The respondent is a 23 years-old man from Afghanistan. Together with 5 other men from Afghanistan between the age of 23 and 25, they were stopped on the 15th of October around 12 PM in Croatia by 2 policemen and 1 policewoman in a forest. One of the policemen shot 2 times into the air with his pistol and yelled “Sit down!”. The transit group stopped immediately, sat down, and got ordered by the police officers to hand them over their money, phones, and power banks.
For around 1 hour they waited, until further 8 officers arrived, wearing green uniforms and balaclava. The initial officers who stopped the group handed the money, phones, and power banks to the just arrived squad of police officers and then left. The remaining officers wearing balaclava ordered the people from the transit group to constantly look on the ground and not into the eyes of the officers, otherwise, they would beat the people. The respondent describes that some of the policemen got angry when people spoke English, saying they should speak in Croatian to them and not in English.
“Why you no speak Croatian? No speak English, we are not American, we are Croatian”
The policemen forced the people to take off their jackets and hand them over to the officers, together with their backpacks. The bags got searched and the food and drinks got thrown away into the forest. They searched the people again, this time in a very rough way, and got pushed and partly punched with fists meanwhile. The procedure lasted around 60 minutes. Afterward, the group got escorted to a road and ordered to get into a white police van. The driving lasted around 1 hour and the respondent describes it as very fast and reckless driving, whereby some people in the back of the car had to throw up. A second police car, which the respondent describes as a white Toyota Pickup, followed the police van. The driving lasted around 30-40 minutes.
Arriving at the border, 2 police officers opened the back of the van and ordered the people to come out one by one. Six policemen in green uniforms and wearing balaclava stood in two parallel lines, three on each side. Every person from the transit group was forced to go through the lines of policemen and got beaten with police batons on the upper body and legs by each of the officers. The respondent fell during this procedure and injured his knee badly. With the assistance of a friend from the transit group, he managed to limp away. The surrounding policemen were laughing at him and yelled “Why you come here? Go Bosnia!” and insulted him. After this procedure, everybody ran away from the policemen, towards Bosnia-Herzegovina.