“40 times I tried to cross border. I live in Bosnia for 2 years”
The respondent recounted how he and the group he was with began their journey from the center of Bihac, Bosnia on Tuesday the 4th of May at around 20:00. They reportedly walked until they reached the bottom of one of the mountains along the border between Croatia and Bosnia, and then crossed the mountain into Croatia. The respondent described how after arriving at road one in Croatia, they crossed it and walked a few more minutes, until the decided to set up a little camp and rest for a few hours.
The respondent explained that at around 12:00 that same night, while they were sleeping, three men in black uniforms and covered faces, a description that matches the Croatian intervention police uniform, arrived at their makeshift camp and ordered the whole group to get up and strip themselves naked.
After getting undressed, the officers reportedly took their mobile phones, power banks, and cigarettes, and then gathered their belonging (jackets and backpacks) into a pile and set them on fire. Apart from that, the respondent reported no other direct physical violence during the event. When asked about his experience, the respondent replied:
“No, this police not beat me, because this police maybe little good officers. They were not bad officers… Some officers bad, some officers put iron rod in arm, head, leg, make it broken, then you can’t go game for months”
After this, the respondent recalled waiting for what felt like an hour, until a vehicle described as a minibus with six officers inside arrived and the respondent and his group were loaded into the vehicle and forced to stay inside for four hours. Then they left the location of apprehension and drove until they reached the northern part of the border at around 05:00 in the morning, likely located near Velika Kladusa.
During the duration of the drive, the group were reportedly kept in a very small and completely closed part of the vehicle, without windows, and exposed to low AC temperatures. The respondent recalled how everyone felt dizzy, and many felt very sick and had later expressed symptoms of a cold. After reaching the border, the group were ordered to leave Croatian territory. Back inside Bosnia, the respondent described walking for about 12 hours straight back to Bihac.