“Their belongings were set on fire”

  • Date and time: November 25, 2020 03:10
  • Location: 2 hours walking from Slunj
  • Coordinates: 45.059466, 15.743065
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 7 person(s), age: 5-12, 28-36 , from: Afghanistan, Algeria
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: no violence used, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 9 Croatian police officers, 10 unknown police officers
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Unknown
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

The two Algerian men, 36 and 34 years old, walked for 4 hours in the Croatian territory and where about 2 hours far form the village Slunj, where they were planning to take a bus at 7:00 am. At approximately 3:10 am, they were hiding in a wooden area to surveil the situation, at which point nine Croatian police officers found the two men. They called a colleague who only ten minutes later arrived with a police van to the spot where the men were waiting.

While they were waiting for the van to arrive, the men were searched for money. Therefore, they had to strip completely naked. As they were only carrying the equivalent to 20 euros with them, they were allowed to keep it, unlike their phones that they had to hand over to the officers.

The men were forced to enter the van and waited inside, while the nine police officers kept patrolling the wooden area. Only a few minutes later, the respondent estimated it to be about five minutes, one police officer brought an Afghan family that they found in the same area into the van. The family consisted of two men, one woman and three smaller children.

Afterwards the van drove to an unknown area, where they waited for two hours inside the van, until they then drove a few minutes to the Bosnian border next to the city Velika Kladusa. Around 5:30 am the people-on-the-move could leave the van.

Ten police officers were present in this location. As it was dark, and the people on the move were not allowed to look up, the respondent could not recognize the uniform of the seven men and three women. The only thing he remembers are dark uniforms and the officers speaking in English between them.

The people-on-the-move had to hand over their backpacks and the sleeping bags that they were carrying. One police officer piled their things up, poured gasoline over them and then set everything on fire. This time, their phones were handed back to them. Afterwards the officers made the whole group line up and made them walk back over the border.