In the early morning hours, at about 2 am on the 26th of May, a group of five Afghan People on the move was apprehended by Croatian police on a forest road between Lovas and Tompojevci, near the border with Serbia. There was one minor within the group, a 17-year-old boy, but also all the others were also not older than 20. First, they were spotted by 2 officers in civilian clothes, who used binoculars. The officers fired a couple of shots in the air and told the group to stop and lay down on the ground. Then they called for reinforcements. After about 30 minutes 3 police cars came: one van for transporting prisoners and 2 usual cars. There were 2 officers in the van and 4 in each of the smaller cars. They had their faces covered with black ski masks and wore dark uniforms.
The police officers who arrived told the people in the group to give away all their money and mobile phones. After that everybody was searched and those who did not give their belongings straight away were beaten with police batons. Their shoes and bags were also taken from them and thrown away.
Then, the officers escorted the apprehended refugees to the van. One person tried to escape and started to run, but the police caught and beat him. All group was closed in the back of the van and when the car started to move the air conditioning was turned on, so the air in the back of the car has become unbearably cold. After 20 minutes of driving, they were brought to the border crossing between Tovarnik and Sid.
They were let out in a field just on the border some 100 meters towards north-east from the road between Sid and Tovarnik. 6 officers formed a corridor, 3 officers on one side and 3 on the other side. All the refugees in the apprehended group were forced to pass through this corridor one by one while the officers were kicking them and beating them with police batons. Then they were told to cross the border to Serbia. They were threatened with death if they attempted crossing the Croatian border again. “Don’t another time come back. I kill you” – the respondent quoted.