On the 9th of March 2023 at around 7 am 3 people (two men from Algeria and one from Morocco) aged 25 – 32 years old, were pushed back from Bosnia Herzegovina to Serbia. The interview was conducted with one of the two Algerian men. He reported that they were stopped by a person that he identified as a Bosnian police officerin Bosnian territory.
The respondent reports to have said to the officer: “I want to ask for asylum”. The officer replied: “Wait 2 minutes, my boss will come and tell you what to do”. The respondent recalls that after 2 or 3 minutes a big police van came. He states that 5-6 people- that he identified as Bosnian police officers- wearing black uniforms got out of the van. The respondent recognized them as being Bosnian police officers by their uniforms, as he had seen Bosnian officers before. He further reports that the officers directly beat the three of them without even talking to them. They beat them with batons on the arms and on the legs for about 10 minutes. The respondent recalls that the officers also had 2 police dogs that bit them.
The man recalls that the Bosnian police officers brought the people to the Serbian border in the town of Sremska Rača – very close to the Bosnian border- and handed them over to 3-4 people that the respondent identified as Serbian officers. In Serbia, they were brought to a place that the respondent describes as a police station, just after the border crossing, where they were asked for their first names and then put in a cell. In the cell they met 6 people from Morocco that they knew from before and that had crossed the border to Bosnia as well, about one hour before them. They were detained for about 7 hours in the cell inside the police station.
The respondent states that there were no beds and no food inside the detention place, and that his friend felt pain in his foot. The respondent reports to have asked one of the Serbian officers to give some medicine to his friend. As a result, instead, his friend was beaten by the officers.
In the afternoon of the same day, the group was released from the police station and brought in a police car to the Serbian town of Batrovsci. Eventually, the group walked back to Šid.