“The transit group, still just in their underwear, had to line up one by one. The officers were laughing.”

  • Date and time: May 17, 2021 08:00
  • Location: near Bogovolja, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.0765436, 15.7646954
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 14 person(s), age: 20-30 years old , from: Pakistan
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), exposure to air condition and extreme temperature during car ride, dog attacks, forcing to undress, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 7 male officers wearing black uniforms and black ski-masks. 1 white van and 1 grey passenger car. 1 dog.
  • 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: Anonymous Partner

Original Report

The respondent started his journey from Bosnia on 12 May 2021 with a group of 14 persons. All group members were from Pakistan, male, and between 20 and 30 years old. The respondent’s age is 22 years.

After 5 days of walking into Croatia, the group had crossed the road E65. It was the morning of 17 May 2021, around 04:30 a.m. They were having some sleep in the forest in the area of Donji Desinec, Croatia (estimated coordinates 45.673583, 15.7277942). The respondent explained that they were discovered by a group of 7 male officers, all of whom were wearing a black uniform and had their faces covered with black ski-masks. The respondent described how these masked officers apprehended and yelled at him and the other people on the move.  The respondent understood that the officers yelled “Go to Bosnia!” The officers had a white van and a grey passenger car with them.

The respondent explained that the officers frisked all 14 people from the group and took everything from them except the underwear they were wearing. The officers put the clothes, mobile phones and luggage of the group into a big bag, which they took to one of the cars. After that, the respondent did not see their belongings again.

The respondent said that the group members were then told to get into the cars. 10 of them, including the respondent, were ordered to get into the rear part of the van. The 4 other group members had to enter the passenger car. In the van, there was only a narrow bench to sit on, so that people fell to the floor even though the driver drove well. The respondent said that it was very hot in the van, and 2 or 3 people had to vomit.

After a ride of some 3 hours, the van and the passenger car stopped in or around the village of Komesarac, close to the Bosnian border (approximate coordinates 45.0765436, 15.7646954). It was around 8 a.m. The same 7 police officers who had apprehended the group were present, and they had again covered their faces with the black ski-masks. There was now also a dog with the officers. The respondent and the rest of the group, still just in their underwear, had to line up one by one. The respondent described how the officers were laughing and hit the group members with a baton on their heads and shoulders. Then they ordered them to cross the green border to Bosnia and when the group moved, the dog bit the last person in the line into his thigh.

After a walk of some 30 minutes, the group reached Šturlić, Bosnia and Herzegovina. They continued to walk for another 14 hours until they reached the camp in Lipa, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Four days after the incident, the respondent’s feet were still hurting due to the long walk without shoes.