“He pointed his gun at me and forced me to sign the papers”

  • Date and time: December 1, 2020 00:00
  • Location: Near road 657
  • Coordinates: 45.518909, 14.749053
  • Pushback from: Croatia, Slovenia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 17 person(s), age: 3-40 , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: threatening with guns, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: unknown
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: fingerprints taken, photos taken, papers signed, no translator present
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

On December 1st, 2020, the respondent and his sister, along with 4 other families, that made a group of a total of 17 people, started their journey from Sturlic, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Within the group were 4 minors, and 3 small kids of 3, 8, and 9 years old.

After walking for about 10 days through the jungles in Croatia, the group arrived at the Croatian-Slovenian border and crossed into Slovenia through a bridge. They were apprehended shortly after, inside Slovenian soil by what the respondent described as “an army person”. According to the respondent, they treated the group nicely and in a good manner. The group was asked questions like “why you left your country?”, “how’s the behavior of Croatian police with you”, and “how many days you’ve been walking”. They then called the municipal police, and told the group that they will be fed at the police station, given documents, and will be transferred to Lujbiana camp.

The Slovenian municipal police were also described as being well behaved and nice, they searched each group member and all their belongings. They were then put inside a police van, all men in one car, and all women in another car, and after a temperature check at the hospital, they were all taken to the police station. This police station was described by the respondent as “an unofficial station, something like a big warehouse with many containers inside”. All group members phones and documents were put inside a pocket and were told will be returned to them later

At the police station, each group member was given 5 or 6 papers to sign, they were also prepared a police paper that according to the respondent was very different from the papers he was asked to sign on his last attempt, and according to the respondent, it had a very big picture of the respondent, with the size of approximately 5 by 10. these papers were in Slovenian, and the respondent did not know what it said and did not ask, and was not provided an interpreter. All group members were then taken to a different container, and slept there for the night.

the next day all group members along with all their belongings were picked up by a car and sent to the Croatian border. They were handed over to Croatian officers, along with the pocket containing their phones and documents. They were then taken inside a small room inside a Croatian police or official station at the border, and their belongings and clothes were searched thoroughly again.

The group was then asked to sign a series of papers. No interpreter was provided. As the respondent has already been in the very same room in his last attempt, he realized that they are being pushed back into Bosnia, and therefore refused to sign documents. The officer then pointed a gun at him telling him he will shoot if he doesn’t sign.

“I recognized the room immediately, I knew I’m in Croatia, and being deported, So I refused to sign the papers. He pointed his gun at me and forced me to sign the papers”

After all the papers were signed, the group was taken to the Bosnian-Croatian border, the men in the group were taken to a gravel dead end road close to the border, where there was a hole with smoke coming out of it, and they were ordered to throw their backpacks inside the hole.

Phones and all documents which were handed to the Croatian officer by Slovenian officers were not returned to them. Documents included birth certificates, afghan IDs, and passports.