“Croatian Authorities Stood On Either Side of the Men and Beat Them From The Front and Back Simultaneously”

Cuts and possible scarring on the respondent’s arm where he was beaten
  • Date and time: October 12, 2019 10:00
  • Location: Jezera, Croatia (Bus Stop)
  • Coordinates: 43.789844, 15.63149
  • Push-back from: Croatia
  • Push-back to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 4 person(s), age: 30, 32, 36, 40 , from: Algeria
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), pushing people to the ground, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 2 Croatian regular police in blue uniform, 7 Croatian police in black uniforms and ski masks, 1 Croatian 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?: Yes
  • Reported by: Border Violence Monitoring

Original Report

On 12.10.2019 a group of 4 Algerian men were in transit. At approximately 10.00 they attempted to take a bus from Jezera (HR) to Zagreb. At the bus station in Jezera the group was stopped by one Croatian regular police officer in a blue uniform. The respondent described how the officer came “rushing over” to them when he spotted the group at the bus station.

Upon apprehension, the group was transported in one Croatian police van to a location near the HR/ BiH border, close to Bugar (BiH). The van stopped near the river Korana, approximate coordinates 44.936602, 15.737301. The respondent commented on his reaction to seeing the cold water.

“I am so afraid because I do not know how to swim.” 

The respondent shared that he had been pushed into the river during one of his 11 previous attempts at crossing the border. He feared how deep this section of the river near Bugar was, because we was not able to swim.

The respondent expressed intent for asylum and the officer told him:

“No asylum for you.”

There were seven Croatian police in black uniforms and ski masks covering their whole face, except for their eyes. One officer giving commands ordered the group to empty their pockets and take out their mobile phones. The officer confiscated two mobile phones, two power banks, 30 euros, and 100 Croatian Kuna. He put the money in his pocket. Two officers stood either in front or behind each member of the group and beat the individual on his front and backside simultaneously. The group was hit with fists and beaten with batons on their arms and backs. Officers pushed the men to the ground then ordered them to stand up and go into BiH territory

The group walked for 4.5 hours from Bugar to Šturlić and then returned to Velika Kladuša (BiH).