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"They beat all the men like they were children that needed to be punished"

Date & Time 2024-05-20
Location Area around Hadžin Potok
Reported by Anonymous
Coordinates 45.0671971, 15.7654876
Pushback from Croatia
Pushback to Bosnia
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved no
WLTI* involved yes
Men involved yes
Age 21 - 34
Group size 7
Countries of origin Syria
Treatment at police station or other place of detention
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 6
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pushing people to the ground, insulting, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings, pushing people in the river
Police involved 1 Croatian border police officer with a blue uniform 6 Croatian special police officers with black uniforms and balaclavas 2 black Jeep or cars similar to a Jeep car 1 white car with a blue band on the side

The respondent is a 23 year-old woman from Syria. She states that her group – composed by her and six men from Syria crossed the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia on the night between May 19th and May 20th.

Soon after crossing the border, they stopped in the woods near Kruškovača (HR). After a while, around 3 in the morning, the respondent says that her group was found by a woman wearing a blue jacket and blue pants, resembling the uniforms of the Croatian border police officers. The woman in blue had a dog with her that helped her find the transit group. She then proceeded to make a call and soon after it the respondent heard the noise of some car and five men in a black uniform wearing a balaclava to cover their faces reached the group.

The men in uniform proceeded then to take everyone’s phone and money, ignoring their requests for asylum. They burned some of the clothes and backpacks of the respondent and her companions while they were pushed on the ground, facing down. The men in uniform started to beat up the men in the transit group “like they were children who needed to be punished”, the respondent said, kicking and insulting them at the same time.

After this, the respondent states that they were brought to the cars which were used to push the transit group back to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The respondent says that there was a total of three cars, two black Jeep or cars that looked similar to Jeep cars and a white car with a blue band on the side. They were forced to enter the cars and had a short drive. After this they were forced to exit the car and were pushed into a river, being told to go back to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The group of people on the move managed then to walk back to the closest Bosnian village.