The group with whom the respondent was trying to cross the border had left Kladusa on 1st March.
Before crossing road number 6 in Croatia, they had to cross some cultivated fields. It was night time but there was enough light to recognize them. Two white vehicles, one van, and one small car were hiding on the other side of the road. According to the respondent, the officers in the cars, which he assumed to belong to the police used binoculars to identify people. There were two types of officers present, one dressed in black and the other unit in green uniforms. The officers ran towards them and apprehended them. They ordered them to sit down, and just after that, one of them shot with a gun pointing at the sky. So everyone sat down because they were afraid. First, the officers looked for an English speaker but none of them answered, so one officer made a call to someone, and some minutes later, according to the respondent, border police appeared.
Meanwhile, one of the officers asked them for their passports. As none of them had any documents, the he answered: “If you don’t have a passport why do you come here?”
The authorities ordered them to sit down on their knees in a line and to wait for the other officers to arrive at the location. The respondent states, that they waited a while for the border police, who arrived in a white van, which the respondent describes as being “like a Combi”. The officers ordered them to get into the van.
The way back to the border lasted two and a half hours. The respondent remembers there being little space in the van, just two benches where six people could sit. Not all of them had a seat, and the respondent says the journey was very uncomfortable. Some of the companions of the respondent vomited and others suffered anxiety.
After the ride, they arrived at the border and the officers started to scream at the group and ordered them to stay in a line. When they did, the officers started to beat some of the men randomly. The respondent says: “They just were beating, without caring where they beat.”
The officers were striking the men with batons one by one. Some of the officers did not hit them, but just stood to the side. According to the respondent, after the beating, the border police ordered the men to stay quiet. Meanwhile, they were thoroughly checking their bodies, in every pocket and corner of their clothes.
After, they were asked to put their clothes and belongings on the ground, including their mobile phones. According to the respondent, the officers were threatening them telling: “If you don’t put it now, it will be worse for you later”, moving the baton. Everybody put their phones on the ground. The respondent says he saw one officer taking everything and throwing it into a hole on the ground. He describes how he saw their mobile phones burning, as well as all his clothes. It was nighttime, cold, dark and they were wearing only their underwear.
As the clothes were burning, one border officer told them: “If you come here another time, I will kill you.”, while he was threatening them with a gun, pointing it at them. Then, the officers said, “GO!!!”, and they walked back to Bosnia.