“He pleaded ‘peace, please’ but they took all of his belongings, stamped on his hand and threw him into the river”

  • Date and time: September 14, 2021 21:00
  • Location: near Crni Potok, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.22444, 15.842807
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 2 person(s), age: 24, 25 years old , from: Morocco
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: kicking, insulting, water immersion, gunshots, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 4 Croatian police officers dressed in a black uniform with black ski masks that resembles the uniform worn by the EPZ subunit of the intervention police; one white police van
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Unknown
  • Reported by: Collective Aid

Original Report

At 9pm on the evening of 14th September a 25-year-old Moroccan man attempted to cross the border from Bosnia to Croatia near the town of Velika Kladuša. He was traveling with a friend, a 24-year old Moroccan man. It was dark and they were in the vicinity of the river Glina near Crni Potok when they encountered four Croatian police officers with a white police van. The respondent’s friend managed to run away but the respondent did not. Each of the Croatian police officers was wearing a black police uniform with a black ski mask that the respondent later identified as belonging to the EPZ subunit of the intervention police. The Croatian officers fired gunshots at the ground and asked the respondent where he was from. When he said that he was from Morocco they laughed and insulted him. He pleaded ‘peace, please’ but they took all of his belongings, which included his jacket, clothes, money and phone. They then stamped on his hand and threw him into the Glina river. Alone and afraid that his hand was broken, the respondent managed to swim for 20 metres, at which point he found a Bosnian passer-by who drove him for three kilometres to a nearby hotel. When the receptionist at the hotel saw the respondent’s physical state and injuries she allowed him to stay the night for free, for which the respondent was extremely grateful. “Bosnian people very nice”, he remarked.