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"When they finish beating and taunting you, they tell you to go to the river"

Date & Time 2024-01-10
Location Gejkovac, Croatia
Reported by Collective Aid
Coordinates 45.208254316738, 15.808039827581
Pushback from Croatia
Pushback to Bosnia
Taken to a police station unknown
Minors involved yes
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age 16 - 17
Group size 80
Countries of origin Morocco
Treatment at police station or other place of detention
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 18
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pushing people to the ground, electric shock, water immersion, dog attacks, theft of personal belongings
Police involved When they were apprehended there were 3 police officers. This were normal Croatian police officers. They were wearing blue/green like uniforms. Then they got handed over to border police. They were wearing black uniforms. There were around 15 police officers at the moment of the pushback. 3/4 police vans

The transit group was composed by 4 Moroccans man. They were traveling from Bihac by taxi and were demanded to pay three times as much as the normal price. Once in Croatian territory, they wanted to take a bus to Zagreb. They had to pay the bus driver twice the amount. The respondents reported that the driver told them he wouldn’t tell the police then that there were migrants in the bus. Before the bus departed, three individuals wearing uniforms that resemble those of police men came in. The bus driver told the police about the presence of people-on-the-move in the bus. The respondents were 4 people in total and there were also 4 other unaccompanied minors from Syria. They took them out of the bus and put them into a police van. That’s when they were handed over to border police. One Syrian person tried to escape when the police took them out of the bus, so the police beat him. They waited for three hours in the van, while other people-on-the-move came in.

”They close the door on you and come every five minutes with another one or two.”

When officers started driving there were about 17 people-on-the-move in the van. In the bus they screamed at the transit group. There were 3-4 police vans driving to the border. They drove for 20 minutes. They screamed at them, telling them they should give them their phones. If they didn’t give a phone, they got beaten up.

”In a plastic bag, they take all your money, your phones and whatever else you have.”

One by one they took everyone out of the van. Took their possessions and screamed that they should go to the river. It was one police men with one person.

”At that moment, they take down one person, beat him, then take down the second person, then the third, the then the fourth […] They tell us to go to hell, and they laugh at us and beat the young men. When they finish beating and taunting you, they tell you to go to the river.”

There were 60-80 people-on-the-move and, according to the respondent, there were 15 individuals from border police. There were three dogs. The officers beat the respondents by kicking with hands and feet and a baton. One of the respondent said he didn’t have a phone. Then the police took it out of his pocket. Then they threw water over his head and used a taser on him. The brother of one of the respondent didn’t go to the river. He was afraid because he couldn’t swim. Then a dog bit him on his leg.

”It took about an hour and a half, during which they delayed us and beat us at the border.”

The unaccompanied minor that was bit by the dog was barely able to walk. When they got out of the river he was brought to the hospital by the other three member of the transit group.