On the 3rd of February 2021, two Algerian men in their mid-twenties were pushed back from Croatia to Bosnia. They had left walking from Velika Kladusa and were apprehended early in the morning in a wooden area after only a few hours of walking. The respondent reported that they were stopped by 4 authorities, which he identified as regular Croatian police officers, as they were wearing blue uniforms. He expressed to them his will to claim asylum in Croatia but got no answer.
“They were only saying, ‘what do you want here?’, and so on and made fun of us.”
The respondent recalled that the group was directly transported back to the Bosnian border in a white van with a police emblem on it.
In a spot south of Velika Kladusa close to the Croatian village of Šiljkovača, 4 other police officers were reportedly waiting for them. According to the respondent, those 4 officers were wearing black uniforms and ski masks, a uniform consistent with Croatian border police. In this forested area, the two men were reportedly strip-searched, deprived of their belongings, and beaten with wooden sticks and batons. The respondent suffered severe injuries in his face and on his neck.
“They took everything, phones, powerbanks, clothes, we stayed only with T-Shirt and Shoes! They are criminals, they beat us with sticks and batons!”
After being pushed back to Bosnia, the group returned to Velika Kladusa which took them 2 or 3 hours walking.
Upon his arrival, the respondent said he received medical treatment by volunteer medics in Velika Kladusa. This is their medical assessment:
Bilateral periorbital hematoma (black eye on both sides) and multiple Abrasions and Lacerations in the facial area. His lips were extensively swollen, his frontal upper tooth missing and on examination of his mouth, there were multiple lacerations and a very deep cut on the inner side of his upper lip matching injuries from external blunt force to the oral area (e.g. kicking or punches).