“One police stand over my hands, one other police catch my legs, beat with heavy sticks and they kick me!”

  • Date and time: January 6, 2021 16:00
  • Location: close to Črnomelj, Slovenia
  • Coordinates: 45.408121180804, 15.36267874043
  • Pushback from: Bosnia, Slovenia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 20 person(s), age: 20-25 years old , from: Bangladesh
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pepper spray, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 5 Slovenian police officers in dark blue uniforms, one Slovenian police van, unknown number of Croatian authorities in light blue uniforms, unknown number of Croatian intervention police in black uniforms and ski masks, 2 Croatian police vans
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: photos taken, papers signed
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

The respondent left from Velika Kladusa by foot with a group of 20 men from Bangladesh. They walked for 5 days until they arrived in Slovenia. The respondent claims that it was freezing, as the temperature outside was subzero and it was snowing.

In the first Slovenian town they went to, the group was approached by 5 police officers in dark blue uniforms that they presumed to be members of the local authorities. The respondent reports that the officers apprehended the men and brought them to a police station, where they were held for 24 hours before they were brought to the Slovenian border with Croatia.

The respondent states that, in Croatia, they were handed over to authorities that were wearing light blue uniforms. Those officers reportedly then transferred them to a police station, where their pictures were taken and they had to sign a document. From there, it is reported that the group was driven back to the border with Bosnia. At the border point, which was north-west and about 8 hours of walking away from Velika Kladusa, the group was received by another police unit. The respondent described this unit as “border police“, all wearing black uniforms and ski masks.

Those officers reportedly opened the door to the back of the van, where the group was sitting, and sprayed pepper spray into the vehicle.

“they spray something inside that it hurts in our eyes”

The respondent describes how the group was strip-searched and their phones, power banks, and money were taken away from them. The respondent claimed that the officers were putting the belongings of the men into their own pockets. Additionally, the respondent described that the officers had a dog with them which they used to search the men. Although it was wearing a muzzle, the respondent was still very afraid. The authorities told the group members to leave the van one by one. As it was reported, once they were outside the officers told them to lay down and started to strike them.

“They beat us brutally! One police stand over my hands, one other police catch my legs, beat with heavy sticks and they kick me here!”

says the respondent, pointing at the left side of his waist. The respondent was also severely injured on his head, as can be seen in the photo attached to this report.

In the end, the respondent reports that the authorities took all the clothes and shoes away from the group members and burned their clothing in front of their eyes so that the men were left wearing only a T-shirt and a pair of trousers. Like this, they had to walk back several kilometers to Velika Kladusa.

“Croatian police please take pity on us, we are going for a bright future for our family because we have so many problems there, ‘cause how come we leave our children, our wifes, our mothers? Its a very dangerous life!”

After they arrived back in Bosnia, the respondent received medical treatment from the Red Cross.  He had to undergo surgery because he had broken bones and a scar that is still visible. Reportedly the respondent suffered pain due to these injuries for more than a month. Some of his fellow group members also reported being injured, one person on his eyes and some others on their fingers, feet, and back.