“We found two women there, because women don't call the police”

  • Date and time: December 14, 2018 00:00
  • Location: Plitvička Jezera,Croatia, Plitvička Jezera bus station
  • Coordinates: 44.869736230668565, 15.629048771126804
  • Push-back from: Croatia
  • Push-back to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 2 person(s), age: 23, 23 , from: Algeria
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: no violence used
  • Police involved: 4 officers wearing dark blue uniforms
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: denial of food/water
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

The respondent left Bosnia together with three other persons by foot.

“We crossed the border at approximately 5 am because they have night vision binoculars, then we crossed and entered in the jungle, we walk aside the way. We walk to cross the border, about 20, 30 minutes.”

“We found two women there, because women don’t call the police. There is a young girl, we ask her at what time is the bus […] The bus left already.”

The group had missed the bus by a couple of minutes and hence had to wait for the next one. When it arrived, they divided their group by two.

“We, we were two, we went into the bus with my friend. Me, I don’t have problem with the driver, but my two other friends when they get in, he said “your passport”. He asked my passport, but there is no passport. We went out of the bus. We left from this place. […]”

After this refusal of access of the bus, the respondent inferred that the driver called the police.

“The police passed by, with speed, they saw two persons in the bus station. My friends, they ran away, they went into the jungle. We came back to the bus station.”

Once again, they divided the group into two and the respondent walked to another bus station with one of his friends. Five minutes before the bus arrived, they were apprehended by the Croatian authorities.

“The bus, it passed when the police frisked us.”

They were arrested by four officers in a dark blue Dacia Duster, wearing dark blue, uniforms. The officers made them enter a van and another team of officers brought them to a police station. They didn’t know the location because their phones were taken while they got frisked and the backspace of the van was windowless.

“The police, they caught us, but they did not give us anything. [There] was some bread. We saw it when we entered, it was some bread, here for maybe two days, three days, I asked bread, they did not want to give me.”

There were already other people on the move at the station who had been apprehended previously :

“It was a family, but this time they didn’t beat us. This family they caught it in the jungle, in another place.”

The respondent described the police station as following:

“They put us in a cell, but I don’t think it was a cell, it is more like a garage, there is a sky blue door and a floor tile. In the middle there is water evacuation. On the car park, there is a Ford from the police, a Ford Fiesta and two vans.” 

Before leaving the station, the family was asked where they wanted to go. They answered Bihać. The officers then drove all people on the move in a 30-minute drive to the border, while they turned on the cold air conditioner.

The respondent describes the situation at the border:

“They hit us a lot, the other times, they always hit us. But this time, it is the only time they did not beat us and I think it is because of the family, because there was a woman and children. This time they didn’t beat us.” 

When they came back to Bosnia they walked on a small path until an intersection indicating to the left Bihac and to the right Sarajevo. They started walking towards Bihac and later on took a small bus which drove them to the city.