“The officers treated the group in a rough way and handcuffed one of them”

  • Date and time: February 10, 2019 14:30
  • Location: Novo Mesto, Slovenia
  • Coordinates: 45.8010824, 15.17100890000006
  • Push-back from: Slovenia
  • Push-back to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 8 person(s), age: 17-29 , from: Algeria
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: insulting, handcuffed
  • Police involved: Caught by several Slovenian police officers (in black uniforms, five cars, treating roughly), at the police station and deporting by a van some Slovenian officers, handed over some Croatian officers, at the Bosnian border 2 Slovenian (previously encountered) and 7 Croatian officers (without masks)
  • Taken to a police station?: unknown
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: 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 February 1, a group of eight left from Velika Kladusa (BIH) with the intention to transit through Croatia and Slovenia. The youngest of the men was 17 years old. The group walked for 27 km to the border of Croatia and then continued through the country for five days before reaching the border to Slovenia. They crossed it by foot and then continued walking in Slovenia for three days.

When they were in the city of Novo Mesto (SVN), on February 10, around 2.30 pm, several Slovenian officers in black uniforms arrived with five cars and apprehended the eight of them. The respondents describe that previously, when they were walking around Novo Mesto, the residents had been staring at them, and they suppose one of them might have called the police. The officers treated the group in a rough way and handcuffed one of them. Soon after, the group of eight was driven to a prison in Iglenik (SVN).

There, they had to share a cell for three days. The eight of them received only a small amount of bread every day to eat and had water in the cell. During the detention, one by one was taken to a translator from Egypt. The eight of them complained that he did not hand over their questions to the officers and did not react in any way when they expressed their intention to claim asylum. In addition, they also had to sign papers written in Slovenian which they could not understand without a translation. One of these papers was handed out to them (see photo). The Slovenian police officers took photos and fingerprints of their index fingers were taken as well.

The minor of the group described that he lied about his age to the police at this prison because of his fears that he would be separated from his family.

You know I am a minor but I lied about my age, cause if I said I am minor they had take me away from my brother.”

After these three days in the prison, in the evening of February 13, the group had to enter another van. The car was quite large, but the men had only a small space to sit. They drove from the prison at Iglenik to the border of Croatia at Metlika (SVN). From there, some Croatian officers took the car over and brought them to the border of Bosnia-Herzegovina near Zagrad outside of Velika Kladusa (BIH). This journey took them about two hours, until late night around 12.15 am on February 14.

At this location, the group had to get off the van one-byone. Three officers were standing right next to the van and six were standing in two lines on each side of the van. The people on the move had to walk or run through this “tunnel”. The respondents saw two of the Slovenian officers they had met previously as well as seven Croatian officers. None of them was wearing balaclavas and nobody was threatening them with physical violence. During the push back thou, they were shouting:

Go back to Bosnia!”

The group of eight crossed the border and returned to Bosnia.