On 23rd September, after one day walking in the Croatian forest, the transit group of five were caught and surrounded by what the respondent recognized as five cars from the Croatian police. According to the interviewee, there were between 25 and 45 officers. The respondent expressed how he still felt fear, even after the events of being seized, stating:
“Me alone, all police. Maybe 45. Five cars. Binoculars. We were five Algerian and me Moroccan. They told my friends ‘go’ and me ‘stay’. They beat me.”
The interviewee described how he was surrounded by a large group of officers, dressed in black and wearing green ski masks. The police told his companions to go away in one direction, and had him walk to the other side of a path. Once they had isolated the respondent, they broke his phone and removed his bag with his clothes. They struck him several times with police batons and kicked him, causing injuries to his back which are pictured below.
Describing the following actions of the police, the respondent explained how the officers took him to the top of a hill which led down to a river (the Korana). The respondent states:
“They pushed me into the river from the top of the mountain (hill).”
While falling down, the respondent injured himself on his legs, neck and hands as he was rolling down through the bushes. The pictures below detail the injuries incurred in this fall.
The officers forced the respondent back into BiH territory and the group walked back to their initial departure point, finding they had been ejected in a location close to Šturlić.
“When me down, I walked and there (pointing at location on map) was Šturlić. I walked 26km to Velika Kladuša.”