The respondent was walking with a group of 11 people, all males from Afghanistan, through Croatia for 9 days. On the ninth day, the 24th of May at around noon, Croatian authorities detected them while they were sleeping. The people tried to run away, but after ten minutes the officers caught the group. The respondent recalled that there were 5-6 officers in green uniforms and one dog and they kicked and beat the people with sticks while apprehending them. Further he remembers two cars, one of which was a big white van, with the writing “Policija” on it. After having apprehended the group, the officers called for further authorities and took all the personal belongings of the people (shoes, jackets, phones, powerbanks, backpacks, sleeping bags and money).
“They take all things!”
After twenty minutes, at around 12.30, one white vehicle approached the group. Two police officers in blue uniforms ordered the people to enter the car, in which another group was already waiting. In total, the respondent recalls, there were about 15-16 people in the car.
“No come back to Croatia, you go to Bosnia!”
There were no windows in the car, some people were sitting, some were standing. The respondent recalls that there was almost no air to breathe. The air condition was turned on and it was very cold in the car. The driver drove very recklessly and fast, causing many people to vomit.
The drive lasted for 4 or 5 hours. At around 4-5pm the people arrived at the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina, close to the town of Velika Kladuša. At the site of the pushback, the group was released from the van, and the two officers in blue uniforms drove off in the vehicle. 3 authorities in black uniform were awaiting the people. The belongings of the people that had been taken earlier, were set fire to. The officers were masked, wearing black uniforms and carrying batons and guns. They ordered the group to get in line. The group had to stand in line and the officers singled them out, one after another. The respondent described how the officers started to beat every single one of them separately, kicking them and hitting them with batons.
“Kicking, stick, all the body, here, here and here.”
The beating lasted for roughly 15 minutes, and the officers were continuously laughing at the people throughout. At around 6 pm the group started to walk to the city of Bihac, for several hours with “No shoes, no shirt, no jacket.” as the respondent states.