While heavy snow makes life unbearable for migrants, a dangerous nightly game has resulted in alleged assault and injury
In a room in the intensive therapy unit of a hospital in the port city of Rijeka, Croatia, Farouk fights for his life.
The 18-year-old Afghan has life-threatening injuries to his thorax and abdomen. On 16 November, in the woods around Tuhobi, a Croatian police officer shot Farouk who, with dozens of other migrants, was attempting to cross the border with Slovenia.
The police claimed the officer unintentionally fired a single gunshot. But four eyewitnesses interviewed by the Guardian said they believed Farouk was deliberately shot and that his travel companions were threatened by other officers that they would receive the same fate if they tried to cross the border again.
News of the shooting has reached the migrant camp of Vujak, in Bosnia, 200km away. The heavy snowfall in recent weeks has made the lives of the 600 migrants living there intolerable. The majority arrived in Bosnia through Turkey, hoping to travel through Croatia to reach Slovenia, before heading to Italy, Austria or Germany.
Each night, groups of up to 80 people attempt to cross from Bosnia into Croatia, where squadrons of police await them at the border. Armed with truncheons, pistols and night vision goggles, they patrol the EUs longest external border. Asylum seekers call crossing the border the game, but there is nothing fun about it.
In one of the tents in the Vujak camp, Asmad, 16, asks if Farouk is still alive. He has heard nothing about him since 16 November.