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We stopped, we didn't run, because we respect the police. Why do they have to beat us?

Date & Time 2022-06-05
Location Close to Vrnograč, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Reported by Anonymous
Coordinates 45.1631845, 15.9550037
Pushback from Croatia
Pushback to Bosnia
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved yes
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age 16 - 40
Group size 50
Countries of origin Afghanistan, Pakistan
Treatment at police station or other place of detention
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 35
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, insulting, threatening with guns, theft of personal belongings, reckless driving
Police involved 15 people in uniform, with 4 white vans, other 20 men in black uniforms at the border with 6-7 cars

On the 6th of May, 50 people from Afghanistan and Pakistan, with 4 minors, were reportedly pushed back from Croatia. They were all beaten by uniformed people, described as particularly violent with one minor who tried to run away.

The respondent said that he and his group started their game in Bihać on the 26th of April, in the afternoon. They crossed the border reportedly passing through the mountains. He explained tht they walked for many days inside the forests, trying to hide from the police.

The respondent rememberd that on the 6th of May, after almost 2 weeks of fatigue and fear, he and the other people were on E65 road, very close to the Slovenian border, when they noticed a lot of cameras and sensors. At around 7-8 p.m., 2 men with dark blue uniforms allegedly arrived. Two people tried to run away, but after few minutes other 5-6 men in uniform arrived with these 2 people that they had caught.

“We all stopped, only two people runned away. One of them was a minor, the other one an elder man. The police beat them very badly, they kicked them a lot. The minor couldn’t walk. After that, they beat us all with a black stick, even if we stopped, even if we weren’t doing anything. We stopped, we didn’t run, because we respect the police. Why do they have to beat us?”

At the time of the intervieww, the respondent had a bandage on his big toe, since he reportedly got injured while men in uniform were beating him and the other people.

He stated that after around one hour checking the 50 people and stealing them phones, money, bags and sleeping bags, 4 vans arrived. The respondent claimed there were 2 drivers for each van.

“They put 10-11 people in each van. We spent 3-4 hours inside, the car was shaking and the driver kept on braking. We all vomited.”

The respondent said that the drivers were laughing and joking.

“One policeman asked to one of the pakistani guys if he preferred Bosnian police or Croatian police. The guy said he liked more Bosnian police, because they don’t beat migrants. After this answer, the Croatian policeman beat the Pakistani guy so much.”

The respondent stated that after more than 3 hours of reckless driving, the people in uniform crossed the border and left the people inside Bosnia, around the area of Vrnograč. They arrived there at around 12 p.m. The respondent claimed it was not the first time that Croatian uniformed men entered Bosnia, and that this situation already happened 2 or 3 times also to his friend. 

At the deporting location, the respondent stated that there were around 20 men, wearing a black uniform, with 5-6 cars.

“The police released all the people but not together. They started with the first van, they were saying, ‘now run’, the people were going out and then the police were beating them with the stick. Inside the jungle, when we were running, there were other policemen hidden in the bushes, who were also beating people.”

The respondent said that all the people were really tired; they wanted to call some organizations to bring them in camps, but they didn’t have any phone, because the people in uniform reportedly took all of them.

“We asked for asylum. After beating us, they said ‘we can give you a stay’, but then they deported us.”