““If I go back to Bosnia, maybe I will take a lawyer because the Bosnian police stole our phones.””

  • Date and time: May 27, 2019 11:00
  • Location: Bosnian/Serbian border next to Panjak
  • Coordinates: 43.751056, 19.472625
  • Push-back from: Bosnia
  • Push-back to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 2 person(s), age: 23, 33 years old , from: Iraq, Morocco
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: insulting, theft of personal belongings, destruction of documents, threatening with batons
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: Border Violence Monitoring

Original Report

Two friends from Morocco were walking next to a street north of Višegrad (BiH, Republika Srpska), when two police cars passed them and suddenly stopped. The cars came back to them and three Bosnian border police officers stepped out and asked them where they are going. The respondent believed that the police officers were drunk because their breath smelled like alcohol. Both individuals showed the officers their police papers for Ušivak in Sarajevo and Bira camp in Bihać. Then the police officers took the two individuals to the bus station and asked the employee at what time is the bus leaving for Sarajevo. The employee told the officer that there are not any buses until the next day.

The police officers then drove the individuals to the police station in Višegrad and talked a bit with other officers and then drove them directly to the Bosnian/Serbian border. There the police again forced them to hand over their smartphones and their documents of the camps in Sarajevo and Bihać. They put the phones in their pockets and ripped apart their documents in front of the individuals. One police officer even warned them not to tell anyone about the smartphones and documents.

“This paper is like a passport to us. Because they destroyed our documents, they could push us back to Serbia. When I told them, that I want my phones back, they raised their arms with a stick in their hand and threatened me, to beat me like an animal. They shouted: “Go back to Serbia!” Then we ran away. By the time we had no money, but if we had some, they also would have stolen it from us.”

“If I go back to Bosnia, maybe I will take a lawyer because the police stole our phones.”

When they went five kilometers to the first police station in Serbia, the police officers there told them to go back into the woods and reenter Bosnia. The two individuals then went to another police station in a bigger city, which then sent them to a camp where they had an interview with translation. Then the police officers gave the respondent a paper, stating that he had to leave the country within 24 hours, or he would go to prison for six months. The respondent decided at this point to leave Serbia and go to Montenegro.

Once arriving in Montenegro, he decided to go back to Morocco, because of all hr had endured at the hands of police officers, as well as because of the loss of a friend who drowned in the Kolpa River.