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Yes, we are refugees. We are not terrorists, we are not smugglers!

Date & Time 2022-08-04
Location a forest close to the Bosnian village of Glinica
Reported by No Name Kitchen
Coordinates 45.2159498, 15.95798853
Pushback from Croatia
Pushback to Bosnia
Taken to a police station unknown
Minors involved yes
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age 16 - 26
Group size 4
Countries of origin Afghanistan
Treatment at police station or other place of detention detention, personal information taken, no translator present, denial of food/water
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 4
Violence used pushing people to the ground, insulting, threatening with guns, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
Police involved 4 men wearing dark blue uniforms with the word "policija" written on the back, 1 big white van, 1 white vehicle with film glass windows

On the 7th of April 2022, three men and one minor from Afghanistan were apprehended by what the respondent reports as the Croatian police authorities on a bus going to Zagreb from the Croatian village of Glina and subsequently pushed back to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The transit group bought bus tickets to go to Zagreb in the Croatian village of Glina, in the morning of the 7th of April. After 45 minutes of traveling, the bus was stopped by what the respondent described as Croatian police officers. The officers were wearing blue uniforms with the word “policija” written on the back. The respondents assumed that it was a regular check to detect people on the move traveling through Croatia. One of the respondents described:

“A Croatian policeman wearing a dark blue uniform stopped the bus and asked us for the documents. I was the only one who have a passport. When they understood that we don’t have any documents they said “Refugees” and then shouted “No Croatia, No Croatia!!” and laughed at us: “Deport, deport!!”. Then another three policemen came and they chuck us out of the bus. They throw us away from the bus.”

During the body search of the respondents, the officers took their phones and all the money they had from them. The respondent who had a passport related to:
“They took everything from us. But I felt so offended especially when they took my passport. It was very difficult for me. I insisted so much and said, ‘Please don’t take my passport!’, but they didn’t give it back.”

The respondents emphasized that they clearly expressed their wish to claim asylum several times.

“We said ‘Yes, we are refugees. We are not terrorists, we are not smugglers! We just want to go to Zagreb, let us go.’ But they said, ‘We won’t let you go if you don’t have documents.’ ”

After the respondents were apprehended they were taken to what they describe as a police station by a big white van. This took about 15 minutes of driving. They were told that they should wait in a room at the station and it took three hours until another white vehicle arrived with film glass windows. Around 12.30 am, on the 8th of April, the respondents were pushed back around a forest close to the Bosnian village of Glinica.

“Police didn’t come to the Bosnian side, they left us in a forest on the Croatian side. It was so dark and the forest was so dense. I asked for my passport again but they shouted ‘Hajde, hajde!’ They threatened us with their guns and batons. Also, they took us to a very far point at the border. We walked for kilometers to Velika Kladuša”