The respondent reports he was in Croatia together with his wife and their 18-months old baby. On the 16th November 2021 at 9 am they were close to Grabarska. After walking about two kilometers the respondent contacted a phone number over WhatsApp. He reported that the number was from IOM [the International Organization for Migration]. He informed them over messenger that they wanted to seek asylum in Croatia. According to the respondent, IOM informed them that they could only formalize the application in a police station. Therefore, they proposed to contact the police.
However, after an hour of waiting for the police, the respondent describes how the group continued walking on the street until they saw two police cars, one small car, and one van. In each car were two policemen, all of them dressed in black uniforms. When interacting with the transit group they reportedly put on black ski masks. This description may match the uniform worn by the Croatian Intervention police as well as the EPZ subunit. According to the respondent, when the officers saw the transit group, the cars stopped and one policeman from the van approached them. He was dressed in black and wearing a ski mask, and asked him what he was doing there. The respondent answered that they wanted to reach a police station to file an application for asylum. Reportedly, the uniformed man responded by laughing at this. Later he asked him to hand over his phone and money. The respondent handed over the phone and according to the respondent, the policemen put it into his own pocket. After that, they were put into the van, which he refers to as a deportation car, and transported about 20 minutes while driving recklessly to the Bosnian border.
The respondent reports that they were brought to an unknown place, still in Croatian territory, where another three policemen – again described as all dressed in black – were waiting. The respondent claims that the policemen forced him to undress to his underwear and searched him and his belongings. The policemen found 200€ and the power bank and took them. When the wife saw that their last money was taken away from them, she could not stop crying for about 10 minutes, but as the respondent claims the policemen again responded by laughing and pushing the respondent while pointing in the direction of Bosnia and said “Go, go!”. His personal belongings were not returned.