The transit group left Bosnia and Herzegovina, crossing the border with Croatia from the Izacic area. After several days of walking they were spotted at 15 km from the Slovenian border, at 8 am on 6th March 2021, by 4 Croatian police officers in green uniform with a white van. These authorities called further officers who arrived after a few minutes (6 police officers in blue uniform with a van and a car). The police 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!”
At 9 am, they arrived at the police station where 3 male police officers and one police woman in blue uniforms told them to undress (including their underwear) and 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.
At 2 p.m. they were taken out of the police station and put in two vans, driven by 5 different police officers in dark blue uniform, the respondent states that before getting into the vans the police 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 police 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”