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"They sent the dogs to us and beat us very hard"

Date & Time 2023-10-20
Location Area around Lohovo, Croatia
Reported by Anonymous Partner
Coordinates 44.7434882, 15.9195052
Pushback from Croatia
Pushback to Bosnia
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved no
WLTI* involved no
Men involved no
Age 19 - 29
Group size 5
Countries of origin Morocco
Treatment at police station or other place of detention
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 8
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pushing people to the ground, insulting, dog attacks, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
Police involved 6 police officers that the respondent described as "NATO soldiers" who were said to be wearing balaclavas and dark uniforms with a european flag on their shoulders. The respondent also added that they were speaking in english with one-another. 2 dogs. 2 Croatian border police officers with blue uniforms. 2 vans.

On the night of October 20th 2023, between 8 and 10 PM CET 5 men from Morocco – aged 19-29 – were apprehended by 6 police officers in the area around Gornje Dubrave (HR) near road E71 and later pushed back from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The respondent is a 26 year old man from Morocco that was in the mentioned group.

The respondent reports to have seen a group of men with a balaclava on their face and with a dark uniform and 2 dogs catching them near the road E71 “close to the border with Slovenia”. The respondent states to have been caught by the dogs of those officers, who harshly bit him and the rest of the group, especially on their legs and hands. The men in the dark uniform were speaking English, with one-another, but they mostly communicated with their eyes. The respondent said “they spoke very few words, always in English, but they understood each other without speaking, no words, eyes. They were NATO soldiers with dark clothes and a Europe flag on their shoulder”. While still letting the dogs on them, the officers started beating them with batons on the arms and on the legs and punched and kicked them also on their back. They were forced to lay facing the ground for around half an hour and the officers often pressed their heads against the ground, making it hard for them to breathe.

The respondent recalls that after this they were brought to a van and traveled for around a couple of hours. He says that at a certain point they had to leave the van and get in another one. After around 30 more minutes of travel they reached the area around Lohovo. They exited the second van and two officers wearing a blue uniform that resembles the one wore by Croatian border police took their phones and wallets, burnt their backpacks and pushed them back saying to “Go to Bosnia!”. The group walked then back to the closest road in Bosnia and Herzegovina and then to Bihać.