On the March 6, 2019, at 6 am, two people, a man and a woman, left Velika Kladusa and crossed the Croatia border. From there, they walked all day long through the forest and mountains. Exhausted by the previous walk the two of them decided to sleep a few hours in the forest, around Glina (HRV).
Around 3 pm, while they were still sleeping on the ground, both of them suddenly got kicked several times. When they opened their eyes, they saw five officers surrounding them, wearing masks and dark uniforms. The respondent claimed to have asked immediately for asylum again and again, but the officers didn’t reply. One of them asked the two people on the move aggressively:
“Where you come from? What you want in Croatia?”
So the two of them asked for asylum again and another time officer ignored it.
While one officer with mask took all the clothes from their bags and put them on the dirty ground to make everything useless the respondent asserted, another one took €200 from them and broke their mobiles phones. Finally, the officer put the broken phones in a plastic bag and gave them back.
The two individuals were terrified and were told to enter a van. The respondent assumed that the driver intended to make them feel sick by driving very recklessly.
“He drive like a crazy man. He played by suddenly stopping the car, start again, stop, then start again.”
After one hour, the van stopped in a forest near the border. One officer violently made them get off the van, the respondent recounted. It was dark and one officer showed them in which direction they should walk, shouting:
“Go back Bosnia!”
“We were walking in the direction of Bosnia, without having the right to apply for asylum, without knowing where we were, without our phone, without our money, we felt suddenly like animals, not like humans.”
It took them one day to return to Velika Kladusa. Exhausted, they went to the Miral Camp, run by IOM, but since the officers had taken their camp cards, they weren’t allowed to access medical care and food.
The interview was conducted in cooperation with Thé et Café pour les réfugiés.