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Me and my friend, we had a problem to breath, there was no oxygen in the container

Date & Time 2018-04-07
Location village near Malička, Croatia
Reported by No Name Kitchen
Coordinates 45.29879961, 15.8484197
Pushback from Croatia
Pushback to Bosnia
Taken to a police station unknown
Minors involved no
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age unknown
Group size 8
Countries of origin Palestine, Algeria, Libya
Treatment at police station or other place of detention
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved unknown
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
Police involved Croatian police

The respondent walked with a group of people on the move for 6 days, from Bosnia (Velika Kladusa) to Croatia. When they reached a forest near the village called Malicka, located in Croatian territory, the men were caught by the police on July 4th. 2018 at 14.00.

“They [Slovenian police] caught us, we went to the small car, 8 people like prisoners, no food, no water, no light inside of the car. They treat me like an animal, no food, no water, nothing. It looked like box inside of the van. We talked with him, he said: “Don’t say anything”. I asked for asylum, but he said: “No asylum in Croatia, asylum is closed”

Croatian police took the men’s finger prints, identified their nationality and age. After that, the police searched the men’s pockets and body, but did not steal any money from the interviewee because he hid them under his fingers and in his mouth. When the interviewee showed the police his identification documents from Bosnia, a police officer tore them up. Afterwards the men were brought into a container, where they had problems to breathing, as there was a lack of oxygen. The interviewee asked the police to open the door and provide them with food and water, but the police responded by verbal threats and physical attacks.

“Me and my friend, we had a problem to breathe. There was no oxygen in the container. I say them [police] please, I don’t have oxygen, but they close the door, and started beating on the door of the container with batons, and after pushing us, and my friend fell down. He pushed my friend two times. He [police officer] say: “Why are you coming to the border? Why are you coming to Croatia?”, and pushed my friend on the floor and after beating him with batons to his shoulders. My friend was asking them to stop” 

After the police stopped attacking the respondent’s friend, they started questioning the respondent and verbally and physically attacking him.

“They pushed me and said to me, “Speak to me!” and took a dog close to me and he was barking to my face. I said “I am like you, why you act like this? Just that you have a paper and I don’t have a paper?”. He asked me where I was from and I said I was from Libya. But they said, “No, you are not from Libya!” They did not trust me that I was from Libya, I don’t know why. They kept calling me “PIcko Matra” [mother fucker]. They talked with me like with a terrorist”

After 50 minutes of detention in the van, the police transported the men directly to the Bosnian border, where the men were told to walk back to Velika Kladusa.