“[...] the officers chased the individuals down into a steep ravine and beat their heads with batons [...]”

  • Date and time: October 23, 2018 03:00
  • Location: Northwest of Rijeka, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.3762277827319, 14.068288987097503
  • Push-back from: Croatia
  • Push-back to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 22 person(s), age: 15-38 , from: Pakistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), insulting, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 2 Croatian officers in blue uniforms (some more at the police station), 6 Croatian officers in black and wearing face masks, 1 estate car
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: photos taken, personal information taken, denial of food/water
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: Balkan Info Van

Original Report

After seven days of walking through Croatia, the group of 22, including two minors aged 15 and 17, was caught by two Croatian officers wearing blue uniforms. The officers shouted at them to stay still as they were searching them, taking their personal belongings. Then they had to enter the tight rear passenger area of an estate car and were brought to a police station. There, all of them were searched again and had to undress. The officers also ripped up their Bosnian papers.

Their personal details, i.e. name, nationality, date of birth, fathers name, were written on a board which they had to hold in front of them while photos were taken. The officer in charge registered the minors as being over 18 years old to deny them the access to legal protection.

Some individuals asked for the opportunity to claim asylum, but the answer of the officers was:

“Stay no, Croatia stay no.”

They were detained for eight hours without getting any food or water.
Afterwards, they had to enter the estate car again. All of them got sick, while they were driven severely cramped for around four hours. At 3 am, they arrived at a rural border area close to the Glina river where the 22 of them had to get off the car one by one. Six officers dressed in black and wearing balaclavas were waiting for them. Each individual was then attacked by four officers, two of them restraining the individual and two others beating him with batons.

They received bruising and skin trauma across their bodies and heads from the severe assault. One individual’s knee was struck severely with a baton, causing a major sprain and swelling. He also suffered from a sprained ankle. Then, the officers chased the individuals down into a steep ravine and beat their heads with the sticks until they fell down. When they finally escaped, the officers shouted:

“Go Bosnia!”