“He hit him so strong, that he fell on the ground”

  • Date and time: September 29, 2018 01:00
  • Location: forest close to Ogulin, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.323436, 15.264074
  • Push-back from: Croatia
  • Push-back to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 7 person(s), age: 20-26 , from: Iraq, Morocco
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), insulting, threatening with guns, gunshots, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 8 Croatian officers in black clothes
  • Taken to a police station?: unknown
  • 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

The group of eight left Velika Kladuša (BIH), crossed the border to Croatia and continued walking north through the country. The third night, when they were walking through a Croatian forest, around midnight, they could hear a flying drone above their heads. Soon after, they could see the authorities running behind them and shouting at them to stop. When the officers caught them, they pointed flashlights into their faces and shouted at them in Croatian, so none of the eight understood what was going on.

One officer then grabbed the respondent on his shoulder and started hitting him with a baton, first on his back and after on his head and face. He hit him so strong, that he fell on the ground (see photo). The four officers were also beating the other individuals with batons on their heads and backs. The respondent’s friend tried to speak to the officer and ask for asylum, but every time anyone tried to say something, the officers gave him a hit with a baton, so the men stopped speaking. Then, the officers shouted at them to enter their cars and transported them directly to the Bosnian border, around 20 km away from the official border check-point in Velika Kladuša (BIH).

As the van’s backspace was windowless, the group of eight couldn’t tell where the exact location of the push-back was. When they arrived at the Bosnian border, the officers told them to get off the car. Then, they frisked their bodies, searching for their phones and money. They took all their seven phones and their money, €2000 in total.

In the end, the officers started shouting at the seven individuals to run back to Bosnia.

The group of seven then walked back to Velika Kladuša (BIH) despite the fact that the respondent was injured from the attack and the wounds on his head and face were bleeding. The next day, No Name Kitchen’s nurse treated his injured face and head.