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I don’t like to remember this night

Date & Time 2019-10-24
Location Near Bobovica on E70, Croatia
Reported by Border Violence Monitoring Network
Coordinates 45.83249443, 15.71606233
Pushback from Croatia
Pushback to Bosnia
Taken to a police station yes
Minors involved no
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age 27 - 27
Group size 1
Countries of origin Tunisia
Treatment at police station or other place of detention detention, photos taken, papers signed, no translator present, denial of food/water, personal belongings removed
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 8
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), pushing people to the ground, insulting, theft of personal belongings, blinding with torchlight
Police involved 8 Croatian officers in dark uniforms and ski masks

The respondent started walking from Bosnia in a group, travelling into the Croatian interior. After they had reached Croatia, the group split and he continued his journey alone along the highway to Ljubljana (A2 / E70). On October 24th 2019 , three kilometers before the border with Slovenia, he was caught by Croatian police in uniforms.

Please let me go, I am just passenger, I don’t want to stay here, I will just continue walking.”

He was taken to a police station and detained in a cell without food, water or translator. He was given papers to sign in Croatian language, without any explanation of what was going on. His jacket and bag which had his money was taken from him and never returned.

After a while, he was put in a van and driven to an unknown location in the forest. He was made to leave the police van. There were eight police men wearing dark clothes, their faces covered with masks. The respondent stated:

I don’t like to remember this night. They told me go, run. I started to walk but they put their flashlight in my eyes and I couldn’t see anything. When I started walking, he pushed me and beat me with stick. I don’t know if it was a normal stick, it felt like iron, I felt my bones breaking. Every time I tried to start walking they would push me and beat my arms. I just put my hands over my head to protect myself because they were beating over my head. I saw blood, my clothes all in blood. Police saw my hands, the blood, they didn’t help me, they didn’t stop, they didn’t care. I don’t like to remember this night, really, I just want to forget, remove this thing [points to the cast on his right arm, mending the four broken bones in his hand] and leave this place.”

After the police stopped beating him, he was pushed back into BiH, then the officers went in the van, drove off and left him there. The man started walking, after a while a man noticed him covered in blood and took him to the hospital where he got stitches.