The group of three young guys from Afghanistan arrived in Croatia and was about 35 km from the border. At 11 am, they had crossed a river and were seen by a local man that called the police while the group kept on walking on a road behind the river.
A policeman arrived at the location and brought them into a car to a nearby police station, where a policeman told them that they would get transferred to Zagreb so they could stay in Croatia for the asylum procedure. Telling the group that they have been really lucky. Then a policeman and a policewoman took their pictures and asked them to sign some papers. The respondent, an 18-year-old guy, the best English speaker in the group, claimed that he checked the paper and that he could understand the content because it was written in Farsi. He explained to his two friends that those were Eurodac papers for the Dublin procedure in Croatia. He claims:
“The policewoman screamed rudely to me to sign the papers, so we signed and we thought that they would have brought us to Zagreb to start the asylum procedure.”
Then the three guys were taken one by one into a room where they washed their hands and put their fingers onto the machine to take the fingerprints. As the respondent remembers, they did this in a sort of small storage room, not an office:
“it was a dark, weird place, not official for sure, they weren’t sitting on chairs but on truck wheels.”
After that, they were brought to the car by the same policemen. They thought that now they would get transferred to Zagreb, but after getting out of the car, they realized that they were close to Bosnia again.
The policemen left them at the border, and they walked around four hours to reach Velika Kladusa again.
The respondent wanted to add that after this pushback, the group tried the game again on May 9th – for the third time. When the police found them that night, they also brought them to a police station, where they started to look for their telephones and money in the pockets. The respondent told one of the policemen:
“Last time the police caught us, they brought our fingerprints, so we are Dublined in Croatia! We have the right to stay here! If you deport us to Bosnia, I will talk to a lawyer, you must not deport us!”
Reportedly, the policeman got really angry, “What did you do? You have a lawyer?” Apparently, the respondent was forced to take back his claims, in order to not be beaten. “Are you complaining about Croatia??” The police officer was really mad so that finally he told him that he had lied and that he did not have any lawyer or fingerprints in Croatia. They brought the three of them in the car and pushed them back to Bosnia another time.
“Now I have no idea what to do, we will try again and again”.