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"My husband is blind and I have two babies and the Croatian police pushed us in the river"

Date & Time 2023-10-28
Location Area between Katinovac and Poljana, Croatia
Reported by Anonymous Partner
Coordinates 45.2432273, 15.9253213
Pushback from Croatia
Pushback to Bosnia
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved yes
WLTI* involved yes
Men involved yes
Age 2 - 49
Group size 6
Countries of origin Afghanistan, Iraq
Treatment at police station or other place of detention
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 2
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pushing people to the ground, pushing people in the river
Police involved 2 Croatian border police officers with light blue t-shirts and dark blue pants.

The respondent is an Iraqi woman, aged 29, who was traveling together with her blind 49 year-old husband and their two children, a 4 year-old boy and a 2 year-old girl. The family crossed from Bosnia-Erzegovina to Croatia on the afternoon of the 28th October 2023, together with two men from Afghanistan aged around 30.

Soon after reaching the territory of Croatia, the group was caught by two individuals that wore a uniform composed by light blue t-shirts and blue pants, resembling the uniforms of Croatian border police officers. The respondent says they repeatedly said they wanted asylum but the individuals in the uniform answered “No asylum, no asylum!”. The officers beated all of the adults also with batons on their arms and legs, especially the two men from Afghanistan.

They then proceeded to push them all – including the respondent’s blind husband and two children – in the river and shouted to them “Go back to Bosnia! No asylum here!”. The woman stated that she and her family managed to get out of the water thanks to the two Afghan men that were with them, otherwise they could have easily drowned.

They managed to go back to Bosnia-Erzegovina and call the Bosnian authorities for help.