On Monday, March 25, 2019, the group of six, three Tunisians and three Moroccans, left Velika Kladusa (BIH) to cross the border to Croatia. Due to heavy rain, they had to wait two days near the border and continued walking afterwards for four days through the forest.
On March 30, around 9.30 am, the group was stopped in the forest near Glibodol (HRV) by a man and a woman in hunting clothes. The woman had a firearm which looked like a sniper or hunting gun and the man hold a smaller firearm that looked like a 9 mm gun. The six of them wanted to run away, but the man shot two times in the air with his gun, so they decided to stop.
“They scared us and we stopped.”
The two people took the phones and power banks from the people on the move, broke them and threw them on the ground. They further took the food the six were carrying with them, and burned their sleeping bags and backpacks. Afterwards, they ordered them to start walking, following the road, telling them:
“Go back and don’t get back here.”
They entered a car and followed the group of six, while pointing one of their firearms towards them. The woman took a photo of the group walking on the road. They drove behind the group for around seven kilometers and then turned around.
The people on the move decided to search for a police officer because they didn’t have the resources anymore to keep on traveling. The two people who had stopped them neither identify themselves as authorities nor did they hand them over to any authorities. After walking for a bit, the group saw a police car standing still on the road. They approached it and found two Croatian officers inside, wearing green uniforms with the word ‘police’ written on their shoulders. The officers asked them if they had any phones, power banks or money with them, so they explained what had happened to them. The officer asked if they could remember the license plate of the car the man and woman were driving.
“We were so scared, we cannot remember.”
The officers called another van to pick up the group of six.
This van first brought them to the police station in Blata (HRV). Afterwards, some other officers brought them with a different car around 20 km to another police station near Bihac, where already other people on the move were waiting. They were brought altogether to a big garage-like building, where they had to stay between 2.5 and three hours. Now the group of six was with about 20 Pakistani people on the move. The police brought another 18 people from Afghanistan. The police asked the Afghans to open a phone with its code, but nobody wanted to do so as all locations where saved in that phone. So the police brought the Afghans out of the garage and then the rest of them could hear them screaming. Afterwards, the Afghans returned, beaten up by the officers.
During the night, all people on the move were then brought together to the border and dropped near Lohovo. They then went back to Bosnia.