On Wednesday 20th April 2022, three men, two from Afghanistan, aged 29 and 36, and one from Iran, aged 38, were seized by police forces at the bus station of the Croatian city of Glina and subsequently pushed back, at the border close to Karlovac, according to the respondent’s report. From here they walked back to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The respondent, the 29-year-old, said they left Velika Kladuša on the 19th Tuesday, but does not remember exactly what time it was. The group of three walked to the border and crossed it during the night, reaching the town of Glina by walking on foot through the forest. Their intention was to take a bus from Glina to Zagreb. The respondent mentioned that he had multiple cuts on his hands after their journey through the dark forest.
At 6 am in the morning on Wednesday, the 20th April, they arrived at the bus station in Glina and bought a bus ticket. When they got on the bus, they realized that the bus did not leave and quickly found out that it was because the driver called the police on them. Two officers arrived between 6.30 and 7 am and were soon joined by four more. The officers were described as policemen who wore dark blue uniforms and the description provided by the respondent suggests that they were members of the Croatian police.
When the officers arrived, the three men were forced to get off the bus. Reportedly, the officers screamed exclusively against the respondent because he was the first to get off the bus. One officer stood in front of the respondent and kicked his knee in the stomach. Reportedly, another officer came from behind and kicked him on his legs repeatedly. This outburst of violence was ended by a female officer hitting the respondent on the back of the head. He reported that two days after the kicking and beating he was still struggling to walk and suffered intense pain in the area of the lower abdomen and in his intimate parts.
The respondent described how the three of them were trying to express their wish to claim asylum, but that they were being ignored. They were all strip-searched and the officers took all of their belongings. The respondent had to hand over a number of important personal documents such as his Afghan passport and a military card. The officers requisitioned his documents (including the Bosnian police papers), money, credit cards, cigarettes, and a lighter. Then they also broke the screens, cameras, and phone chargers of their phones.
After the search, the officers forced the three men to enter a sort of container. Unfortunately, the respondents were not able to relate what sort of container it was exactly, but they remembered it being close to the bus station. The respondents described that on the floor, there was 30 cm of cold water. They were thus forced to remain with their feet in the water for about three hours, without being able to sit anywhere and without being given any indication. The respondents explain that after they were taken out of the container, a car arrived and they were pushed back near the Croatian town of Karlovac after having spent about an hour in the car. They walked back to Velika Kladuša.