“But the officer just laughed and signed the paper for him with his own hand”

  • Date and time: September 19, 2018 18:00
  • Location: Near Rijeka, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.3270631, 14.442176000000018
  • Push-back from: Croatia
  • Push-back to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 4 person(s), age: 16-40 , from: Pakistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: dog attacks
  • Police involved: Eight officers, six in black commando uniforms, two in sky blue border wear
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: photos taken, personal information taken, papers signed
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: Balkan Info Van

Original Report

The group of four, including minors, were apprehended by Croatian officers near the city of Rijeka (HRV) as they attempted to walk from the northern suburbs to a nearby village.

Two men dressed in civilian clothes approached the group of four, shouting at them to stop. The four men were scared and started to run away from the unidentifiable men. But the two strange persons had dogs leashed nearby and quickly set the Alsatians after the group. The dogs barked and ran after them, snapping and growling as instructed by the shouts of the two Croatians. Several times the animals jumped at the men, snapping violently at their heads. The two then called the police and an estate car arrived along with two other cars. In total there were now eight officers, six in black uniforms and three in sky blue clothes.

The four individuals had to enter the estate car and were driven north. They knew this because when they were unloaded twenty minutes later they found themselves at the Slovenian-Croatian border. There, they were detained in a container on the Croatian side and processed. The officers made them sign papers with their names, ages and nationalities, and then took photos of the four individuals holding the respective papers in front of them. The four of them didn’t want to sign the deportation paper and the respondent requested again and again for asylum, telling them that either they would give him asylum:

“Or you shoot me!”

But the officer just laughed and signed the paper for him with his own hand. Aside from this the officers also wrote down 18+ for the minor, crossing out the date of birth that he had written recording his actual age as 16. During the ordeal all four individuals asked several times for the opportunity to claim asylum. At one point one of the younger officers was trying to listen to the minor, but his superior, an older man, interrupted him and told them that they were all going to be deported. After around an hour at the station they had to enter the estate car again and were driven for around five hours to the Bosnian border. On arrival the group was taken out of the car and told to walk, passing by the officers already waiting there. Two of them were dressed in black and three in sky blue. They were on the Croatian side of the border, near the official border crossing of Maljevac (HRV). In this incidence, they were returned their belongings and ordered to leave Croatian territory.

Initially it were two civilian informants who assaulted the group by setting dogs (Alsatians) on them. The denial of asylum rights occurred on the Slovenian and Croatian border and enacted by Croatian border officers. The violent push-back was carried out by two officers dressed in black who drove the estate car, and at the border another five Croatian officers joined.