“The police kicked the men and beat them with hands and truncheons”

  • Date and time: November 10, 2017 04:00
  • Location: Vinkovci, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.218176, 18.78494
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 12 person(s), age: 15-25 , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, gunshots, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 5 Croatian policemen, all male in black uniforms
  • Taken to a police station?: unknown
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: Rigardu

Original Report

12 men from Afghanistan (15 – 25 years old), walked across the Serbian-Croatian border from Šid, Serbia, and for about 60-70km. into Croatian territory, towards Zagreb. They were caught by 2 police officers on a bridge, on November 10th., 2017 at about 4-5am. The police pointed at the men with flashlights and shot a few times into the air. The police asked the men for their personal details and destination, and they insisted on wanting to know who the leader of the group was. One of the men showed his identity card from the Obrenovac camp. The men didn’t express their intention to seek asylum, because the police seemed very angry and behaved so aggressively that the men were afraid of being beaten.

The police searched their bodies and belongings and asked for their phones, which they threw into the river (4 phones). Afterwards they called for 3 more police officers, and they all forced the men to walk a bit further away (about 2 minutes walk), to a spot where they violently assaulted them. The men were ordered to kneel down and to tell them who their leader was. The police kicked the men and beat them with hands and truncheons to all parts of their body. If the men raised their hands the police would hit them in the back of the head. All the men were beaten in this manner.

Afterwards 2 police officers transported the men in what they described as a big police van, to a pushback spot on the Serbian-Croatian border, called stone-place (2 big stones) near 70 road and Batrovci Serbia, where some officers, described as Croatian border police, were waiting for them. The police ordered the men to go to Serbia, and the men ran back to Serbia.