The respondents are two Algerian men aged 22 and 29 years. The younger of the two respondents suffers from epilepsy. The men had reached Dobova in Slovenia together with three Algerian men aged between 24 and 39. The group was going to reach Ljubljana, but split up as one of the respondents had an epileptic attack at 6 p.m. on the 10th of August. Thus the other respondent called the police himself in order to get his friend into the hospital.
The respondents have blurred memories of the moment as the whole situation was extremly stressful for them, but they describe that both of them were taken to a hospital by Slovenian police officers wearing light blue uniforms. After 7 hours in the hospital, they were taken to a nearby police station by the officers. The respondent assumed they were going to Ljubljana but instead they found themselves in the police station of Obrežje, and they did not see their companions anymore. They do not know what happened with them. They remember that they had been driven to the police station in a white and blue Slovenian police van. They claim that they were detained in the police station by Slovenian police officers and they remember that they also saw Croatian officers inside the station, but do not record how many officers were present in the police station. From the window they could see the Slovenian flag from one side and the Croatian flag from the other. It is most likely that they were in a police office at the Croatian Slovenian border. There, in the police station, the respondents were detained for 9 hours.
“They made us stay there for 9 hours, without food, without water. I was asking for a cigarette. The officer just stood there and look at me while smoking in my face. I was in so much pain. If we wanted to go to the toilet, they would come with me inside the bathroom. I said no, there is no respect.”
In the police station all of their money was taken from them, and their phone was broken with the back of the gun in front of their eyes.
“They took all the money from us. It’s a problem if you have money with you and you meet the police, they take it from you.”
Afterwards, the officers brought 6 papers written in Slovenian. The respondents signed all of them thinking they were asylum papers, as they had expressed the intention to seek asylum in Slovenia. When the officers did not start asking questions on the reasons they wanted to claim for asylum, the respondent understood they had not signed asylum paper but those may have been “deportation papers”.
After 9 hours of detention, the respondents were taken into a sort of caravan. They estimate that at this time it was around 4 a.m. The respondents assume that this was the moment that they were handed over to Croatian authorities. In the caravan, they were detained again with either food, water or the possibility to use the bathroom. The respondents waited until 9 a.m. when they were taken by officers, most likely Croatian police officers, in a white and blue van, together with other 8 people. There were 5 police officers in total, 4 of them wearing light blue uniforms and one wearing a balaclava mask in the face. They said they could not see flags or either they do not remember the flags in their uniform. In the van they wear driven recklessly for what felt like 6 hours to them until they reached the area of Glinica at the border with Bosnia- Herzegovina (ed it takes approximately 2 hours from Obrežje to Glinica in BiH).
“We were ten and everybody was vomiting. Then they just left us here.”
disclosure: The respondents did not want to further describe what had happened at the borderside, when they were forced to cross back into BiH due to the emotional stress and exhaustion.