On March 5, 2019, a group of four left Velika Kladuša at 6.30 am to reach Croatia. They crossed the border a few hours after and walked until Slunj (HRV).
On March 6, 2019, after 14 hours of walking with some rests in the forest, the group took a bus in Slunj at 8.30 pm to Zagreb. They entere the bus, but after 10 minutes it was stopped by the authorities and one officer entered the bus, asking for passports. The group expressed that they did not have passports but wanted to seek asylum in Croatia. The officer didn’t answer anything, but showed them to follow him out of the bus.
After, they had to enter a police van and were driven to the police station where one officer asked them for their personal belongings. Another one took their phones, money and cigarettes. Two members of the group explained that they are in dire need of asylum as they are members of the LGBT community which is forbidden by law in their home country. The officer started laughing and replied:
“We don’t like homosexuals here, and we don’t want homosexuals here.”
The two members of the LGBT started to feel afraid, because all staff at the police station were watching them now with hostility and laughing about them. After asking again for asylum, the group had to give fingerprints, sign documents and photos were taken. They didn’t know what they signed, even after asking for an explanation.
The respondent told, that he was terrified at the police station due to the hostility of all officers around them.
After one hour they had to switch into another van, where they saw another group of four people on the move.The two people of the LGBT community didn’t feel comfortable at all, because the four other people on the move also started reacting hostile due to their sexual orientation.
“They saw it with my way of talk and my way of dress, everywhere I’m going it’s dangerous for me just because I want to be as I am.”
The following drive in the van was very rough.
“The officer was driving like crazy. We were afraid cause we also didn’t know where we were going.”
Finally, the car stopped near a road and the officer aggressively asked all people to get off the van. The other officer who had all phones, took them and destroyed them with his baton in front of the group. All the officers were laughing, saying things like:
“You are criminal, never come back here or we will do the same with your face.”
After a few minutes the officers pointed in one direction and told them :
“Now you will go back to Bosnia and never come back!”
They were around 20 km from Velika Kladusa, without knowing where they were, without something to drink or to eat.
“I wanted to go to Europe to be safe, to live as a human, and look I’m just an animal here! Now I don’t have anything to live, what am I supposed to do? You know, when you are homosexual, even in the official camp it’s dangerous. I’ve been raped in the IOM camp shower, and now I am supposed to go back there?”
The interview was conducted in cooperation with Thé et Café pour les réfugiés.