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One police stand over my hands, one other police catch my legs, beat with heavy sticks and they kick me!

Date & Time 2021-06-01
Location close to Velika Kladusa, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Reported by No Name Kitchen
Coordinates 45.20270264, 15.81494922
Pushback from Croatia, Slovenia
Pushback to Bosnia, Croatia
Taken to a police station yes
Minors involved no
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age 20 - 25
Group size 20
Countries of origin Bangladesh
Treatment at police station or other place of detention photos taken, papers signed
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved unknown
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pepper spray, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
Police involved 5 Slovenian police officers in dark blue uniforms, one Slovenian police van, unknown number of Croatian authorities in light blue uniforms, unknown number of Croatian intervention police in black uniforms and ski masks, 2 Croatian police vans

The respondent left from a town in Bosnia and Herzegovina by foot with a group of other 20 men from Bangladesh. They arrived in Slovenia after 5 days. The respondent claims that it was freezing, as the temperature outside was subzero and it was snowing.

In the first Slovenian town they went to, the group was reportedly approached by 5 uniformed men in dark blue uniforms that they presumed to be members of the local authorities. The respondent described that the officers apprehended the men and brought them to a police station, where they were held for 24 hours before they were brought to the Slovenian border with Croatia, close to Črnomelj.

The respondent states that, in Croatia, they were handed over to authorities that were wearing light blue uniforms. Those officers then reportedly transferred them to another police station, where their pictures were taken, and they had to sign a document. From there, it is reported that the group was driven back to the border with Bosnia. At the border point, which was north-west and about 8 hours of walking away from Velika Kladusa, the group was received by another unit of uniformed men. The respondent described this unit as “border police“, all wearing black uniforms and ski masks.

Those officers reportedly opened the door to the back of the van, where the group was sitting, and sprayed something into the vehicle, the description of which suggests it might have been pepper spray.

“they spray something inside that hurt our eyes”

The respondent describes how the group was strip-searched and their phones, power banks, and money were taken away from them. The respondent claimed that the uniformed men were putting the belongings of the men into their own pockets. Additionally, the respondent described that the officers had a dog with them which they used to search the men. Although it was wearing a muzzle, the respondent was still very afraid. The authorities told the group members to leave the van one by one. As it was reported, once they were outside the officers told them to lay down and started to strike them.

“They beat us brutally! One police stand over my hands, one other police catch my legs, beat with heavy sticks and they kick me here!”

says the respondent, pointing at the left side of his waist. The respondent was also severely injured on his head, as can be seen in the photo attached to this report.

In the end, the respondent reports that the authorities took all the clothes and shoes away from the group members and burned their clothing in front of their eyes so that the men were left wearing only a T-shirt and a pair of trousers. Like this, they had to walk back several kilometers to Velika Kladusa.

“Croatian police please take pity on us, we are going for a bright future for our family because we have so many problems there, ‘cause how come we leave our children, our wifes, our mothers? It’s a very dangerous life!”

After they arrived back in Bosnia, the respondent received medical treatment from the Red Cross. He had to undergo surgery because he had broken bones and a scar that is still visible. Reportedly, the respondent suffered pain due to these injuries for more than a month. Some of his fellow group members also reported being injured, one person on his eyes and some others on their fingers, feet, and back.