The interviewee and other 4 men left Velika Kladusa and wanted to move towards the middle of the EU, to apply for asylum. The interviewee and his friends reached a small town in the Croatian inner land and wanted to continue by bus to Zagreb, but they were detected by 5 police men on July 28th. 2018 at around 7am. The men did not remember the name of the town and lost the exact GPS location as their phones were broken by the police later on. The interviewee asked the police whether him and other men could apply for asylum in Croatia, but the officers ignored his request. The police transported all the men in a police car, directly to the Bosnian border for their deportation, without taking them to a police station or enabling them to access the asylum procedures.
When the men reached the Bosnian border, the police told all of them to take of all of their clothes, including their underwear, and one officer searched their bodies, searching for their mobile phones and money. According to the interviewee the police broke any older phones and kept the newer ones, and stole from them 5000 euros in total. Afterwards, the officers shouted at the men to go back to Bosnia and started physically attacking them.
“First, they took my money and broke my telephone and after, they were fighting me and kicking me into my legs and shouting to go. I asked him, why you do this? Respect. Why you do this? This is wrong. We are not guilty. We just want to go away. I just want to go to my family. I don’t want to stay in your city. But he kept shouting to go back to Bosnia … This was the first time when we tried to cross the border from Bosnia. And we lost everything. Now, how we go? Everything is gone. We have nothing.”
The interviewee had bruised arms caused by the attack with police batons. He did not seek any medical aid and refused to do so even after the interview.
The assault was carried out by five Croatian police officers with two police cars. None of the officers could speak English except for a few words. All of them were at the age between 40 and 50 years old. Two of them were acting violently and attacking the men, one of them was big and overweight, another one was tall with blond hair and blue eyes.