“The police fired the gun three times in the air to scare us”

  • Date and time: May 6, 2019 00:00
  • Location: Bosnian/Montenegrin border next to Deleuša
  • Coordinates: 42.857897, 18.477357
  • Pushback from: Bosnia
  • Pushback to: Montenegro
  • Demographics: 7 person(s), age: 22-28 years old , from: Syria, Morocco, Algeria, Somalia
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: threatening with guns, gunshots
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: Border Violence Monitoring Network

Original Report

A group of seven persons from Algeria, Morocco, Syria and Somalia walked two days crossing the Montenegrin/Bosnian border to reach the town Bileća (BiH), where the police caught them. They had run out of food, so they went to the village to find some.

“If there wouldn’t be rain or we would not have been so hungry, the police would not have caught us.”

They found an old house and went inside to change their wet clothes. But someone in the town called the police and after 40 minutes and a police car suddenly came towards them. Inside the police car there were three Bosnian police officers in blue and black uniforms, the respondent had the impression that it was the border police. The police came directly towards the group and threatened to hit them to dissuade them from running away. One of the group members tried to run anyway, and subsequently one of the police officers shot his gun three times in the air, which scared everyone. Because they didn’t want to get shot so everyone of the group stood still.

“Maybe because there were 2 female person with us, the police didn’t hit or insult us.”

The police officers forced them to hand over all the money and phones that they had.

“I could see it in their eyes, that they wanted to keep it, but I strongly insisted, that they give it back, and they did.”

The police officers asked them where they want to go and when the group said “Bosnia” they just laughed and put all of them in a van and drove them about 30 minutes directly to the border. There the Montenegrin police were already waiting for them and the Bosnian police handed the people over to them. The Montenegrin police asked if they have the papers from Montenegro, which all of them had.

“Here the paper is called “hartija”. It allows you to stay 15 days in Montenegro. If you are longer than that here or you don’t have a paper at all, border police sends you directly back to Albania.”

Afterwards the Montenegrin police officers brought the group to a bus station in Nikšić and told them to leave.

“Because I said that we have no money, the police bought us the bus tickets. We wanted to go right away again to the Bosnian side of the border but we knew that the Montenegrin and Bosnian police is in contact and that they would catch us.”