On the 9th of February, a group of 6 men aged between 20 and 25 years from Bangladesh were pushed back from Croatia to Bosnia. The respondent recalled that they had left Velika Kladusa on foot, and after having walked for 5 days, they were apprehended by Croatian authorities. This happened in the morning in a location south of Highway E65 in the area of Karlovac, Croatia. The group was noticed by Croatian authorities patrolling the area while the men were walking in the woods. Two officials in blue uniforms, presumably regular Croatian police officers, entered the forest and arrested them. The respondent remembered:
“They talk us, why you come here, what you do here? You have no visa, if you have visa we would welcome you!”
According to the respondent, these two officers asked them for their passports and took the personal data of everyone. The group had to wait with them until another police vehicle arrived at the location, a white Combi. With this vehicle came some more Croatian authorities, who were described as wearing black uniforms, caps, and ski masks, uniforms consistent with the Croatian intervention police. All together 5 officers including the driver arrived at the spot. These officers drove the group back to the Bosnian border, where they had to leave the vehicle and were struck with sticks.
“One policeman had a plastic police stick, the others had old wooden sticks” described the respondent. “All police beat everywhere, they don’t care, they don’t care!”
One person from the group was reportedly severely injured on his hand. The officers took away backpacks and blankets that the men were carrying. The respondent described the place at the border where they stopped as a small forest beside fields.
When they were released, the group proceeded to walk back to Velika Kladusa, which took them around 3 hours.