“The group was forced to walk through a river to reach the other side of the border.”

  • Date and time: May 17, 2021 09:00
  • Location: Šturlić, BiH
  • Coordinates: 45.0617601, 15.7824857
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 12 person(s), age: 20-32 , from: Pakistan
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings, reckless driving
  • Police involved: officers in green uniform; 2 officers, blue uniform, 1 van
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, no translator present, denial of food/water
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: Anonymous Partner

Original Report

The respondent was apprehended by authorities on May 17th at around 5 o’clock in the evening. He and his group of 11 people had been walking for about 3 days, when what he reports as Croatian authorities apprehended them in the forest, close to the road E71 in Croatia. The officers were wearing green uniforms. After they apprehended the group, the officers called for further authorities. After about one hour at around 6 pm, one white van arrived with two officers inside. They were wearing blue uniforms and told the group to get in the back of the car. Before the group entered, the officers took everyone’s belongings: backpacks, sleeping bags, jackets, phones, power banks, and money.

The group was taken to what the respondent describes as a police station. There they were kept in detention for about 2 hours. During this time, the group was denied any food or water. Further, there was no translator present who could make communication between the police and the people possible.

At around 8 o’clock, after two hours of detention, the group was ordered to leave the cell and get into another white van that would drive them to the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. Due to reckless driving, many people in the group had to vomit. The drive lasted for about 1 hour.  After that, the group was released at the border to Šturlić, BiH, the respondent recalls.

The police officers at the border were screaming at them “go, go, go!”. The group was forced to walk through a river to reach the other side of the border. This happened at around 9-10 pm. From Šturlić the group walked for many hours to reach their point of departure. They reached Lipa camp in the early morning of the 18 of May.