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“We asked for water and food, but the officers ignored us.”

Date & Time 2024-06-28
Location Near Velika Kladusa (BiH)
Reported by Collective Aid
Coordinates 45.191778985043, 15.785614753592
Pushback from Croatia
Pushback to Bosnia
Taken to a police station yes
Minors involved yes
WLTI* involved yes
Men involved yes
Age 3
Group size 30
Countries of origin Syria, Iraq, Lebanon
Treatment at police station or other place of detention detention, denial of food/water
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 11
Violence used theft of personal belongings
Police involved 11-12 Men speaking croatian (some wore uniforms resembling police and had guns others wore plain clothes), 1 car, 2 vans

The respondent is a 40-year-old Iraqi man. He reported being pushed back from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) on 28th June 2024.

He was travelling in a transit group of 30 people. The group consisted of people of various different nationalities, including Iraqis, Syrians and Lebanese. There were 7 or 8 women in the group and 6 children. The youngest children were a 3-year-old girl and a 4 or 5-year-old boy.

The group crossed the border to Croatia by crossing a river and then walking through a forest. The respondent said the group was then apprehended by 3 people whom he identified as the Croatian police based on their uniforms and guns. They had a car with police written on it.

The Croatian police officers pulled their guns and ordered the group to sit down on the ground. They patted everyone down and searched all bags. The respondent said the officers took their phones and money.

8-9 more people, whom the respondent identified as police due to the uniform, arrived in two vans. Some of them wore uniforms but others wore plain clothes. The officers screamed at the group.

The group was put into the two vans and driven to a prison where they were detained for one night. The women and children were put into a different cell.

While in detention, the respondent and the other men asked for water and food but were ignored.

The next morning, the group was told they had 5 minutes to get ready. They were then driven back to the border in vans and pushed back to BiH near Velika Kladusa.