The respondent is a 15-year-old girl from Afghanistan. She was pushed back from Croatia to Bojna in Bosnia Herzegovina along with her mother (32 years old), father (39 years old), her two sisters (9 and 5 years old). The group with which she was trying her first game to reach the Europe Union was composed of 6 men, 5 women, and 4 minors including the respondent’s family. During their attempt to go on game, the group got lost somewhere in the mountains in Croatia after about 3 days of walking from the border between Bosnia- Herzegovina and Croatia. It was 1 p.m. when they were walking in a forest and were approached by 4 policemen and 1 policewoman all in dark blue uniforms with the Croatian flag sewed on them. One of the policemen had his face hidden by a balaclava. As for the description of the police uniform, it is most likely that these officers were part of the Croatian Intervention Police.
As soon as the group was approached, it was surrounded by the officers who gave the group no possibility to speak.
“They just say: Go to Bosnia and Shut up”
Then the officers proceeded to take all the personal belongings of the group. They took all the money, the bags, and three phones. The respondent states that only their shoes were left on them. While the policemen were taking the personal belongings of the group the policewoman was noting the passwords of each phone into a small notebook. In the next step, physical violence was used. Previously, the women and children of the group were divided from the men. The respondent and her mother were slapped in the face and her sister of 9 was kicked in the back while forced to go into a black police van. Then, the 6 men of the group were beaten on their backs with the baton.
“When the police were there, I was breathing in and out because I was stressed. When they slap my mother, I start to cry. And I am crying when they beat my father with the baton.”
When asked about the violence, the respondent just shrugged over the shoulders and answered “it is normal”. After beating the men for approximately 10 minutes, they were also loaded in the black van. After two hours of driving the group was released near the Bosnian border in Bojna around 3 p.m.
“They just said go to Bosnia and showed the road with their hand. And we left. And we are here now.”