At approximately 23:00 on Monday 7th February, a transit group of four people from Pakistan was apprehended by uniformed men in the area of Bilaj, Croatia (44.52545, 15.43298). The group had left Bosnia and entered Croatia hidden in a truck. They traveled four to five kilometers before the officers stopped the vehicle. The respondent is 26, the other group members are 22, 24, and 26 years old.
According to the respondent, the uniformed men were wearing light blue uniforms. They reportedly opened the doors of the truck to find the group hidden inside. The respondent claimed that one of the officers raised a gun and shouted ‘Come outside, where are you from?’. There were also two cars that the respondent identified as police cars. The group explained they were from Pakistan and had problems in their country. They did not ask for asylum in Croatia but mentioned they wanted to go somewhere else. One by one they disembarked from the truck.
The respondent reported that each group member was then punched and kicked by the uniformed men. The officers asked the transit group, ‘Why do you go to Italia and not fight for your country?’. There were 7 to 8 officers present, according to the respondent. The respondent was reportedly hit several times across his body, including his face and rib cage. He was also struck on his back, and he described that he could not remember where else he was assaulted after that. ‘After that, I don’t understand… everywhere pain,’ he said.
After 15 to 20 minutes of physical abuse, the transit group was reportedly transported in a white van. The respondent stated they were driving for 2 hours and during this time a fan was blowing cold air into the van. ‘We knocked on the camion, but the police not respond, we said “close the fan, close the fan”, but he no respond’, he explained. He said 3 to 4 officers, wearing the same light blue uniform, accompanied them on the journey. The van transported the group back to Bosnia, close to the Una National Park (44.712069, 15.929453) and arrived between 01:00 and 01:30 on the 8th of February 2022. Upon leaving the van one by one, each group member was again hit with a baton by the officers 3 to 4 times each. The transit group then set off on foot back to Bihać which was a 4 to 5-hour journey from the pushback point.