A transit group of 9 people- 8 men from Bangladesh and 1 man from Pakistan, aged between 22 and 38 years- describe how they were apprehended and pushed back from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The respondent is a 34 years old man from Bangladesh and explains that he and his group went on ‘game’ together, walking through Croatia. Whilst they were sleeping in a forest in Croatia, some of them woke up due to seven gunshots that were fired at a very close distance. He describes that in total eight officers – seven men, and one woman, whom he describes as Croatian police officers – were approaching the group. All of them wore black balaclava masks and seven of them wore black uniforms, one with a blue uniform. The respondent does not remember the exact details.
As the police officers arrived they started kicking and beating everyone with wooden sticks. As the people were still laying on the ground, they were hitting them on their backs, arms, and legs. One officer additionally used a teaser and the respondent describes how the female police officer pushed one of the group members onto the ground and continued to beat on his upper body parts. In total it lasted around one minute until the police officers stopped the physical violence.
Afterward, around one liter of cold water got poured over the heads of most of the people from the transit group. The respondent explains that some police officers were shouting in English “What are you here for?” and other phrases that he could not remember exactly. The members of the group were afraid of further violence and therefore kept quiet and did not answer the questions.
In the following procedure, the officers forced everyone to hand over their money, mobile phones, and power banks – the latter got thrown away into the forest by the officers, and the respondent witnessed how the officers put the phones and cash – a couple of hundred Euros – into their own pockets. Additionally, one bag of food got taken away from the transit group as well.
The transit group was then brought to a street where they had to enter into the back of a so-described police van and got driven by four officers for about 25 minutes towards the Croatian-Bosnian border area around Basara. Once arrived, they were escorted to the Korana river, which marks the border, and forced to swim back toward Bosnia.