“Believe me, I'm very sad for my future”

  • Date and time: March 6, 2021 00:00
  • Location: 45.187472, 16.026943
  • Coordinates: 45.187472, 16.026943
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 35 person(s), age: 19-35 , from: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: exposure to air condition and extreme temperature during car ride, forcing to undress, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings, reckless driving
  • Police involved: 4 Croatian officers in green uniform with a white van, 6 Croatian officers in blue uniform with a white van and a car, 3 male officers and 1 female officer with blue uniform, 5 officers in dark blue uniform
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, no translator present, denial of access to toilets, denial of food/water
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: Border Violence Monitoring Network

Original Report

The transit group left Bosnia and Herzegovina, crossing the border with Croatia from the Izacic area. After several days of walking they were spotted 15 km from the Slovenian border at 8 am on 6th March 2021, by 4 officers which, due to their green uniform they assumed to belong to the Croatian police, with a white van. These authorities called further officers who arrived after a few minutes (according to the respondent 6 police officers in blue uniform with a van and a car). The officers told them to get into the van which would take them to a place where they would receive food, water and first aid. After being put into a van, the transit group was transported to a police station 30 minutes away from the point of apprehension.

“I don’t know why they take us, because we don’t want to stay in their country!”

The respondent recalls that that they arrived at the police station at 9am where 3 male police officers and one police woman in blue uniforms told them to undress (including their underwear). They checked the pockets of their clothes, then checked their backpacks, which they then threw into a large rubbish bin, and took their power banks and phones. One person of the group had some documents from Greece which one of the police officers took and threw away.

After being searched, the group in transit was locked in a cell for 4 hours, with no chairs to sit on, the respondent stated that there were about 50 people in the room and several times they knocked on the cell door to ask for water and the possibility to go to the toilet, which were denied.

The respondent recalls that at 2pm, they were taken out of the police station and put in two vans, driven by 5 different officers in dark blue uniform. The respondent states that before getting into the vans the officers gave them plastic bags telling them “vomit in here if you need it”. The journey from the police station to the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina lasted about three hours, and the respondent states that the police drove fast, braking suddenly and that many of them vomited on the way. Once they arrived at the border with Bosnia, more or less in the area of Bojna, the group was taken out of the vans and the officers told them:

“there you can see the border, go to Bosnia!”

The group crossed the border and walked for 30 km until they reached the village of Vrnograc (45.16369, 15.95444). After a short stop, they set off to reach the Lipa camp. The respondent stated that they walked 95 km, two days and two nights.

“Believe me, I’m very sad for my future”