On 10th March during the night, the respondent, a 22-year-old man from Pakistan, entered inside a truck, attempting to cross the border in it. He was traveling together with another two people, aged between 22 and 25 years, also from Pakistan. It was around 10am on 11th March during the morning when the truck in which the respondent was traveling, terminated its trip in a factory in Zagreb, Croatia.
The respondent could not recall the exact location of the factory. In the factory, the respondent described having been detected by four factory workers and the truck driver. Reportedly, they instantly called the police, who arrived about 30 minutes later at the location. According to the respondent, the group waited inside the truck until the policemen arrived at the site. The respondent described that two Croatian police cars and one white police van arrived with five officers. According to the respondent, as soon as the officers went out of the car, they forced each member to leave the truck, one by one.
The respondent was the first to exit the vehicle. He was forced to hand over his mobile phone and money. Then, the second group member was called out, while some of the officers started to strike the respondent. The respondent explained that while each member was handing over the mobile, the others were struck by the remaining officers. The respondent explained that also the company workers, who had first detected the group, participated to strike them.
“Croatian police beat us…the truck driver also and other four workers from the factory. (…) Everyone tortured us.”
He described that the workers of the factory and the officers struck each group member one by one, encircling them. Some of the workers beat them with a wooden stick that the respondent compared to a baseball bat. He also recalled that they used something that he called steel tubes. The Croatian officers used their batons to strike each group member. Reportedly, the officers and the workers of the factory also used punches and kicks to hit the people on the move.
“They did a big torture. (…) They beat (us) on all parts of the body with kicks, punches, with their sticks, everything. (…) Police didn’t speak, they just tortured us.”
The respondent highlighted that he was beaten on the head, where he still felt pain even some days after. He stressed that he lost a lot of blood from the wound on top of his head. After having been struck with sticks and batons on the head, the respondent described that he sat to maintain control over his body and to not faint.
“After that they beat me, I couldn’t even understand where I was. I sat down without moving for a while”
The respondent described having been struck for what he remembers as 10 minutes. Reportedly, the authorities spend about 25 minutes with the group, striking them and asking for their properties.
Afterwards, the authorities ordered the people on the move to enter in the white police van.
The respondent was not able to recall the location of the police station because their mobiles were confiscated by the authorities and the vehicle where the group was in, had no windows. He could only remember that he spent about 2 hours travelling; it was around 1pm when they arrived at a police station.
According to the respondent, once at the police station the Croatian officers took pictures of each group member. He mentioned that three male officers and two female officers wearing blue shirts and black trousers were present when they arrived. At this spot, the people on the move were ordered to sign some documents and fill in their personal data, even if the respondent was unable to understand the content due to the absence of a translator.
“After the torture, we went to a police station. (The Croatian officers) took the pictures, (they forced us to) sign papers. They didn’t give any tissues or bandages (even if) I was losing a lot of blood from my head. (Also) No food, nothing…”
Reportedly, the Croatian authorities seized their bags, their coats, their shoe laces and their sleeping bags during the detention, without handing them back. The respondent would have needed to take some medicines, he was carrying in his bag, but they were confiscated by the authorities.
The group spent about 2-3 hours inside this police station, then they were brought to the Serbian border inside a van. They spent about 1 and a half hours inside a white van until they reached a spot close to Croatian Border Crossing Bajakovo (approximate location of the spot: 45.055165, 19.101322). The respondent could certainly recall that it was around 5.30pm on 11th March when the authorities (unknown number) ordered the group to leave. As soon as the respondent was allowed to leave, he crossed the border and he went into the direction of Batrovci, a Serbian village, where he was able to do some calls.