On the March 8, 2019, a group of six men aged 25-30, started to walk from Velika Kladusa to Sturlic (BIH) at 7 am. After Sturlic, they continued by foot for five to ten kilometers and crossed the border to Croatia. They kept walking for three more hours through the Croatian forest. They reported hearing the sound of a drone in the forest, and recognizing a camera, after which the group faced three people dressed in what they described as military-style unfiroms, telling the people on the move to stop.
They stated that:
“We were in a kind of military area.”
The officers brought them to a police station. At this point, their phones and personal items, i.e. their money, cigarettes and IOM camp cards were taken by the officers. The whole group requested asylum but got a negative answer.
“They were laughing and said ‘no, you will not get asylum here!’ “
After they took all their personals belongings, the individuals also had to write down their names, nationalities and parents names on a paper, before the officers took photos of them. Finally, they had to sign some documents without any translation. Even after asking for it, they didn’t get any. The whole group was detained at the station for five hours. After requesting asylum again and being ignored again, they were brought to the Bosnian border with two cars. They didn’t have any food or water and the officers also didn’t return any of their personal belongings, not even the IOM camp cards.
“At this moment we were far away from the first city and you know, without phone means without map!”
The respondent described his suspicion that several days later, one of the stolen phones was used by the Croatian authorities to get information about other people on social networks.