“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 Kladuša
  • 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: 6 officers, at least one van
  • 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 Kladuša, BiH in the morning together with two friends from Tunisia. The three of them walked for what they estimated to be about eight hours, crossing the Croatian border in the forest between Velika Kladuša and Glina. As the respondent does not have a working phone, he depended on his two friends and their knowledge of the exact location to cross the border.

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 Glina 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 about an hour the bus was stopped by what the respondent describes as 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 policemen that entered the bus approached him straight away and asked him for his papers and his passport. The respondent explained that he had no papers and asked for asylum immediately. He also asked to be taken to a camp. The policemen prompted him to step out of the bus and took him into their car. The respondent suspected that the apprehension point was somewhere on the highway A30 in the direction of Zagreb.

The police drove the respondent to what he describes as 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 policemen continuously walking past him. He repeatedly asked for asylum but nobody looked at him or spoke to him. The respondent describes this form of ignoring him as 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.

Afterward, the policemen from the station conducted the respondent to a 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, which was conducted by one policeman.

The respondent was taken to the Bosnian border and pushed back to Bosnian town of Glinica. Along the border, a second police car with four policemen was waiting for him to arrive. 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 were the first words any of the policemen involved in the pushback said to the respondent after having asked him for his papers on the bus several hours before.

From the town of Glinica, the respondent walked back to Velika Kladuša (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.