The pushback happened on the 9th of November during the day (the respondents do not remember the time), and the people were returned from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The respondents were two men from Burundi, about 25 and 35 years old. They were part of a transit group consisting of 20-30 men, women and children aged 6-45 years old from Burundi, Afghanistan and Côte d’Ivoire. The transit group , after having left from Glinica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, crossed the border between Bosnia and Croatia.
After having walked for several hours in Croatian territory, they met some people that they referred to as “Croatian police” in the forest near Bijelo Vrelo. The respondent described the uniform of the officers as black and blue. When they encountered the police, the respondents described that the officers took big sticks and small branches from the forest, and they used them to beat the people of the transit group.
“They beat mothers, children. Everywhere. Even in the face. The Croatian police doesn‘t care if you are mother or children, they don‘t care. They beat us seriously. Seriously. They beat you no matter who you are”.
The respondents also stated that the police used teargas for a period of time that felt like lasting two hours.
Afterwards, they explained that the people they described as police officers loaded the families into a van, reportedly to bring them to the Borici camp, family camp located in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Then they ordered the rest of transit group to walk back to Bosnia.
At the moment of the interview, the respondents were still suffering of pain. One of them stated:
“Of course we have pain. They push you, and you break down, and they bet you. Some of us have broken legs, and some broken arms.”