“In order to stop the assault, the interviewee cut his left wrist artery with a knife made of his asthma medicine pipe”

  • Date and time: October 16, 2017 00:00
  • Location: Tovarnik, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.147575, 19.164551
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 5 person(s), age: unknown , from: Afghanistan, Algeria
  • Minors involved? Unknown
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: Several policemen during the interrogation in Zagreb and the deportation back to Tovarnic; 5 policemen where involved in the violence activities
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: photos taken, personal information taken
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: Rigardu

Original Report

8 men from Algeria walked across the Serbian-Croatian border from Šid Serbia, and through about 10 villages in Croatia before continuing by train container to Zagreb. There 4 of them managed to apply for asylum, and were accommodated in a camp. The 3 others went there for one night including the interviewee. The next morning the men called the UNCHR office in Zagreb and expressed their intention to seek asylum. After they stated their personal details and explained their route, the officer reassured them that they could go to register at the police station, and they would get access to apply for asylum.

The men went to the main police station in Zagreb, where the police registered them and took pictures of them, after which they proceeded with an asylum application. The men received proper documents and were supposed to be accommodated at a closed camp near Zagreb. However, 2 police officers transported them, along with two Afghan refugees, in a big police van, to the Serbian-Croatian border near train rails between Tovarnik Croatia and Šid Serbia. At the border spot, 5 male border police officers described as Croatian violently assaulted them. In order to stop the assault, the interviewee cut his left wrist artery with a knife made of his asthma medicine pipe. The wound bled a lot, the police stopped and let him lie on the ground unnoticed for hours. Afterwards 2 of the Algerian and the two Afghan people walked back to Serbia. The interviewee was badly hurt, and stayed behind at the deportation place, with bleeding wounds, without receiving any attention from the police, for about 5-6 hours, before the police officers called a Croatian hospital near the border.

The interviewee was transported to the hospital and he recovered there for two days. The police came and the man again expressed his intention to seek asylum. Two police officers transported him in a big police van to the Serbian-Croatian border, near train rails between Tovarnik Croatia and Šid Serbia. The police took his documents from the hospital and demanded him to go back to Serbia. The man questioned the deportation, and the police responded that they were sorry, explaining that the order for the deportation came from higher ranking officers. Afterwards the man was pushed back to the Serbian side, and walked to Šid.