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'One of us was walking with crutches, they showed no mercy.'

Date & Time 2024-03-20
Location in the forest, three hours from Velika Kladusa
Reported by Collective Aid
Coordinates 45.198213187211, 15.716641744836
Pushback from Croatia
Pushback to Bosnia
Taken to a police station yes
Minors involved no
WLTI* involved yes
Men involved yes
Age 30 - 35
Group size 7
Countries of origin Cameroon, Sierra Leone
Treatment at police station or other place of detention detention
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved
Violence used insulting, threatening with guns, theft of personal belongings
Police involved Police with Croatian flags on their uniforms

The respondent is a 35-year-old man from Cameroon, he reports being pushed back from Croatia to Bosnia on 20 March 2024. He was traveling with a transit group of five from Cameroon and Sierra Leone when they were apprehended in Croatia, close to the border crossing of Velika Kladuša.

The group consisted of seven people, two from Cameroon including one woman, and three from Sierra Leone, three women and two men. One man had a leg injury and was walking on crotches. Unfortunately, the respondent didn’t know the exact location of the apprehension, however, he described crossing the river Korana between Bosnia and Croatia. After crossing the river the first thing they saw was a church, and after walking through 2 villages they were apprehended. The respondent recognized Croatian flags on the uniforms of the police officers.

He described: «One of us was walking with crutches, they showed no mercy ».

Upon being apprehended, the respondent explained that the group was taken to the police station, he was not able to recall the name of the police station. They were detained for three hours. There, the police searched them and proceeded to take their belongings; the respondent described that they stole all his belongings: «They took my wedding ring ! », he claimed. They also stole his telephone, jewels (including gold jewels he was traveling with), as well as his earphones and power bank.

Later on, the group was taken by car to the border, « we drove three hours deep in the forest », he explained. After, the respondent explained: «They brought us to a border barrier in the middle of the forest, there, they pointed their guns at us, Kalashnikovs, and yelled: GO! GO ! ».

The respondent explained that the group was left on its own in the forest: «We had to walk for three hours until we found the asphalt again ». The respondent described that they found the road close to Velika Kladuša.