On 5th September 2022, 4 people from Afghanistan were pushed back from Croatia to Bosnia. They were all minors. The respondent is 17 years old.
The group attempted to cross the border from Bosnia and Herzegovina during the night. They left from Vrnograč, some hours walking from the border town of Velika Kladuša. After 5 hours walking, when they were already in Croatian territory, the respondent explained that 6 officers in totally black uniforms apprehended the group in the Croatian forest. From the description that the respondents gave, they seem to match the uniforms usually worn by the Croatian Intervention Police unit.
The respondent reported that the first thing the officers did was order them to give them all the phones that they had. Since the group members pretended not to have any phones with them, the officers started to search their bags and their pockets until they finally found the phones and reportedly took all of them. Then, the respondent recalled that they started shooting in the air with a firearm to scare them.
When the officers took all the personal belongings of the 4 minors, they also reportedly started to kick them and punch them directly in their face. The respondent recalled that they were beating everyone, but targeting the youngest boy in particular.
Then the respondent recounted that three of the officers forced them to enter into a blue van and took them back close to the border. The respondent does not recall the precise location as they did not have their phones. As soon as the transit group got out of the van the officers reportedly started to kick them again, and to talk to them in an aggressive way, but they couldn’t understand any words as the group did not speak any Croatian.
The respondent described that one of the officers gave them back the phones, but in front of their eyes, before handing them over, he bent all the phones until they broke. The officers didn’t give back any other personal belongings that they stole from the group before they reportedly forced them to cross the border back to Bosnia.