A group of seven men left Croatia on February 19, 2019, and walked for eight days before they entered Slovenia. At around 12 am on February 27, the group was detected by the Slovenian police close to Črnomelj (SVN).
The people on the move were then driven by a car about 10 minutes to a police station. There, the officers took their fingerprints and photos, made them sign some papers and further asked them to pay a fine of €270. However, the group misunderstood this request and believed that those papers and the money was for the asylum process which they had previously asked for.
“We gave all to them, because we thought they will give us asylum!”
The group waited at the police station for around seven hours and got some bread and water.
“It was like a prison.”
At around 12 pm, the Slovenian officers drove the seven of them for 30 minutes to the Croatian border where they were handed over to the Croatian authorities. Again, they were brought to a police station, this time ion the Croatian side, where their fingerprints were taken once more. Afterwards, they had to wait until 4 am, February 28. Then they were driven to the border of Bosnia, close to Poljana (BIH).
They arrived there around 6 am and between seven and eight officers, wearing black uniforms without any identifiable symbols and balaclavas, were waiting for them. The van was parked around 100 meters away from a small river, marking the Croatian border with Bosnia.
The seven individuals had to get off the van one by one. The door was opened, one person was taken out, and the door was closed again. Outside, the officers were standing on each side of the van, forming a “tunnel”. When one individual got off the van, he was beaten with batons, then the officers ran after him and forced him into the river where the water was waist-high.
“When one of us fell in the dirt, the officers beat him directly in the face.”
Once the group of seven had reached the other side of the border, they walked back to Velika Kladusa, which took them around three hours.