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"At least this time they didn't beat us too hard"

Date & Time 2023-11-27
Location Vojnić, Croatia
Reported by Anonymous Partner
Coordinates 45.3250638, 15.6962323
Pushback from Croatia
Pushback to Bosnia
Taken to a police station yes
Minors involved no
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age 22 - 33
Group size 18
Countries of origin Afghanistan
Treatment at police station or other place of detention no translator present, denial of food/water
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 4
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pushing people to the ground, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
Police involved 4 Croatian border police officers with blue uniforms. 1 van

On the morning of November 27th 2023, at 9 am, 18 men from Afghanistan – aged 22-33 – were apprehended by 2 police officers in Vojnic (Croatia) near a bus station and later pushed back from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The respondent is a 22 year old man from Afghanistan that was in the mentioned group.

The respondent reports to have seen the 2 men wearing a blue uniform consisting of a blue jacket and blue pants, that he identified as the uniform of Croatian border police officers. Upon arrival, the uniformed men beat a member of the group, who was at the end of the line the group formed when approaching the Vojnić bus station. They kicked, stapped and hit him with a stick. However, the respondent stated that at least “this time they didn’t beat us too hard like last time I tried, I was lucky and this time they didn’t beat me”.

The uniformed men then called for more police and two more officers – wearing the same uniform – arrived at the place. The four of them took the group to the Vojnić police station, where the respondent says they stayed for approximately an hour.

The respondent recalls that after this, they were brought to a big white van and all of them were forced to go inside. Two of the officers escorted the group driving the van for approximately half an hour, until near the border with BiH, in the area of Velika Kladuša. They took all the phones and money of the transit group, destroyed some of the phones and kept the others and shouted at them to go back to Bosnia.

The group walked then back to Velika Kladuša in BiH.