On September 9th, fourteen men and minors from Afghanistan were pushed back from Croatia into Bosnian territory. The primary respondent for this testimony was a 33-year-old man from Afghanistan. He described that in the day prior, the group had entered into Croatia on foot and were crossing the D1 road at which point they were approached and apprehended by six Croatian officers wearing all black uniforms. These officers came in two cars and, after ordering the group to stop and sit down, called for backup which came in the form of “deport police”, as described by the respondent. These initial officers did not rob or abuse the group further.
After about four hours, two officers wearing light blue shirts, (similar to those worn by Croatian border police) arrived to the scene. Neither when they arrived at the border nor while waiting for the “deport police” were the group allowed to speak. They were simply told to sit quietly with their heads down.They made the group get enter into a large police van without air condition which had no windows in its back section. These officers then proceeded to drive the group for a long time, including in circles and as roughly as possible, back to the Bosnian border. Some of the group inside the van became ill and threw up during this time. Two men, the respondent described, became particularly ill.
When they arrived back at the border, the respondents described encountering several officers who helped to facilitate the pushback. The police were ordering the group-members to take off their clothes (shirts, trousers), as well as hand over their phones, their travel bags and their money. They did not receive these back.
Reportedly, the officers then beat the group-members with batons and ordered them to run back into Bosnian territory. When the men were sent back to Bosnia, the police called a dog to chase them. This dog bit one man, however, the respondent did not give further details.