The two cousins had entered Croatia inside the back of a truck. As the truck driver stopped to unload goods, he found the two men. He told them to step outside and called the authorities. The officers arrived and checked the truck to see if the truck’s tarpaulin was destroyed but it had remained untouched, since the respondent had prior experiences climbing into trucks. The officers first questioned the truck driver, if he had taken any money from them and if so which amount. Later on, the group of two was asked the same questions, and they denied having paid anything.
After the officers checked the tarpaulin once more, they took the two people on the move to a police station in a Dacia Duster. The station was described as a small old station with only two rooms. There, they filled out a form with their name, surname, date of birth and country of origin and their fingerprints were taken.
Afterwards the two men were driven around one hour in a windowless police van to a second police station in Delnice (HRV). The respondent remembered three or four cells on the first floor. The two of them were led to the basement, where three officers were waiting for them in the dark.
First, the respondents were asked if they spoke English. The two of them denied, they only spoke Arabic. Thereupon, both were separated for an interview. Whenever the officers asked questions, both were beaten with a baton independently of each other.
“The interview was like torture. They ask, so you have to answer. But no matter if you answer or not, they beat you anyway with their baton.”
During their interview the officers asked about their migration route, how they climbed into the truck and if they paid the driver. The officers didn’t believe the statements of them, so they started to beat them again. Though, this time they were attacked with electric shocks and repeatedly got their heads hit with a baton.
“‘Speak this man brought you here for money or I beat you‘, the police officer commanded and beat the interviewee heavily, he answered: ‘No no, this man, [the truck driver], not bring me here for money. I put myself here with my cousin‘.”
The respondent reported, that the officers offered them asylum in Croatia, if they admitted the truck driver had assisted them to cross the border in exchange for money:
“We accept your asylum, we take you to the camp with paper, with everything, just tell us that this man take the money and put you inside [the van], it’s simple.”
Four papers were presented to the two of them to sign. As their pleas for a translation was rejected, they refused to sign. In response, both were beaten again.
Afterwards, the officers drove them about 2,5 hours to the Bosnian-Croatian border. The driver was awful, so that the respondent felt sick:
“We wanted to throw up, they don’t care about we are inside the car, if you die or alive, they don’t care”.
When they arrived at the border, they had to get off van one by one. It was dark already, so they hardly saw anything. The respondent walked about two meters when suddenly several officers began to beat him with batons. One female officer threatened them:
“Next time if we arrest you or catch you, we will beat you so much, kill you or put in prison”.
The respondent remembered a handmade, wooden wall at the push-back place, where people who escaped from the Croatian authorities had to climb over. Further below he recognized a river.
After the two men had run away from the Croatian officers, they began to walk back through a forest where they passed a small road and found a taxi. The respondent reported about many evidences of police practices, such as destroyed phones and torn jackets.