“When we asked for asylum, they (the Slovenian officers) got angry and they shut the door in our faces”

  • Date and time: January 27, 2021 17:00
  • Location: Near Batrovci, Serbia
  • Coordinates: 45.054556, 19.10825
  • Pushback from: Croatia, Slovenia
  • Pushback to: Croatia, Serbia
  • Demographics: 5 person(s), age: 15-20 , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: insulting, forcing to undress
  • Police involved: 4 Slovenian male police officers and 1 Slovenian female officer dressed wearing black uniforms, 2 Slovenian police car, 1 Slovenian police white van, 3 Croatian male police officers wearing dark colour uniforms, 1 Croatian police car, 1 Croatian police white van
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: fingerprints taken, photos taken, papers signed, no translator present, denial of food/water
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

The respondent, a 15 year-old unaccompanied minor from Afhanistan, entered in a truck around 2:00 am somewhere near Šid, on Tuesday the 26th of January. He was a member of a 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 stowaways 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 8:00 am on Wednesday 27th January. There, they reportedly were detected by 5 Slovenian police officers with black uniforms, only one of which were described be 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 remembered feeling very cold. According to the respondent, the authorities would have justified the wait as a punishment toward the group. Thereafter the group was ordered to get out from the vehicle, at which moment a police female officer would have insulted them.

“One policewoman told us really bad words, (…) she was so bad with us.”

Then two of the officers 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 the clothes but the underwear. Next, the respondent mentioned 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. (Thus) 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 if any translator was present. The respondent explained 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 would have 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.

Chain pushback route described by the respondent

According to the respondent, they were hold three hours in the room, after that they were put in a van around 1:30 pm. The Slovenian officers 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 Croatian male officers with dark colour uniforms were standing near one police car and one police white van. The group was ordered to enter inside the van, where they spent travelling about 3/4 hours before they began to be 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 ways 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.