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"You're all criminals"

Date & Time 2020-03-07
Location 20 km from the Serbian-Croatian Border
Reported by No Name Kitchen
Coordinates 45.15226965, 18.82816991
Pushback from Croatia
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved yes
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age 15 - 32
Group size 7
Countries of origin Afghanistan, Pakistan
Treatment at police station or other place of detention
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 6 or 7
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, gunshots
Police involved Croatian officers, details unknown

On July 3, a group of five young men, including two minors, crossed from Serbia into Croatia and were violently pushed back. They described making their way  on foot approximately 20 km into the interior of Croatia, passing through the rural border areas surrounding the Croatian city of Tovarnik. At sometime between 2:00 and 3:00 am, the group described being stopped by two Croatian authorities.

At first, the officers fired into the air and upon approaching the group, ordered the group-members to lie down. During this initial exchange, the respondent recalled that one of the officers referred to him and his group as criminals. The respondent described that him and the rest of the group were not allowed to look at the two officers who eventually radioed in for reinforcements. Soon thereafter, an additional four or five officers drove to the apprehension site and joined them.

Everyone in the group was beaten. According to the respondent, the first two officers kicked them five or six times and then punched them with closed fists. After their arrival, the additional officers also struck several of the group-members with their batons. The minors were not spared this abuse, even though they had been asked their ages.

Eventually, the group-members were loaded into a van and driven directly back to the Serbian-Croatian border outside of the town of Šid [Serbia]. Two other young men had also been apprehended and were pushed back with the group. The group was let out of the vehicle and thereafter made the long walk back to Šid.