“They say no problem, you can try again. But police is not good”

  • Date and time: October 1, 2021 13:00
  • Location: Unnamed Road, 47253, Svojić, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.297695584163, 15.392219159079
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 8 person(s), age: 17-23 , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), exposure to air condition and extreme temperature during car ride, reckless driving
  • Police involved: 5 officers in military uniforms ,2 Croatian policemen, 1 police van
  • 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 respondent is a 19-year-old man from Afghanistan. On the 1st of October, he was walking together with seven other people inside Croatia, near a village named Generalski Stolki. Within the group, everyone was from Afghanistan, and all of them were under 24 years old. One group member was a minor, 17 years old.

It was around 1 pm while the group was walking in the forest when “commandos” apprehended the transit group. Five officers stopped the young men and subsequently walked them to the closest road, where they stayed for some time. According to the description of the “military” uniform worn by these officers, it can be assumed that they belong to the Croatian Special police. This police unit is easily identifiable because of its green, olive-drab uniforms, but can be mistaken for members of the military. These officers play an important role in the capture of transit groups in wilderness areas. The respondent says these officers did not use any physical violence. He also reports they told them: “no problem, you can try again. But police is not good. Croatia. Blue police”.

stock picture that shows the green uniform normally worn by members of the Croatian Special police. source: https://radio-mreznica.hr/ministar-bozinovic-u-grabovcu-hrvatska-policija-jedna-je-od-najsposobnijih-i-najopremljenijih/

The officers then called another police unit on the phone. After 10 or 15 minutes, two policemen arrived. They forced the group to enter the police van, and they started driving in the direction of BiH. The respondent insisted that they were driving recklessly and that the temperature in the back of the car was boiling hot. After one hour and a half, they tried to ask for help because they felt excruciated, but the policemen did not react. They drove for about two hours until they reached the green border with BiH, not far from Bihac. The respondent could not remember the exact location of the place where they were sent back over the border, as it was in a forested area.

The respondent shares that during the pushback at the border the Croatian police used “just a little bit, little bit beating”. The men were forced to line up before crossing the border and, while passing next to the policemen, they each got beaten with the baton.