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Although he insisted on his right of requesting asylum in Croatia, he was pushed-back to Serbia more than 10 times

Date & Time 2017-08-30
Location UNHCR Office in Zagreb, Croatia
Reported by No Name Kitchen
Coordinates 45.15092558, 19.17401276
Pushback from Croatia
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station yes
Minors involved no
WLTI* involved no
Men involved no
Age unknown
Group size 3
Countries of origin Pakistan
Treatment at police station or other place of detention
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved unknown
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), destruction of personal belongings
Police involved Croatian policemen from Zagreb

The 22 years-old interviewee left Pakistan in August 2016 and passed through Iran and Turkey. He tried to cross the border from Turkey to Bulgaria 4 times. During the first 3 tries he was caught by the Bulgarian police. They chased him with police dogs and beat him, before taking him back to Turkey.

The 4th time he made it to Bulgaria. In Bulgaria, the police brought him to Busmantsi, a detention camp on the outskirts of Sofia, Bulgaria. He was not allowed to leave the building for 4 months. He was often beaten by the guards in the camp. For example when he asked for a doctor, the guards refused and beat him. After 4 months in the closed camp, Bulgarian officials brought him to an open camp, where he was treated better. He made it to Serbia in his first attempt.

He has tried to cross the border from Serbia to Croatia approximately 10-15 times up until the time of the interview and was always deported back to Serbia. During these attempts, the Croatian police broke his phone with a stick.

One time he almost reached the UNHCR-office in Zagreb, but the Croatian police caught him directly in front of the building. He explained to the police that he wanted to ask for asylum. Although he insisted on his right of requesting asylum, the police took him to a police station, and placed him in a closed room. He kept on insisting that he wanted to ask for asylum. But the Croatian police pushed him back to Serbia.

He was put into a car, which included 4 people-on-the-move and 2 police officers. When he was released at the Serbian border, 5 police officers were there in total. He was not beaten, but his mobile phone was broken by the Croatian police.

In another attempt, the same person was pushed back from Zagreb while going to register in the UNHCR office, in the last week of August, with another person. Walking towards the door, the police stopped them and asked for their identification documents. Our interviewee declared that he wanted to go to the UNHCR office. The police told him “You stop here”, and called more colleagues. He was then brought to the police station. He asked many times for asylum, the answer was always “No”. He was deported back to Serbia. The Croatian police beat him and broke his mobile. He declared that he was pushed-back 5 times in one week.