“No water and no food. We were allowed to use the toilet after 7 hours, after knocking for an hour, then they opened.”

  • Date and time: March 5, 2022 08:00
  • Location: Close to the Bosnian town of Vrnograč
  • Coordinates: 45.17966253229, 16.033733366413
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 4 person(s), age: 19, 21, 24, 25 years old , from: Bangladesh
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: theft of personal belongings, reckless driving
  • Police involved: 5 men in a dark blue uniform with the inscription "Policija" 1 silver Van without windows and benches
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, denial of access to toilets, denial of food/water
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: Blindspots

Original Report

On Friday, the 5th of March 2022, at around 8 a.m., a group of 4 people from Bangladesh got push-backed from Croatia to Bosnia.

The respondent described that the group started their transit attempt on foot from the Bosnian town of Vrnograč at around 2 p.m. on Thursday 3rd of March and crossed the border into Croatia at around 3 p.m.

The respondent described that from there the group walked about 20 kilometers through Croatian forest, which they call “jungle”. The next day, on the 4th of March, the group reached a small town whose name the respondent could not remember.

The respondent described that around 1 p.m. the group encountered two men dressed in dark blue uniforms with the inscription “Policija“. This description suggests that they were local police officers. The police officers asked about the origin of the group members, to which the group answered and subsequently also tried to convey that they were planning to ask for asylum. The respondent described that one of the group members was carrying a medical document, which he showed.

The police officers then asked the group to go to the local police station and explained to the group that their asylum application would be decided there. The respondent described that the group walked to the closest police station. There the group met two other men dressed in dark blue uniforms, again with the inscription “Policija“.

One of the police officers asked the group to show their passports, but none of the group members had a passport or other form of documentation. The respondent described that one of the police officers then searched all the group members individually for personal belongings.

The respondent described that afterwards one of the police officers directed them into a room. The respondent described the room as small, without benches and without windows. The group was locked in there for about 14 hours. Only after 7 hours did one of the police officers allow the group to use the toilet. The respondent described that they were not given any food or drinks during the entire time.

“No water and no food. We were allowed to use the toilet after 7 hours, after knocking for an hour, then they opened.”

The next day, on the 5th of March, at around 5 a.m., the group was asked to leave the room and get into a silver van. The respondent described the van without benches and windows. From there, the van drove in a very reckless style for about 3 hours until they arrived at the Bosnian border at about 8 a.m.. The respondent described that they were thrown through the van due to the extreme driving style.

The respondent described that the group was asked to get out of the van. There were several people in front of the van who the respondent could not describe because they were using bright torches to blind the group members. The respondent also described that the persons had loud barking dogs with them.

“The torch was shining on our face so it was very difficult to see anything and the dogs were barking loudly, so it was a very dangerous moment.”

A person came closer to the group and searched every group member and taking mobile phones and powerbanks from them. The respondent described that the person was dressed in a dark blue uniform with the inscription “Policija”.

The respondent described that the group was then asked to cross the border into Bosnia and quickly leave the place.