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"When I asked for water the croatian policeman burnt a cigarette on my hand."

Date & Time 2023-12-09
Location Area around Korenica (HR)
Reported by Anonymous Partner
Coordinates 44.7428711, 15.7092719
Pushback from Bosnia
Pushback to Croatia
Taken to a police station yes
Minors involved no
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age 29 - 34
Group size 4
Countries of origin Syria
Treatment at police station or other place of detention detention, fingerprints taken, photos taken, personal information taken, papers signed, no translator present, denial of access to toilets, denial of food/water
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 6
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pushing people to the ground, insulting, electric shock, threatening with guns, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
Police involved 2 Croatian special police officers wearing a black uniform, 4 Croatian border police officers wearing a dark blue uniform 1 white van, 1 black van.

On the night of December 6th, 2023, at around 2 AM CET, 4 people from Syria – aged 29 to 34 – were apprehended by 2 individuals wearing black uniforms that resembled the ones wore by Croatian Special police officers in the area around Korenica (HR), brought to a nearby police station and later pushed back from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The respondent is a 29-year-old man from Syria who was in the mentioned group.

The respondent revealed that his group was apprehended by a black van . He said that he then saw two men in a black uniform – resembling the uniform worn by the Croatian special police forces – exiting the car, shooting in the sky with a gun and approaching the group, shouting to stop.

The men started beating up the group members, using sticks and taser guns. They forced the group to lay on the ground, confiscated their phones and destroyed them. They also confiscated all the money the group members had and never gave it back.

After this the members of the group were forced to enter the black van and were brought to a nearby police station, where they were photographed an their fingerprints were taken. They were detained there for three days. The respondent said they were allowed to go to the toilet just one time and they were denied access to food. They just once received water, right before being released, and when the respondent had previously asked for water, one policeman had burnt a cigarette on his hand.

After being detained with no translators and no one explaining them their situation, they were released with a document written in Croatian and not translated nor explained to them. They were forced to enter a white van and after a short drive were brought to the Croatian-Bosnian border around 8.00 PM CET of December 9th 2023. They were then told to go back to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the group walked for around 15 km to reach Bihac.