“I don't understand why”

  • Date and time: September 14, 2020 09:00
  • Location: 42 Road, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 44.921246435168, 15.602906764076
  • Push-back from: Croatia
  • Push-back to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 80 person(s), age: Reporter 23; others mixed , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), dog attacks, forcing to undress, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: Eight Croatian officers wearing all black
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

On September 14th, a group of approximately 80 adult men and minors were pushed back from Croatia to along the Bosnian border near Bihać. The primary respondent making this report was a 23-year-old from Afghanistan.

In the days prior, he and his group ran out of food and water while making a transit attempt through Croatia. After two days without eating, they decided to turn themselves in to the police. They waived down a car on the D42 Road in Croatia at around 9:00 pm and asked the driver to call the police. He did so.

After some time, a total of eight officers, including one woman, arrived to the scene. The police who arrived wore black shirts and trousers, but no black masks. At this location, the men were robbed of their possessions including mobiles and money as well as their sleeping bags and rucksacks. Their clothes, except underwear were also taken from them.

Then they were ordered to get into several deportation vans which drove them back to the Bosnian border with Croatia, near Bihać. The respondent described that they were incredibly crowded and that he believed there were at least 30 people cramped into his van.  When they reached the border, the men were beaten with batons. They were told to run to Bosnia, but, the man making this report said, this time they could not run, because they did not have shoes and were accordingly beaten more.

A police dog – a large, dark, German shepherd was also loosed to chase them. At least two members of the group were bitten, an adult and a minor.

As he finished making this report, the young man said, “It is so cold, I don’t understand [why they robbed and beat us, when we turned ourselves in and did not resist]” – at that time, two days later, he had clothes, but nothing to keep him warm at night.