The group of seven men was walking in 35 to 40 km distance from Bihac (BiH) at the Croatiaon side of the Bosnian-Croatian border to take a bus from Plitvička Jezera (HRV). There, in the afternoon of February 26, 2019, a group of officers arrived, asking them for their passports. The people on the move expressed that they didn’t have any and that they wanted to seek asylum in Croatia.
”No asylum here and don’t go back to Bosnia, go back to your country.”
Then, the group was told to enter the backspace of a police car. Four other officers were following them in another car, and they drove towards a forest near the Bosnian border. During the journey, one of the officers started talking about a famous Algerian football player:
”I don’t like him, because he is Muslim and I’m Orthodox.”
The group soon stopped in a forest near Sadilovac (HRV) and the Korana river. They then had to give their phones to the officers, who never returned them.
Afterwards, the officers put on balaclavas and took the individuals out of the car, one-by-one. Upon exiting the car, each of them was beaten with batons by the six officers. These officers all wore uniforms with an emblem of the Croatian flag on the sleeves. Subsequently, they were pushed into the nearby, hip-high water, which was very cold, as the outdoor temperature was around 0 °C at this time.
”They pushed us in the river. The police knew that we won’t die in the river, it was not deep enough, but they knew that we can’t come back because it was so cold and we had no dry clothes.”
After the push-back, the group of seven escaped back to Bosnian territory.