“They put us to the ground and they were kicking into me. But not only into me, but also my mother and father. Into our back and neck and legs. They said not to speak. They fractured my hand with their foot”

  • Date and time: August 21, 2018 16:00
  • Location: Caught and attacked by the police in the inner Slovenian land, in a forest by the town Črnomelj (refer to map, below).
  • Coordinates: 45.56309250591816, 15.153831017353696
  • Demographics: Family of three from Iran
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Police involved: Six women police and 7 men (Slovenian). Few had blond hair, and all wearing blue shirts.
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

For an interesting correspondence with the Slovenian police about this report, click here: https://www.borderviolence.eu/a-letter-from-the-slovenian-police/

The testimony was told to the interviewer primarily by the son of the family, Darius, aged 17 years old.

The whole family started walking from Bosnia, crossed Croatia and wanted to continue to Slovenia, where they wished to apply for asylum. After six days of walking, predominantly through forests and mountainous terrains, the whole family crossed the Croatian-Slovenian border. Around fifteen kilometres from the border, the family was walking in a forest close to the town called Črnomelj where they were seen by a man on a motorbike, who called the police. The family noticed the man calling the police and wanted to escape but the local people surrounded them and did not let them leave until the police arrived.

Darius told me that soon after, six female and seven male police officers wearing blue shirts arrived. The police were rude to the family, saying to them: “Shut up! Fuck you!”, when Darius wanted to explain to them their situation. Darius told me that he initially told the police that they were from Syria and not from Iran, because he was worried that they would have labelled them and treated them as “illegal migrants” and not “refugees”. The police officers told the family to lie on the ground and frisked their bodies. They found 1000 euros hidden in Zahras underwear (bra), took their money and did not return it. One officer told Darius to tell him his phone pin code to search through his phone. When Darius refused to do so, the officer physically attacked him, and after started attacking his mother and father also:

“They put us to the ground and they were kicking into me. But not only into me, but also my mother and father. Into our back and neck and legs. They said not to speak. They fractured my hand with their foot [kicks]” (Darius).

After the physical attacks, the whole family was transported to a police station. Darius told the police that he had a lot of pain in his arm caused by the attack by the police officers that happened a few minutes before and asked the officers if he could seek medical treatment. Darius was then transported to the hospital in Vinica, where he was treated by a local doctor. The doctor diagnosed Darius with a fractured front arm and gave him a provisional hand split and bandage but did not provide him with a medical report. After that, Darius was transported back to the police station where his parents had been detained.

In the police station, the officers took the fingerprints of all the family members, photographed them, and asked them to fill a document with their names, age, nationality and their intentions in Slovenia (which was written in the Farsi language). Darius explained to the police that him and his family wanted to apply for asylum in Ljubljana and asked the police whether he and his parents could access the asylum procedures. The police called an Arabic translator to help the family to understand their questions, but the family told them that their mother tongue was Farsi and not Arabic. Darius told me that he had limited understanding of the Arabic language and could not speak Arabic. For this reason, none of the family members understood the Arabic translator properly, which made their legal procedure impossible to understand and complete. After that, the police gave the family a paper to sign that they did not understand:

“We signed some paper. But they did not let us to read it. They just put it in front of us and told us to sign it very fast and after they took it back. We did not even read it. First, they brought some papers in Farsi, name, first name, last name. But the papers we signed we did not know what it was. And after they deported us to Croatia” (Darius).

The family was deported first to Croatia and then from Croatia to Bosnia. The transport was difficult as Zahra told me that the van in which they were being deported did not have any windows or fan, so the inside was very hot and they difficulties breathing. The Croatian police stopped on the way to have lunch and left the family waiting for three hours for them in the van. According to all family members, the Croatian police otherwise treated them with respect, did not steal or destroy any of their possessions, and did not physically or verbally attack them. The Croatian police only drove the family to the Bosnian border, around 20 kilometres away from Velika Kladuša, where they told them to walk back to Bosnian territory.

Darius, 17 years old boy, was treated in the hospital in Vinica by the local doctor who based on the observation of this patient concluded that he had a fractured arm (refer to photo 1, at the top of the report). The doctor gave Darius a provisional hand split and bandaged his arm but did not provide him with a medical report.

Zahra, the mother, had a pain in her neck, back, and leg caused by the physical attack by a Slovenian police officers. Zahra had a visible bruise on her left knee caused by several kicks by the Slovenian officers. (refer to photo 2, below).

Javad, the father, had several bruises on his right ankle caused by physical aggression without an object (several kicks) (refer to photo 3, below).