Skip to content
Support our work

“When the police catch, they stripped and take out our clothes, only keep underwear, then [the two policemen tried to] broke my phone [...] broken my phone, take money, 150€, take bag, everything, police hit me and my friends”

Date & Time 2019-06-13
Location pushed back 20 kilometers away from Velika Kladusa
Reported by Border Violence Monitoring Network
Coordinates 45.22544676, 15.96888489
Pushback from Croatia
Pushback to Bosnia
Taken to a police station yes
Minors involved no
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age 22 - 24
Group size 3
Countries of origin Iraq
Treatment at police station or other place of detention detention, photos taken, personal information taken, papers signed, no translator present, denial of access to toilets, denial of food/water
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 10
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pushing people to the ground, exposure to air condition and extreme temperature during car ride, threatening with guns, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings, reckless driving
Police involved 2 Regular Croatian policemen , 1 driver with the same uniform, 7 to 8 intervention police officers

A group of three friends left from Bihac by walk aiming to cross the Bosnian/ Croatian border. They took a taxi to go further and continue walking to cross a river, they keep walking in a mountain amongst “too much animals and insects”. At approximately 9.00 am the group reported hearing firing three times nearby them, two policemen arrested them and beat them with batons to be sure they could not continue. The officers called “their friend, and coming a van”. These two policemen were described wearing a “pale blue shirt with short sleeves with a dark blue trouser, as well as the driver coming afterward. One gun on one side of the belt, baton other side with gas spray bottle”

While waiting for the driver and the van,

“When the police catch, they stripped and take out our clothes, only keep underwear, then [the two policemen tried to] broke my phone”

“broken my phone, take money, 150€, take bag, everything, police hit me and my friends”

According to the second interviewee, one of the policemen stole his phone
“Samsung 9, new, very good. They look location and take in pocket, but iPhone 5, not good, just broken“

When the second police team arrived, they almost crashed the van into one of the interviewees, he ran away at the last minute to avoid it.

“The driver say  ‘I am crazy’ [talking about himself] , only one driver in this van, open the van and drive from left to right”

The two interviewees think that the police station was approximately 15 minutes away from the place where they got caught. The interviewees suggest it was Kutina police station but are unsure, because they never got the information of the location they were being taken to.

They were detained an entire day in a room near the police station “no light, no window, all night, a lot of insects in the room and concrete floor, we sleep on the floor, not give me eat, just water”

At one point one of the interviewees needed to go to the restroom, he mimed that that became an emergency, the police shouted at him “you stay here!”.

One by one they were taken out of this room to go and answer questions concerning their name, surname, date of birth, fathers name. After the interrogation, the officers took pictures of their faces. The officers took their registration document from Bosnia and did not give them back. According to the interviewees, they had to sign a paper written in English saying that they got their belongings back, including their phone, but only the broken phone was given back.

At approximately 9.00 pm, a policeman opened the door and made them go into a van. The respondent says that it was very hot inside the van.

“Sometimes slow, sometimes fast, sometimes break fast, I feel dizzy, I want to throw up”

The van stopped after approximately three hours driving at the border. Twenty kilometres away from Velika Kladuša.

The door of the van opened, and the two interviewees mimed the scene, the first one did not even have time to stand, a policeman took him from the neck of his t-shirt and pushed him out of the van accompanied by kicking his behind, making him fall. Then he tried to run away, but they stated about seven to eight policemen beat them with batons while. The policemen’s headtorch was blinding the interviewee while he was aggressed by the officers. They were saying “go, go, go”. One by one they got the same treatment.

Then the group of three friends walked back to Velika Kladuša. They had no money anymore to get any food, fortunately, the broken phone is still usable.