The respondent was a 26 years old man from Burundi. He was part of a transit group consisting of 6 people between 25 and 55 years old. The pushback happened on the early morning of the 14th November, when they were returned from Croatia into Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Just after having crossed the Bosnian-Croatian border by foot, the group was apprehended by some people described as wearing uniforms and black ski masks to cover their faces, and referred to by the respondent as “Croatian police”. The group was ordered by the officers to show their mobile phones. The respondent stated that one of them chose the best phone of all and put it into his pocket. Afterwards, the respondent stated that the officer started to beat him with a big branch taken from the forest, shouting: “You have to give me your mobile-password!” until he disclosed it. The respondent described further on, that he had 500€ with him. He was forced to give that money to the same officer, who took it into his pocket as well.
After that, the transit group was commanded to enter a vehicle the respondent described as a police The respondent stated that he still remembered the number “190009” on the plate of the van, which reportedly was driven by the police officer who stole him the money and the phone. The police transported the group, crossing the border into Bosnia and Herzegovina and let them out, according to the respondent, 6 km far from Velika Kladuša. It can be assumed that this location was close to the road M4.2.
Eventually, the transit group had to walk 6 km to reach Velika Kladuša, and from there again 15km to Glinica, where they left from.
The respondent stated: “Taking you from one place to another place, still coming back to Bosnia, just to make you walk a lot of kilometers, that‘s violence”.
At the moment of the interview, the respondent was still suffering from the theft and the violence carried out by the police. “I think I am losing hope now”, he said.