The respondent, a 27-year old man from Morocco was stopped by police in Slovenia (45.870301, 15.170671 SLO) while he was walking on a path close to the roadside on the 14th January 2020 at 15.00.
Two Slovenian policemen wearing official uniforms and with an official police car saw the respondent, they stopped him and called their colleagues who arrived in an unmarked “jeep”. The officers held the respondent for around 10 minutes until this jeep vehicle arrived. Inside the jeep there were two officers dressed in black, who asked the respondent to enter the vehicle. The officers did not inform the respondent where they were driving him, and only asked him about his nationality. The jeep started and left the path, but the official car stayed at that same location where the respondent had been apprehended.
“ It was a trap. The car was hidden, waiting for immigrants”
The respondent, who did not dare to ask questions, felt that the drive lasted was about 30 minutes until they reached a police station in Croatia. The respondent was not able to recognize in which city he was.
When the car arrived at the police station, at about 15.40, the two policemen who had been driving the car brought him directly into the cell where the respondent remained under the officers’ surveillance for four hours. The respondent did not have access to food, water or toilet. “I did”, says the respondent, meaning that he had to “relieve himself” on the floor, in the cell without any intimacy because there was no toilet.
At the police station, no officer spoke with the respondent. All the respondent’s personal belongings (backpack, power bank and money) had been taken anyway before entering in the cell by one of the two policemen.
“They treated me like a dog”
Around 19.00, another official van arrived at the police station with two policemen. The respondent noticed that one of the officers was very young, without being able to specify his exact age. The youngest policemen was the most aggressive “he was mean and very aggressive with me” says the respondent. He reports that the driver waited inside the car. Only the young officer entered inside the police station to take the respondent out off cell to the van. The respondent saw the policemen taking all his belongings into the van: “he brought a bag with my phone, my money, my power bank”. The respondent reports that the policemen pushed him hard to enter into the van, where nine people from Algerians, Syrians and Pakistanis were already inside. There were now ten people in the detained transit group.
In the van, there were no windows, cold air conditioning was on and the driving was reckless and abrupt. The respondent reports throwing up during the drive due to the poor driving.
After what the respondents felt was two hours ( around 21.00), the group arrived at the border with Bosnia-Herzegivina, close to the town of Velika Kladuša (approximate coordinates 45.19632, 15.80237 BIH). The respondent reports that when they arrived at the border, there were approximately ten police officers including one woman. One of those officers opened the doors with violence to get the the transit group out of the van; “it was the ski masks” says the respondent. The officers were wearing black clothes, ski masks and wielded guns and batons. The respondent reports that when the doors opened he saw his personal belongings in a bag next to the group of officers
“All my important personal belongings was here, including my fanny bag. I knew that my backpack was far away”.
The respondent suggests that the officers knew that the group was already out of money because the previous policemen had taken all they had, so that the officers were only looking for a pretext to hit them.
“They steal the phones. The officers asked for more money just with the aim to beat us more. They are looking for something to hit you ”
To get out of the van, the respondent affirms that the officers shouted to the group on the move “go, go, go and one by one!”. The officers put the flashlights in the eyes of the respondents to dazzle them so that to could not recognize the authorities faces. Each member of the group (ten in total) was beaten with a baton when they got out of the van, and were then forced to run back into BiH.