“We begged them to at least let us keep the kid's warm clothes, and the Quran”

  • Date and time: March 2, 2021 10:00
  • Location: Near Buzeta
  • Coordinates: 45.261675, 16.108496
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 7 person(s), age: 5-35 , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: insulting, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings, reckless driving
  • Police involved: 10-12 Croatian officers in dark blue uniforms, 1 police car, 1 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

On Monday, March 1st, a group of 7 people including 2 kids of 5 and 8 years old, started their journey at around 10 AM, from Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina towards Croatia.

At around 11 AM, on March 2nd, inside the Croatian interior, they were apprehended by 2 Croatian officers in dark blue uniforms. They were told they would be sent to the police station, where it would be decided whether they will go to the camp or sent back to Bosnia. They had to wait outside in the cold for around 2 hours, while the officers made calls.

After around 2 hours, both officers put on their ski masks and jackets, and the group was told to walk down the hill, while one officer accompanying them on foot, and the other one following them with the car. According to the respondent, the hill was so muddy and slippery that they all fell a few times until they arrived at a spot where 4 or 5 other officers also in dark blue uniforms were waiting.

All group members and their belongings were then searched very thoroughly, and all all the phones (except for one), power banks, and chargers were taken away. They were then put inside a van and after 3 hours of driving and frequent, long stops, they arrived at the push back point, around 30 kilometers away from Bihac.

At the push back point, the group was ordered to throw all their belongings, including all their food, water, warm clothes and sleeping bag, and backpacks inside a nearby hole where the things were set on fire. They were also forced to throw their Quran into the fire.

We begged them to at least let us keep the kid’s warm clothes, and the Quran, but they just yelled and mocked us

The group was sent back to Croatia at around 6-7 PM and had to then walk for around 20 kilometers before arriving at the first store where they could buy some food. They spent the night in an abandoned container, and had to walk another 10 kilometers the next morning until arriving in Bihac.