The respondent and 11 other people, including 4 children, one teenager and 2 women, got reportedly pushed back from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina on April 29, 2022.
The group started from the outskirts of Velika Kladusa and walked for about 5 hour, crossing the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The respondent explaiend that the group decided to call a number, according to the respondent it belonged to the GRC, to ask for help. It was not very clear what the GRC was, but it seems most likely that the group contacted the Croatian Legal Centre, a Zagreb-based NGO, that people-on-the-move trying to enter Croatia regularly contact, hoping they can ensure their transfer to the camp and avoid a pushback.
The transit group, therefore, crossed the border and then a few kilometres within Croatia reportedly contacted who they referred to as GRC, whom they told that they wanted to claim asylum. The respondent stated that the organisation answered them: “We write your name…send your photos to us…we are going to say to not deport you”.
The group was then reportedly asked to head to a nearby street where they were supposed to wait. They waited for about one hour, until a car stopped. The respondent explained that the people from the car started asking the group for their names to check whether it is the same group that they were called for.
The interviewee recalled that there were about 19 men and 1 woman to search the two women in the group. After searching everyone, the entire group got allegedly crammed into one big van. The transit group said they knew from previous attempts that those vans were being used for pushbacks. The respondent described a bad smell induced into the car, which additional to a really bad driving style, which made all the children cry and several people throw up.
The respondent stated that the group got pushed back in the forest, and that they had to walk for about 6 hours to reach a street. Then they had to walk another 6 hours to reach Velika Kladusa.