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We tried to ask for asylum, but the police did not allow us to talk

Date & Time 2017-05-31
Location Serbian-Croatian border near Šid-Tovarnik, Croatia
Reported by Soul Welders
Coordinates 45.132083, 19.129111
Pushback from Croatia
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station unknown
Minors involved yes
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age unknown
Group size 21
Countries of origin Afghanistan
Treatment at police station or other place of detention
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 15
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking
Police involved 15 policemen from Croatia, most in green uniform, 2 in black

On May 31st. 2017, around 21 people on the move attempted to cross the border to Croatia. The Interviewee who is from Afghanistan was hiding in a container along with 20 other Afghan men, including 5 underage boys. The Interviewee describes all 21 people being beaten badly.

The container was in the back of a train and the group of 21 people were all trying to be very quiet as it crossed over the border between Serbia and Croatia, so that the police wouldn’t catch them. But at around 3am they were discovered. The police opened the container, when the train was in the first village in Croatia, crossing over from Šid. There were 15 police officers, most of them wearing a green uniform, and two were in black uniforms. The interviewee states that the police officers were Croatian. The Interviewee states that they tried to ask for asylum but the police did not allow the group of 21 people to talk.

The police ordered them into a big van with no windows and a camera inside, and drove them back to Šid, Serbia. It was dark, about 4am when the police took them out of the van one by one. They could not see what was happening to the other people in the group, because they were locked in the van. The police still didn’t allow them to talk and were shouting at them in Croatian. The police spent about ten minutes beating each person or child, and the interviewee describes that they were hurt very badly, including the children.

“They used me like a football. Fists, booted feet, all over my body. They hit my face with a police baton and I couldn’t see with my eye. They beat everyone like this. After each man had been beaten [us] they made us run away back to the forrest.”