On the 24th of March, a group of 17 male persons with Afghan nationality crossed the border from Bosnia to Croatia close to Bihac, Bosnia. The group consisted of six minors and eleven adults aged between twelve and 45 years.
On the 29th of March, after six days of walking, the group was apprehended by 15 Croatian officers. According to the respondent, the officers wore green uniforms. This description matches the description of the Croatian Specijalna Jednica Policija – Special Police Team (SJP).
At the location, where the authorities found them, the respondent described, the officers struck those group members that had previously tried to escape when they saw the police approaching them. They also forced every member of the group to lay down to the ground. Next, they walked for around three hours through the woods.
They arrived at a street where two cars with more officers arrived. They searched all the people and took their belongings.
“I had about 115 Euro and the police took it for themselves. And the mobile phone and the powerbanks also.”
The officers put the respondent and the 16 other people into a vehicle, that drove to the border between Croatia and Bosnia close to Lipa Camp.
“We were 17 persons in one single car and we did not have any of our things.”
During the journey, the ventilation system was put off. The respondent says that he suffered due to the lack of oxygen.
“The situation got hard it was because of the oxygen. We just started knocking to the car. The police came and opened the door and started beating everyone.”
The respondent saw two police cars when the group exited the vehicle at the border area at night. The respondent described that the officers struck the people again with batons and instructed them to stand in two lines.
“They were not talking but they had their sticks. They were beating us and said, make two lines.”
The respondent recounted that before crossing the border to Bosnia, the group was forced by the officers to take off clothes.
“It was so cold while they deported us at the backside of Lipa, they took our clothes (…) and shoes, everything and because of the cold, we were vibrating just like this. (…) We had to run to get warmer.”
“I am reporting this, that I do not want something like this happen to other migrants.”