“They didn't care about the babies”

  • Date and time: May 21, 2022 13:30
  • Location: Near Velika Kladusa, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.195667576973, 15.792490203173
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 3 person(s), age: 26 years old , from: Pakistan, India
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: exposure to air condition and extreme temperature during car ride
  • Police involved: 3 people in blue uniforms, 3 people in black uniforms, 1 car, 2 vans.
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: fingerprints taken, personal information taken, papers signed
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

A 26-year-old Pakistani man was reportedly pushed back on May 21, 2022 from Slunj, Croatia to Bosnia

The man had walked into the forest, starting in Šturlić, in Bosnia and Herzegovina around 6 in the morning. He explained that he went together with 13 other people, including 11 from Africa, 2 Pakistani and an Indian, among whom there were 4 children and 3 women.

After 5-6 hours of walking, the group allegedly crossed the border and arrived in Mašvina. The respondent explained that at that point, some of them called a number they refer to as IOM, obtained from some acquaintances, to ask for help. They communicated that they were experiencing difficulty, especially with the children. They were instructed to wait and not to move from the spot, as the number they called would would call “the police” who would escort them to Zagreb, where they would be given the opportunity to seek asylum.

The group reportedly waited for a day and a night in the same place, but noone never arrived, and at 6 am the next day they decided to leave. After walking only a few hundred meters the children were tired and crying. As a result, the group decided to call what the respondent refered to as”the police” and ask for help, as the children were sick and could not continue.

The interviewee stated that after less than an hour, around 1 pm, two men in blue uniforms arrived in a car. The two men reportedly requisitioned all the phones, powerbanks chargers and searched all the adults present to make sure they did not have any knife. The respondent explained that they put everything in plastic bags, which were placed in the middle of the street, while the people-on-the-move sat in a row beside it. After about 10 minutes, a van arrived: all those present got on and spent what seemed like one hour to the respondent, which was described by him as very turbulent and disturbing, since the driving was particularly reckless.

The respondent stated that the heat was asphyxiating, made worse by a lack of air intakes. The children were crying loudly, but this did not phase the driver, who continued in this way until what was desribed by the respondent as the Slunj police station.

Here the group reportedly applied for asylum. The respondent added that they were asked a lengthy series of personal questions, they were all searched again, had fingerprints taken, and the IMEI number of their phones were taken. The respondent also stated that, after 5 or 6 hours, 11 people in the group were given some papers, while the other three (including the interviewee, along with the other Pakistani and the Indian man) were asked to leave the building and get into a van supervised by 3 people in black uniforms.

According to the respondent, the journey took less than 40 minutes, and was more pleasant than the prior one. The vehicle was well ventilated and the ride fairly smooth. At around 9 pm they reportedly stopped in a place 100 meters from the Bosnian border, not specifically identified by the respondent. The people in uniform indicated the direction to take to the three men, intimating never to try to cross the border again; after about two hours of walking through the jungle the interviewee returned to the vicinity of Velika Kladuša.