The respondent, a 15 year-old unaccompanied minor from Afghanistan, entered in a truck around 2:00 am somewhere near Šid, on Tuesday the 26th of January. He was a member of a transit group of five people, aged between 15 and 20 years old; all of them from Afghanistan. Over the next hours, this truck crossed into Croatia and drove the group across the country. They reached the Slovenian Border Crossing Obrežje on the highway A2 (45°50’52.6″N 15°41’31.4″E) at around 8:00AM on Wednesday 27th January. There, they reportedly were detected by 5 police officers with black uniforms, presumed to be Slovenian police, one of which was described as female. The respondent recalled having seen 2 Slovenian police vehicles near the spot.
Once apprehended, the respondent described having waited about 2 hours sat inside the truck, where he recalled feeling very cold. According to the respondent, the authorities justified the wait as a punishment toward the group. Thereafter the respondent states that the group was ordered to get out from the vehicle, at which moment a police female officer insulted them.
“One policewoman told us really bad words, (…) she was so bad with us.”
Then two of the officers reportedly led the group in a closed space described as a room near to the place of the apprehension. They were forced to take off all their clothes except their underwear. Next, the respondent reports having asked for food and water, since they had not eaten anything during the previous hours.
“We hadn’t eaten anything for two nights, we were really hungry.”
Nevertheless, the Slovenian authorities did not give any water nor food to the group.
“They (the Slovenian officers) didn’t give us any water, they just got angrier with us. We drank the water from the toilet.”
Reportedly the group received many papers while they were detained and they were then forced to sign them, even though no translator was present. The respondent reported to have signed two papers not having any idea of the content.
“I couldn’t understand the language of Slovenian police. (…) They also told us something, but we could not understand what they said.”
The respondent highlighted that the group expressed the intention to seek asylum. However, the police officer replied closing the door of the room where they were detained and shouting angrily.
“When we asked for asylum, they (the Slovenian officers) got angry and they shut the door in our faces.”
Moreover, the fingerprints of each group member were taken without any explanations. Some pictures were taken as well.
According to the respondent, they were held for three hours in the room, after that they were put in a van at around 1:30PM. The Slovenian officers reportedly drove the vehicle for some minutes until they brought the group of people on the move to Croatia, allegedly close to the Border Crossing Bregana (45°50’32.1″N 15°41’56.4″E). Three male officers with dark colour uniforms, referred to as Croatian authorities, were standing near one police car and one white police van. The group were ordered to enter inside the van, where they spent travelling about 3/4 hours before the respondent reports that they were driven back to Serbia.
It was around 5:00 pm (27th January) when they arrived in a spot near to Bajakova Border Crossing. Once near the Serbian border, the respondent described that contrary to typical pushback procedures, the Croatian authorities followed them some way in Serbian territory before letting them go. The respondent explained his understanding that this was to protect them from any issues with Serbian authorities. Thereafter, the group was allowed to leave once they arrived to a dirt road close to the Serbian village Batrovci (approximate location: 45°03’16.4″N 19°06’29.7″E), from were told to walk back to the Serbian village Šid.