 person(s), age: 29 , from: Algeria
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: psychological violence
  • Police involved: 2 Croatian policeman
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: personal information taken, no translator present
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

The respondent left Velika Kladusa, BiH in the morning together with two friends from Tunesia. The three of them walked an estimate of 8 hours, crossing the Croatian border in the forest between Velika Kladusa and Glinica. As the respondent does not have a working phone he was dependent on his two friends and their knowledge of the exact location to cross the border.

Picture of the respondent’s friend’s phone with an approximate location where they started their transit attempt.

Shortly before reaching the Croatian town Glina, the respondent and his two friends changed into clean clothes and left their blankets and sleeping bags that they had brought with them to protect them from the cold in the woods. In Glinca the respondent and his friend decided to split up and take different buses to Zagreb, to be less conspicuous. The respondent bought a bus ticket at the station and entered the bus shortly after. His two friends, who as he later found out were not caught by the police and made it to Slovenia, took a later bus than him.

After having been on the bus for an hour the bus was stopped by Croatian police. The respondent assumes that either the bus driver called the police on him or that it was a random police control that stopped the bus. Either way, the policeman that entered the bus approached him straight away and asked him for his papers and his passport. The respondent explained to them that he has no papers and asked for asylum immediately. He also asked to be taken to a camp. The policeman prompted him to step out of the bus and took him into their car. Because of this rapid interaction the respondent was unable to look at his phone to figure out the exact place the police stopped the bus. It is very likely that the bus was on the highway A30 in direction Zagreb.

The police drove the respondent to a police station between Glina (Croatia) and Zagreb where his phone was taken from him and he was left to sit in a corner for at least one hour. The respondent recalls several policeman continuously walking past him. He repeatedly asked for asylum but nobody looked at him or spoke to him. The respondent felt as if this form of ignoring him was inhumane and hurtful. He felt as if they simply did not care for him as an individual, as a human being with rights and needs.

Afterwards the policeman from the station conducted the respondent to a police van that was waiting for him outside. They gave the respondent´s phone to the conductor of the van. Without saying a word to him they guided him into the van, that was conducted by one policeman.

The respondent was pushed back to Glinica, Bi where a second police car with four policemen was waiting for him to arrive at the border. They returned his phone to him, pointed out the vast direction, and told him that that was Bosnia and he was supposed to walk away from Croatia immediately. Those where the first words any of the policeman involved in the pushback said to the respondent after having asked him for his papers on the bus several hours before.

The respondent walked back to Velika Kladusa from Glinica (15 kilometers) for 3-4 hours, arriving back at where he had left approximately 24 hours before.

The form of violence in this illegal pushback was not physical, but more of a mental kind. Ignoring a human being for several hours and in doing that depriving a person of rights such as the right to claim asylum is a form of violence, the respondent feels.