“This time we were lucky that the police didn’t force us to undress because it was raining”

  • Date and time: August 5, 2019 21:00
  • Location: Dobova, Slovenia
  • Coordinates: 45.8970349, 15.660114300000032
  • Push-back from: Slovenia
  • Push-back to: Croatia, Serbia
  • Demographics: 3 person(s), age: 20-23 , from: Algeria
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: kicking, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 6 Slovenian police officers, 1 van, undisclosed number of Croatian police officers
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, photos taken, personal information taken, denial of access to toilets, denial of food/water, confiscation of property
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: Border Violence Monitoring, No Name Kitchen

Original Report

A group of three Algerian men aged between 20-23, began their journey from Šid (Serbia), passing through Croatia and on into Slovenia. The transit group were apprehended at 21:00 August 5th 2019 by the Slovenian police in Dobova (Slovenia). When the group was apprehended, they announced to the police officers that they wanted to request asylum, but the Slovenian police ignored the request and responded by kicking one of the young men. In addition to the attack, the police officers also started to take photos of the transit group. The respondent described, in relation to previous capture by the authorities, that:

“This time we were ‘lucky’ that the police didn’t force us to undress because it was raining”.

The three Algerians were told that they were going to be deported into Bosnia but the young men convinced the Slovenian officers to reconsider and deport them back to Serbia where they originally came from. The Slovenian police officers transferred the three young men from Dobova to a police station in Zagreb, Croatia. The respondent said that they were transferred to Croatia in a big police vehicle and estimated that there were six police officers involved in their arrest and the transfer to Croatia.

After an estimated one hour of travelling, they reached the Croatian police station in Zagreb at 22:30. In the police station, the officers asked the Algerians several questions regarding their origin and took their details.

“The police asked us where we are from .. and told us not to speak with them… And told us not to try to cross the border”.

At the police station in Zagreb, they were detained for over 24 hours and kept in a small room without any furniture. During their detention, they were withheld access to food, water and sanitary facilities. The respondent told us that the police said:

“If you want food then go back to Serbia. Why do you come here …?”.

Whilst at the police station the three men asked and were denied asylum and had their personal property (including money and mobile phones) taken from them.

The transit group were detained until early morning on Tuesday 7th August at which point the Croatian police brought the three men across Croatia and left them across the Serbian border near to Sid (Serbia) at 04:00.