“We tried to ask for asylum, but the police did not allow us to talk”

  • Date and time: May 31, 2017 03:00
  • Location: Border near Šid, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.132083, 19.129111
  • Push-back from: Croatia
  • Push-back to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 21 person(s), age: unknown , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking
  • Police involved: 15 policemen from Croatia, most in green uniform, 2 in black
  • Taken to a police station?: unknown
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: Soul Welders

Original Report

On May 31st. 2017, around 21 people on the move attempted to cross the border to Croatia. The Interviewee who is from Afghanistan was hiding in a container along with 20 other Afghan men, including 5 underage boys. The Interview describes all 21 people being beaten badly.

The container was on the back of a train and the group of 21 people were all trying to be very quiet as it crossed over the border between Serbia and Croatia, so that the police wouldn’t catch them. But at around 3am they were discovered. The police opened the container, when the train was in the first village in Croatia, crossing over from Šid. There were 15 police officers, most of them wearing a green uniform, and two were in black uniforms. The interviewee states that the police officers were Croatian. The Interviewee states that they tried to ask for asylum but the police did not allow the group of 21 people to talk.

The police ordered them into a big van with no windows and a camera inside, and drove them back to Šid, Serbia. It was dark, about 4am when the police took them out of the van one by one. They could not see what was happening to the other people in the group, because they were locked in the van. The police still didn’t allow them to talk and were shouting at them in Croatian. The police spent about ten minutes beating each person or child, and the interviewee describes that they were hurt very badly including the children.

They used me like a football. Fists, booted feet, all over my body. They hit my face with a police baton and I couldn’t see with my eye. They beat everyone like this. After each man had been beaten they made us run away back to the forrest.