The interview concerning this incident, was conducted with one respondent with the help of a translator from Pashtu to English.
A group of eleven men walked from Velika Kladuša and crossed the Croatian border through a forest. On the second night, the group crossed a road, where they were detected by army officers. The army told the men to enter their van, and the group did so. According to the respondent, the army officers gave them some food and called the police. He further explained that the army took their phones and power banks and gave it to the police.
After that, eight policemen arrived and transported the men to the Bosnian border in two vans. The respondent told the police that he and the other men wanted to apply for asylum in Croatia, but the police ignored their request and refused to take them to the police station and access the asylum procedures. Instead, the police drove the men straight to the border to Bosnia, to an unmarked mountain area close to Šturlić.
When they arrived at this location, the police told the men to get out of the vans in two groups. The first group went out of the van while the second one stayed inside waiting. As soon as they left the car, the policemen started beating them with batons:
I went out and some of them were beating me. I started running away but they were more policemen beating me.
While one group was attacked by the police outside of the van, the other group who was inside of the van was also attacked by other police officers. The respondent further explained that some of the people got beaten with sticks that produced electric shocks.
Following this violent incident, the police gave back the power banks and chargers. After that, the police took all men’s mobile phones, placed it under the tire of their van, and drove over them so that the phones were fully damaged. The men then walked through a forest back to Velika Kladuša which took them around 3 hours.
All men had visible bruises and scratches around their legs and back, caused by the police attack with batons.