“They just were beating, without caring where they beat. ”

  • Date and time: March 5, 2021 02:00
  • Location: Glina, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.341883, 16.057989
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 12 person(s), age: 20 - 40 , from: Pakistan, Bangladesh
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), exposure to air condition and extreme temperature during car ride, threatening with guns, gunshots, forcing to undress, destruction of personal belongings
  • Police involved: One car and one van of local Croatian police and Croatian border police.
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

The group with whom the respondent was trying the ‘game’ had left Kladusa on the 1st of March. 

Before crossing road number 6 in Croatia they had to cross some cultivated fields–it was night time but there was enough light to recognize them. Two white vehicles, one van, and one small car were hiding on the other side of the road. According to the respondent, the police used binoculars to identify people. There were two types of police present, one dressed in black and the other unit in green uniforms. The officers ran towards them and apprehended them. They ordered them to sit down, and just after that, one authority shot with a gun pointing at the sky. So everyone sat down because they were afraid. First, the officers looked for an English speaker but none of them answered, so one police officer made a call to someone, and some minutes later border police appeared.  

Meanwhile, one of the officers asked them for their passports. As none of them had any documents, the police answered: “If you don’t have a passport why do you come here?” 

The authorities ordered them to sit down on their knees in a line and to wait for the other officers to arrive at the location. They waited a while for the border police, who arrived in a white van, which the respondent describes as being “like a Combi”. The officers ordered them to get into the van.

The way back to the border lasted two and a half hours. The respondent remembers there being little space in the van, just two benches where six people could sit. Not all of them had a seat, and the respondent says the journey was very uncomfortable. Some of the companions of the respondent vomited and others suffered anxiety.  

After the ride, they arrived at the border and the police started to scream at the group and ordered them to stay in a line. When they did, the officers started to beat some of the men randomly. The respondent says: “They just were beating, without caring where they beat.”

The officers were striking the men with batons one by one. Some of the officers did not hit them, but just stood to the side. After the beating, the border police ordered the men to stay quiet. Meanwhile, they were thoroughly checking their bodies, in every pocket and corner of their clothes.

After, they were asked to put their clothes and belongings on the ground, including their mobile phones.  According to the respondent, the police were threatening them telling: “If you don’t put it now, it will be worse for you later”, moving the baton. Everybody put their phones on the ground. The respondent says he saw one officer taking everything and throwing it into a hole on the ground. He describes how he saw their mobile phones burning, as well as all his clothes. It was nighttime, cold, and dark and they were wearing only their underwear. 

As the clothes were burning, one border officer told them: “If you come here another time, I will kill you.” While the same man was threatening them with a gun, pointing it at them. Then, the police said, “GO!!!”, and they walked back to Bosnia.