“Everywhere I ask, they tell me that they cannot give me asylum”

Shin injury caused by being beaten with a police baton
  • Date and time: October 20, 2019 06:30
  • Location: Glina, Croatia bus station
  • Coordinates: 45.340442, 16.088206
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 10 person(s), age: 25, 32 , from: Iraq, Yemen
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings, reckless driving
  • Police involved: 4 Croatian police in navy blue uniforms, 1 Croatian police car, 1 Croatian police van
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: photos taken, no translator present
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: Border Violence Monitoring Network

Original Report

On 20th October 2019 at 06:30 two men in transit, one from Yemen and one from Iraq, bought bus tickets at Glina (HR) Bus Station. Before departure, two Croatian police officers in navy blue uniforms came onto the bus and asked them for documents. Because the two men had no documents, they were asked to get off the bus. In the bus station parking lot was one Croatian police car with two other officers, the two officers who boarded the bus had been in the vehicle prior to apprehension. The respondent believes that the bus driver called the police when he saw the two men in transit. 

The two men were told to get into the police car, and when they did one of the officers took a photo of each of their faces. They were transported to the Glina Police Station. The respondent expressed his intent for asylum stating:

“Please, I need asylum.”

The officer told him:

“I’m sorry, I cannot help you.”

Reflecting on this, the respondent stated:

“Everywhere I ask, they tell me that they cannot give me asylum.” 

The respondent stated this was his eighth attempt to cross the Croatian border in hope of being granted asylum before the winter. The two men in transit remained at the station for about fifteen minutes. 

From Glina police station, the two men were loaded into one Croatian police van with eight other people who were in transit. Between 08.30 and 09.00 the van reached a cement barrier in Bosanska Bojna (BiH) and everyone was told to exit the van. The man traveling with the respondent had a small mobile phone and one Croatian police officer took the battery from his phone. The officer took two power banks and the extra clothing which the respondent was carrying. A second officer then hit the respondent with a baton. 

“The officer who hit me, he is black in the heart.” 

The respondent was shocked by the violence which the officers use to abuse people in transit. After the attack, all ten people were ordered across the border.