The group started their journey from the city of Bihać (BiH) on the 29th of April at 7:00 pm. After several hours of walking, they crossed the Bosnian-Croatian border and continued walking through the forest.
After seven days of walking, the men crossed the Slovenian border, and after walked around 10 km further inside the country were stopped by four Slovenian authorities who were described to be wearing uniforms similar to those worn by military officers. It was around 3:30 pm at this point. The officers were described as threatening the group-members with their firearms, telling them to stop, and then searching them. The authorities then made a call on the radio, and drove them to the border where a Croatian police van was already waiting.
Four Croatian policemen, wearing blue uniforms, were described as being physically violent with the group, striking them with batons, while the military officers were still present and watching the scene. After this, the group-members were put in the van and driven for two hours to a police station in Croatia.
In the police station, the group-members’ names were registered and their pictures were taken. They were then told to sign a paper, although the contents of this paper was unknown to them since it was in Croatian. The men described again being beaten by the officers, who struck them with batons and fists. Their phones, powerbanks, money, and several other personal items were taken at this point as well.
‘One man, he was about 45 years old, he had glasses, the police took his glasses and broke them’
The group was kept in the station for somewhere between six and seven hours without any access to food or water.
In the evening, the group-members were led by either four or five Croatian police officers, who wore blue uniforms, into the dark back part of a vehicle. This vehicle driven for relatively short amount of time before stopping in another station where the officers brought an Iranian man into the vehicle (referred to in a separate report). After an hour of more driving, they stopped again and changed into another van where two afghani were already present (referred to in a separate report). The group described that they were beaten with the use of batons while being transferred to the other vehicle. Two of the officers also hit the group, of now twelve men, after they asked about their location.
The men were left, after a two hours journey, at the Bosnian-Croatian border at around 3:00 am of the 6th of May, near Velika Kladuša. They walked back to the city all together. Most of the men presented severe injuries.