On Tuesday, 22nd of March 2022, a 36-year-old man from Afghanistan was pushed back from Croatia to Bosnia in the area around the Bosnian village Otoka.
On the 21st of March, the respondent crossed the Croatian border and walked through the forest for around six hours. Close to a road in the forest, he waited for a taxi that was supposed to pick him up. He waited for two and a half hours. Since nobody showed up he slept in the forest until the next morning. The next day, at around 7 am he walked to the closest village and arrived at a bus station. Unfortunately, the respondent did not remember the name of the village. Out of desperation, the respondent asked some locals the directions to the closest police station so that he could go and ask for asylum in Croatia.
When the respondent had started walking through the police station, a blue car pulled up carrying three officers wearing dark blue uniforms. After the description of the uniforms, they were wearing and the car they arrived in, it seems most likely that the officers were members of the Croatian police. Reportedly, they wanted him to show his hands and face. As soon as he turned his face to the police they punched him in the face and hit him directly on the legs to get him on his knees and the respondent stated that he said:
“ ‘Why are you doing this to me? I, myself, directly was coming to the police station, I’m not a criminal. Please help me.’ They shouted at me ‘Don’t talk!’, and searched me. Then took my 2,300 Euro, two phones, and three packages of cigarettes. I said again ‘Okey, let’s go to the police station’ and one of them slapped me in the face and said ‘No police station’ and hit me with their batons.”
After that, the respondent reported being put in the same vehicle and was driven to the Bosnian border. Late at night, close to the place where he had previously crossed the border, the officers hurled him down the sloping slope, grabbing him by his hands and legs.
Reportedly, the officers also crossed into the Bosnian side and punched him in the face again:
“One of them punched me in the face again and again and said “I will take your everything and if you tell somebody I will kill you!”. I said okay I won’t tell anybody and they left me in the jungle with just one t-shirt and one underwear.”
After waiting for two to three hours in the forest, the respondent came across two Turkish people on the move and asked for help because he could not walk with his injured leg. Those people helped him, gave him some clothes, and bound his leg together using a stick to stabilize it.