On Sunday, October 1st, 2017, 6 people-on-the-move were apprehended by the Croatian police, about 20 km from the Serbian-Croatian border, about 10 km before reaching Vinkovci. They were pushed-back at around 11 pm near the train rails, at the Serbian-Croatian border near Šid, Serbia.
The group of 6 people from Iraq, Algeria, and Armenia walked from Šid, Serbia across the Serbian-Croatian border and were apprehended by 8 Croatian police officers with a small police van. The police called for 4 additional police officers, who arrived with a bigger police van.
The police proceeded to beat them, with punches and kicking, in their torso and on their legs, while also using verbal violence. The men and their baggage were searched by the police. They were asked to kneel down, and all 11 police officers beat and kicked them. The underage boy stated that he had medical problem, an injury in the back of his head, but the police took his off hat and beat him in the head.
After this first incidence of violence, 3 police officers transported the men in the bigger van to the pushback location on the border with Serbia and left. At this place 5 police officers were waiting and a second violent attack occurred.
The men were taken out of the van in a queue, and all 5 police officers hit them, one by one, while yelling insults about the men’s families: “fuck your mother, fuck your sister, fuck your father”. Afterwards the police said “go back to Serbia and never come back”.
All the men expressed their intention to seek asylum, in English, first when the police first apprehended them and again when they were being pushed-back. At the point when the police caught them, they were asked about their nationality and age, and the people-on-the-move replied. There was no further response to their request for entering asylum procedures, and the underage boy was treated the same as everyone else. While they were being pushed-back to Serbia, they expressed this request again, and the police answered “fuck you no asylum”.
After that the violence at the border, the people ran to the Serbian side and walked back to Šid.