“We gave all to them, because we thought they will give us asylum!”

  • Date and time: February 27, 2019 06:00
  • Location: close to Poljana/Velika Kladuša, Bosnia
  • Coordinates: 45.216506, 15.925539
  • Pushback from: Slovenia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia, Croatia
  • Demographics: 8 person(s), age: 17-29 , from: Algeria
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pushing people to the ground
  • Police involved: Caught by Slovenian police officers, handed over Croatian officers, violently deported by 7-8 Croatian officers (in black uniforms without any identifiable symbols, having black ski masks)
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, fingerprints taken, papers signed, forced to pay fee
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

A group of eight Algerian men (aged between 17-29) were chain pushed-back from Slovenia to Croatia, then directly from Croatia to Bosnia.

The group 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 on 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 (approximate location on map).

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 eight had reached the other side of the border, they walked back to Velika Kladusa, which took them around three hours.